Saturday, May 7, 2016

Captain America: Civil War

Captain America: Civil War is one of the most fun movies I have seen so far this year. I generally don't credit superhero movies with being all that good, and it hurts my experience going into these movies knowing this. So when I went into the theater to watch Civil War, I just told myself to have fun with the movie, and boy did it provide it! Who doesn't want to see all of the superheroes finally stop going after worthless enemies and duke it out with each other instead? I also usually don't like Marvel movies in particular because they are too lighthearted, but Marvel promised that this film would be one of their darkest films yet, and it delivered. My two favorite characters emerging from the film, surprisingly I might add, were Ant Man and the new Spider-Man. It was so fun to watch them! They were both sort of the comic reliefs for their sides, but they weren't over the top and kept it to a minimum. Besides Deadpool, which I consider to be a little outside of the spectrum, this is my favorite superhero movie because we get to see the good guys show their bad sides and hate each other. I give this movie a 9/10 for being extremely entertaining.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Se7en

Seven is now one of my favorite cop/murderer movies. I think the main draw this movie has for me is how absolutely dark it is. I'm pretty sure every scene except for the last one is dark, gloomy, and raining. Also, the subject matter of the movie is grotesque. The main murderer, who nobody ever finds out exactly who he is, mutilates and tortures his victims because he believes they were sinners and he is doing God's work. He kills his victims based on violations of the seven deadly sins, hence the title of the movie. One of the other great things about this movie is the amazing cast. It lines up Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman as detectives trying to find the murderer, Kevin Spacey, who is the best villain actor there is. The last unique and great thing about this movie is that the villain "wins", or at least gets exactly what he wanted. I give this movie a 9/10 for originality.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Final Destination 4

The Final Destination series as a whole is a little bit of a joke to me. Pretty much all of their movies are just an excuse to find creative ways to kill people, sometimes not even very creatively. But overall, they are fun movies to watch. Some of the cheap, poorly put together things about the film just make the experience better. One of my favorite things about Final Destination is the poor CG I. For example, in Final Destination 4, a flying tire sails out of a racetrack and hits and decapitates a girl outside, all in awful CG I, and it just made it hilarious, where as a super realistic death would have been pretty gross. The best part of these movies however, are the convoluted ways different object clash and cause chain reactions ending in explosions and death. There are often several different reactions going on at once so the audience is unsure and put into suspense as to how the victim will meet their end. The icing on the cake is the oh-so-poor acting ability of the cast, but it just makes the films more fun. I would rate this film at about a 6/10 because it does its purpose of cheaply entertaining me.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Batman VS Superman

Batman VS Superman is the latest superhero movie from the DC universe. Although it got very bad reviews, I don't think it deserves such low ratings. There were many things wrong with this movie which critics pointed out, but I would instead like to concentrate on the things I liked about the film. For starters, the movie had a serious tone. This alone made me enjoy watching it more than any Marvel movie because DC treats its stories more realistically. Second, one of the opening scenes is showing Batman's perspective of Superman's fight with an alien that destroyed a city. This immediately shows the audience why Batman does not like Superman in an EPIC way! The last thing I liked about this film is that the new Batman kills people now! Everybody had their doubts about Ben Affleck as Batman, but he is extremely dark and extremely entertaining to watch. I give this movie a rating of 6/10 for being a better superhero than anything Marvel could do.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Hateful Eight

I just finished watching Quentin Tarantino's latest film, Hateful Eight. This movie was thoroughly entertaining for a number of reasons. The first is the cast of the movie was a pleasure to watch go to work. It is impossible to take your eyes off of Samuel L. Jackson's character, while Kurt Russel, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Walton Goggins are equally as captivating. Another reason is for this movie's fun is its setting. Most of the film takes place on a mountain in Wyoming during the dead of winter a few years after the Civil War. This makes for beautiful shots of the landscape, and great accents with great costumes. The part of this movie which achieved the most accolades is the music and score. Some examples are the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score and Academy Award for Best Original Music Score. Hateful Eight is another great installment to Tarantino's collection of amazing films. I give this film a 9/10 for great casting, setting, and music.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Reservoir Dogs

