Minggu, 02 November 2014

About Last Night Movie Review

http://onlinemovies.pro/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/About-Last-Night-20141.jpgAbout Last Night (2014)

I have been on the verge of giving up on Kevin Hart in movies. He has been in at least 3 movies in the past 6mos, and I have not been impressed with his performance at all. However About Last Night seemed different. I had a feeling this one would be a winner, and everyone seemed to confirm this before I had the chance to even buy a ticket. This movie was funny...
http://atlantablackstar.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/kevin-hart.jpgWhat I enjoyed most about the comedy was that Hart wasn't the only one expected to deliver the humor. There was exceptional comedy backing provided by Regina Hall, who in my opinion made this movie. I'm just going to put this out there, Hall and Hart need to be in a comedy movie together. Honestly Ealy and Bryant's storyline were forgettable. Although it seemed like their story was the plot for the movie, it felt like they were fillers until we could get back to a scene with Hart and Hall. I know I'm not the only one who felt that way. The only thing memorable about Bryant and Ealy was Ealy walking around half naked (a memory I will never forget.
http://filmracket.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/aboutlastnight1.jpgThis movie wasn't that great, but the comedy had me in tears making up for all the overwhelming kissing and lovey dovey stuff coming from Bryant and Ealy. The comedy was great, and more of Hart and Hall should have been added to keep this movie from being a bore at times. I enjoyed myself with this one, and I'm sure you will too. 
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Sabtu, 01 November 2014

"The Hundred-Foot Journey" Movie Review

"The Hundred-Foot Journey" (2014)
I'm sure this movie isn't on most of your radars, but I was really looking forward to seeing this one. The trailer reminded me of the film "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel", which I absolutely adored (btw they are coming out with a sequel...Yay!) Then let's add that this film was about food...Hot Damn! I love food...lol! Helen Mirren starring in the film only sealed the deal for me :)

The movie was just as I expected, and I left with a smile on my face. This is such a cute movie with a decent story, entertaining characters and delicious food.

There is nothing extraordinary about the movie, but I enjoyed the subtle humor, beautifully shot scenes, and the light-weight feel of the story. It had a very sweet taste (pun intended). Not to mention it stars Manish Dayal, whose name I did not know before this movie, and left me swooning. See below...HOTT

Rabu, 11 Juni 2014

Enemy Movie Review

Enemy (2013)

A man lives a repetitious, dull life. By day he teaches history. By night he grades papers and has loveless sex with his girlfriend. His apartment is gray and cramped. One night he rents a movie, via a recommendation from a colleague. He notices something odd about the film. One of the actors in it looks exactly like him. Thus starts the eerie turn of events that comprise Enemy, the newest movie by Canadian director Denis Villeneuve. I can already tell Villeneuve is a great director, having seen his very excellent Prisoners (also starring Jake Gyllenhaal) last year. Prisoners was a very straightforward movie. Enemy is not. Enemy is what you would get if David Fincher and David Lynch had a movie love child. It's dark, gritty, and brooding. It's also really, really strange. There's one scene where a naked woman with the head of a spider walks down a hallway. I'm pretty sure it wasn't a dream sequence either. One of the many interesting things about Enemy is that Jake Gyllenhaal plays the two main roles, Adam and Anthony. I consider Gyllenhaal one of the most talented actors working in cinema today. He's been really great in some really great stuff like Donnie Darko, End of Watch, and Brokeback Mountain. He's just as good, if not better here. Gyllenhaal shows us he can play sad schmuck or sneering villain. Melanie Laurent plays his blonde foreign girlfriend. She proved herself to be a wonderfully capable actress in Inglorious Basterds.
Unfortunately, she's not given much to do here. It's not a huge problem, considering the movie's not about her, but I do feel her potential is being wasted a little. What I really liked here is how the two guys are shown. At first the two identical men seem quite similar in personality. As the film progresses it becomes quite clear that one has much more malicious intentions. Like an evil twin, if you will. The two become like split personalities of the same person. Although the film hints at prospects like the men being brothers or just simply insane, it never lets the answer be that easy. Why exactly do these two men look exactly alike is never directly addressed. Immediately after viewing I went online to try and find a reputable analysis of the film. I found one that was quite good and believable. While this was fun, I don't recommend doing it. Let the film soak in your mind for a while and create your own theories before looking one up. It's more fun that way. I haven't seen any of Villeneuve's other films besides this and Prisoners, but I can already see a style forming. His films seem to often poke at moral questions without being too outright about them. The story and atmosphere is often filled with noir elements. If he plays his card right he could very well be the next David Fincher. His direction here is really great.
http://i0.wp.com/www.areyouscreening.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/enemy-movie-2.jpgVilleneuve keeps the air of tension so tight throughout the film. I often had to remind myself to breathe. The cinematography certainly helped this. The feel of this film is something like A Serious Man meets Zodiac. That combination works extremely well for the film. Giving it a very claustrophobic vibe often characterized by horror films. I don't think I noticed too many of the clues about the true nature of the film on my first viewing because I was too drawn into the plot tension. I definitely think a second viewing would benefit me greatly. A bit of the tension would be stripped away and I could really delve into the film fully. I do think that's the sign of a great movie, when one wants to watch it again soon after the first viewing. A24 films, which released this, also released the very awesome Under the Skin earlier this year. Those are two of what have the potential to be some of the best films this year. 

Minggu, 11 Mei 2014

Under The Skin Movie Review

 Under The Skin (2014)

If Eraserhead-era David Lynch time traveled to today and directed a movie about aliens, I imagine it would look somewhat like Under The Skin. Except it probably wouldn't be as good as the actual movie is.
In old cheesy sci-fi flicks, and even in some more recent movies, aliens are always humanoid. They may have purple skin or weird space suits, but they always resemble humans to a fault. Whether in appearance, language, or technology, it seems science fiction writers can't get away from humanity when creating an alien race. Under The Skin doesn't have this problem. The extraterrestrial in Under The Skin takes the form of a Scarlett Johansson-looking Scot, but underneath it's something completely different. Something alien to our world. With thoughts, needs, and desires completely different than that of any human. I think it's the fact that this movie addresses how strange and alien actually aliens would be that makes it so interesting. It also addresses how strange and alien our world and culture would look to an outsider. Director Jonathan Glazer and his leading lady, Scarlett Johansson, portray these factors with the utmost skill and strangeness. Under The Skin is technically about an alien on Earth taking men and harvesting them for some unknown purpose. But that's not really important. The film is really about fear, confusion, and humanity itself. Big themes, I know. But this movie isn't afraid of big themes. What it really embraces are the big questions. The main protagonist here, Scarlett Johansson's alien character, spends a decent chunk of the film driving around Scotland to pick up men and then bring them back to her apartment where they're never seen again. When she first meets a guy, she always asks if he's alone. Whether he has a family, if he's traveling with anyone, does he have any friends. She wants to take people that won't cause a ruckus if they drop off the face of the Earth one day. She asks if they're alone. In life maybe they are, but not in the universe. When the movie starts out, Johansson has all the power. These men she finds are practically drooling at her to the point where they die, blinded by her hypnotic beauty. As the film progresses, she starts to lose this power. You can see her character scared and confused by people and Earth in general. At one point she trips in the street and passers-by rush to help her, the look of confusion is incredibly telling of her character. Scarlett Johansson barely speaks at all in the movie, but she deserves an Oscar simply for the way she communicates through her face. Whether she's utterly emotionless, or horribly frightened and confused, Johansson gives a marvelous performance. This may sound ridiculous, but I think it's the most honest portrayal of an alien that's ever been captured on film. Aliens probably wouldn't be all-knowing and confident. They're like snakes: dangerous, but more scared of us than we are of them. Things we take for granted like eating and even just regular human interaction become odd and even scary to an alien. Johansson embodies this horrified confusion so, so well The person involved with this movie I have to applaud most is writer and director Jonathan Glazer. His direction here is breathtaking. Every shot is clear and beautiful, haunting and meaningful. The imagery here is flawless. Just the shots of the Scottish countryside are awe-inspiring. The way he holds the seemingly meaningless shots like a hand tapping to music or an ant crawling, make those shots seem as important as the entire movie. And in some ways, they are. Glazer uses single shots to paint an entire picture and deliver so much emotion and information. He doesn't need dialogue.

The last scene has been burned into my mind since I watched this last night, and that's saying something about the power of cinema. Many people have deemed this film as Kubrickian. I'm a huge Stanley Kubrick fan myself, but I don't really see a connection. I think people were trying to connect this and 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is understandable but wrong. They're two great films, but two completely different films. The only thing Kubrick-esque about Under The Skin is it's pacing. In most of his movies like Barry Lyndon and 2001: A Space Odyssey, Kubrick has this very slow, yet very riveting and deliberate pacing. Glazer uses a similar technique here. When watching this, I was in between deeply enthralled and utterly bored. And I mean that in the best possible way. Nothing is really happening, yet it feels like something profound and horrific will happen soon. I literally was on the edge of my seat most of the movie. If anything, Under The Skin is completely original. I have never seen a movie, technically and narrative-wise, like Under The Skin. It's completely it's own. One more thing. This film is an all around sensory experience, and I highly recommend you see it in the theater while you can. It's not just visuals. The soundtrack is incredibly eerie and it's use of sound in general is spectacular. Overall it's a very well-made movie. It marries it's sounds and images in such an amazing way, that it all permeates your soul. That sounds very pretentious and a little ridiculous but it's 100% true. In a world of reboots and The Amazing Spider Man 2, maybe that's just what we need. This film is in no way for everyone. Some may find it too weird. Some may find it boring. I found it riveting, original, and even a little prophetic. I believe that's enough to deem this a great movie. Or at least one we should be thinking and talking about. I give Under The Skin 4.8 out of 5 stars. Now stop reading my review and go see the movie!     

Rabu, 07 Mei 2014

Emma Watson

Emma Watson                                                       Emma Charlotte Duerre Watson was born on April 15, 1990 in Paris, France.  Her catchy nickname is Em, which is a completely normal nickname for a name like 'Emma'.  Anyways, her parents were lawyers.  When she was five her parents divorced, and then she moved, along with her mother and younger brother, Alexander, to Oxfordshire, England.  Ever since her parents divorced her family as you would say has "extended"; her parents have new partners.  Her father has a son named Toby, and identical twin daughters named Nina and Lucy, and her mother's partner has two sons.  She spent most of her childhood living in England with her mother and stepfather, younger brother, and two stepbrothers.  Anyways, when she was at the age fo six, she just knew that she wanted to become an actress.  Now let's get into that!
For a while she trained at the Oxford branch of Stagecoach Theatre Arts, where she studied singing, dancing and acting; and by the age of ten, she had been in various Stagecoach productions and school plays taking the lead role in "Arthur: The Young Years" and "The Happy Prince".  And this is where it gets exciting!  In 1999, the official casting began for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, which came to theaters in 2001 I believe, and from the brilliant mind of J.K. Rowling who wrote the series, of course before the films.  Which we all know of course that Emma took the leading female role of Hermione Granger, but the question is how...here's how.  There were casting agents that found Emma through her Oxford theatre teacher...I bet Emma thanker her teacher for this wonderful opportunity.  Anyways, their were eight constant auditions, and the producer, David Heyman, told Emma and the fellow auditioners...you know who they are...that they'd been cast for the roles of the three leads, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), and of course Hermione Granger (Emma Watson).

Ever since the release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone came to theaters in 2001, that was Emma's major cinematic screen debut.  Now she is the most well-known actress in the world!  She continued to play Hermione Granger for nearly 10 years...obviously because you just cannot, and I mean cannot replace Emma Watson to play Hermione Granger...she was Hermione Granger in: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010), and finally Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011).
When I saw the first movie for the first time...I just couldn't believe it, I thought it was absolutely amazing!  And I just can't believe that we saw them grow up from little kids, to young adults!

When I saw the last film...I was dying inside because it was, epic, mysterious, magical for one thing, sad, and so many other emotions!  I sort of got to see these people grow up, even though I was so much younger than before, but yeah you get the idea.  Anyways, guess who else cried at the Harry Potter Deathly Hallows: Part 2 premiere...pretty much everyone who was in the cast...including J.K. Rowling!  Ever since the ending of Harry Potter, Emma Watson began to start other films, with My Week with Marilyn (2011), The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012), which I heard was amazing!  Then her recent films The Bling Ring (2013) and Noah (2014)...which I hope they got the facts right from the Noah's Ark story, because if they didn't, I'll be very upset!  Anyways, it was very sad to see these lovely people go.

Jumat, 21 Februari 2014

3 Days to Kill Movie Review

http://www.dvdsreleasedates.com/covers/3-days-to-kill-dvd-cover-56.jpg3 Days to Kill Movie  (2014)

Pauline Kael once said "Movies are so rarely great art that if we cannot appreciate great trash we have very little reason to be interested in them."
She has a point. Unfortunately, 3 Days to Kill isn't great trash. It's just plain old trashy trash. What a shame. 3 Days to Kill is about an aging CIA hit-man named Ethan Renner (Kevin Costner) who gets cancer and is given three to five months to live. Luckily for him, if he's able to complete some assignments for the CIA, he'll be given some experimental cancer drug that may help him stay alive to see his estranged daughter (Hailee Steinfeld) and his wife (Connie Neilson). Before I get into the meat and potatoes of my review, let me get something straight. I am not a pompous, uppity, and overtly critical movie watcher. I always try to look for the good in films. I can enjoy a crappy movie. I'm even sort of a fan of dumb action flicks. Sure, they don't have much cinematic sustenance, but they can be a load of fun. I can enjoy stuff like Escape Plan and White House Down.
http://fivevenoms.net/wp-content/uploads/amber-heard-3-days-to-kill.jpgWhich is why I was somewhat looking forward to 3 Days to Kill. It was starring Kevin Costner. Costner's last action outing, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, was more than halfway decent. I was sure this would be the same brand of espionage-y fun. I was wrong. 3 Days to Kill was as much fun as death and taxes. It got off to a decent start with a classic spy vs. spy set up. Then it quickly became half cliche and very predictable spy movie and half boring melodrama. I tried really hard to like this movie, but it couldn't be done. Kevin Costner has the capacity to be the kind of action star Liam Neeson has become. Unfortunately, he seems content to "act" in garbage like this. I'm putting act in parentheses because all Costner did was walk around the movie with one expression on his face. It seemed as if Costner was just acting in this so he could get a paycheck and get out of there.
http://cdn02.cdn.justjared.com/wp-content/uploads/headlines/2013/01/amber-heard-blonde-for-three-days-to-kill.jpgI don't blame him. The movie has a lot more problems than just Costner's performance. This movie is directed by some guy named McG. The only other McG directed movie I've seen was Terminator Salvation. I should have known right then and there that this was going to be bad. I don't know who taught this guy how to direct action sequences, but they did an awful job. Whenever some "exciting" action is happening, it feels as if they handed the camera to someone having a seizure and told them to film the scene. The supposed awesome action sequences were irritating to look at and amatuerly filmed. I guess we should count ourselves lucky there isn't much action in this action movie. Most of the film revolves around Costner's character bonding with his daughter and dealing with family melodrama. The script is weak so the family melodrama isn't even interesting in the slightest. Teenager problems and daddy issues rarely make good movies. Especially if a certain movie is marketed as a cool action flick and is actually a mind numbing and syrupy family movie. I didn't go see 3 Days to Kill to watch Kevin Costner teach his teenage daughter how to ride a bike! I don't care who she goes to the prom with! I came for an action movie not a mediocre family togetherness piece of crap! The thing is, it really has nothing going for it. It's very poorly written. The plot is fairly cliche. (So-and-so foreign villain has a bomb and he's bad and you need to take him down like in every other action movie. Except a lot more boring!)he acting is sub par. The action sequences are frenetic and annoying. There are also several half-hearted attempts at jokes here. The jokes aren't funny. At all. The whole movie seems like someone had half a good idea and then gave up there but you can judge for yourself later. take a look at this movie and comment.

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Kamis, 13 Februari 2014

The Lego Movie Review

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/aa/The_Lego_Movie_Videogame_cover.jpgThe Lego (2014)

If you don't like The Lego Movie, you are Fox News.
If you had told past me that a 100 minute toy commercial released in the bleak winter months would be one of the best movies of the year (so far), I would laugh in your face and say some arbitrary statement like "No good movies come out in January or February!" or "A movie about Lego's? Give me a break." Past me knew nothing. The Lego Movie is the best animated movie I've seen since Toy Story 3, and it's better than anything that has been released in 2014 so far. I can almost guarantee it a spot on my Favorite Films of 2014 list. The film is about Emmett Brickowoski (voiced by Chris Pratt) He loves his job as a construction worker, where he builds things according to the instructions and blows up things that are "weird". Emmett drinks coffee at a chain coffee shop where coffee costs 37 dollars. He thinks this is awesome. Emmett fits in so well, that his coworkers barely even notice him. That all changes when he accidentally finds the mysterious "piece" that will help stop Lord Business (Will Ferrell) from using the Kragle to destroy all of the Lego world. It all sounds very confusing I know. Don't worry though. It all makes glorious sense when you see the movie.
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2014/2/27/1393523190045/The-Lego-Movie---give-the-010.jpgMany animated movies nowadays are made specifically for profit reasons and only entertain the little kids. Rarely is there an animated film that captures the imagination and attention of both the adults and kids in the audience, all while being an actually "good" movie. Cars 2 this is not. The Lego Movie is a strangely effective mix of classic science fiction, pop culture references, fast paced witty comedy, and fantastic animation. Take the kids, but you may actually be getting more out of it than they will. In the city that a majority of the film takes place in, there are big billboards with the face of President Business saying things like "Conform" and things like that. I can't help but think of John Carpenter's 1988 movie, They Live. Even Business' minions bare a striking resemblance to the evil aliens from that film. Lego Movie takes a lot from classic sci-fi like 1984, but adds it's own style and humor.The Lego Movie was marketed as a fun kids movie, but obviously has a lot more to say then just that. It takes jabs at Big Business and government surveillance, yet doesn't hit you over the head with the message. More important than that, the movie is really quite funny. The script for the film is actually genius. It's able to stay consistently funny while not getting tiresome. It's characters are ridiculous at times, yet they also feel weirdly real. The writers and directors of the film, Chris Miller and Phil Lord, have made some decent movies in the past.
http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS3hHmA-T9r1oGqm7wsVQov_FYqybS9Um-P_GnTNHF7r7x1dvblsQThey did Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, which was alright. And 21 Jump Street, which was actually very funny.Take the best qualities of both those movies and then multiply it by ten, and you may have an idea of what The Lego Movie is like. The voice acting here is awesome. Elizabeth Banks, Charlie Day, Will Arnett, Morgan Freeman, Will Ferrell,... the list goes on. It's not just a smorgasbord of celebrities being paraded around,, everyone here has something to offer. The talent is put to good use. I really can't get over how great the movie is! It's funny, yet deep and meaningful. It's exciting, but not tiring. It's so, so well animated. I know I'm probably overly praising this right now, but just trust me on this one. The Lego Movie is awesome. The best way I can describe the film is if you took The Avengers and 1984, then mushed it into a terrific SNL skit, threw in more pop culture references, then made it into a movie involving Legos. The movie is great.