Reservoir Dogs is another one of my all-time favorite movies. Lately, I have loved watching Quentin Tarantino movies, so naturally this movie was great. This being Tarantino's first movie that he made, it had a lower budget, but this caused no problem. One major reason I like Tarantino's movies is because of the amazing dialogue that he creates for all of his films. Every conversation that characters have is interesting and is a Tarantino trademark. This aspect shined through for this film that didn't rely on the gore that he is known for now. The characters themselves were all amazingly put together! My favorite to watch though, by far, is Mr. Blonde, played by Michael Madsen. He is a complete maniac, and the other characters describe him as such! His best scene was him dancing to a song from his favorite radio station as he tortures and disfigures a cop that he captured. The other characters also mention that Mr. Blonde murdered many civilians in the jewelry store they were robbing because one of them tripped the alarm. The ending of the film is fun as well, because seeing Mr. Pink, played by Steve Buscemi, running away with the diamonds in the end, I always like to think he got away. This movie deserves a 10 out of 10.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Inglorious Basterds

Inglorious Basterds is one of my all-time favorite movies for many reasons. The first reason is that it has Brad Pitt in the lead role! Just like in Fury, his accent is hilariously amazing! I cannot deny how perfect his over-the-top southern mountain-man accent puts together this dark comedy. I also pretty much always love any World War II movie that is not obviously awful, so the setting alone makes this an enjoyable film for me. The aspect of this movie that sets it apart from others that is great but makes me sick at the same time is the gore. The raw, uncensored nature of the film is what makes this feel like a Tarantino film. Between carving swastikas into Germans' foreheads and burning theaters full of people, I'd say Pitt and his men are pretty ruthless. The comedic nature of the film lightens the load a little, but not enough to make it any less gruesome, but this is a good thing! This movie deserves a 9/10, and is a must-watch!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

London Bridge is Falling Down

The most recent movie that I have seen is London has Fallen. The first movie in the series, Olympus has Fallen, was not extremely impressive, but was was still fun to watch. They should have left Olympus as a stand-alone movie, because London has Fallen was a very poor sequel. My biggest complaint is how awful every government worker is at their job besides the main character. Every bad guy has amazing accuracy and skill with their weapon the first five seconds of the action, but as soon as they massacre anyone who is not a big-time actor, they are immediately unable to hit any target the rest of the film. Speaking of the main character, Gerard Butler plays the only secret service agent that has a screen life-span of more than ten minutes. While he is usually a pretty cool lead in his movies, the writers tried way too hard to make him seem like a renegade who just loves to kill people. They include idiotic one-liners that make no sense, other than to let Butler swear, which makes him cooler, I guess? Also, the president being able to shoot better than any of his trained guards at the beginning of the film makes me furious. The last point that honestly disappoints me is that Gerard was thinking about resigning the entire film (for reasons they never tell us. Maybe because of his baby?). But in the end, he deletes the email about him resigning. This makes me angry because poor Gerard thinks he is going to get another sequel! I give this movie a 4/10 because it was at least fun to make fun of after watching.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Fury

There is a long list of very good World War II films. Although the genre used to be extremely popular among movie-makers in the late 20th century, hardly any WWII movies are produced now. This is why when I saw previews for Fury, I knew I had to see it. Believe me when I say I was in no way disappointed by this change-up to the genre either. While still showing the perspective of Americans fighting in the European theater, it was all about a tank crew. The true beauty of this movie, though, was how incredibly dark everything was. From the weather, to the attitudes, and even the fatigues of the men were more worn down, ratty, and less colorful than I have ever seen in a WWII film. I also believe movie set in this time period cannot go wrong Brad Pitt playing the lead. He has the best hard-nosed, Southern accent that he always gives himself for these flicks. I was happy to see slightly dim-witted Jon Bernthal as apart of the tank crew, and Shia LaBeouf did indeed perform well. However, I do question the legitimacy of the final battle scene of the movie. I'm sorry, but one tank and crew could not hold up hundreds of Germans with armored vehicles and anti-tank weapons of their own, but it did make for an amazing firefight! This movie deserves an 8/10 for reinventing the World War II genre, but the realism is a little lacking.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Avengers: Age of Average

Contrary to my last review, Avengers: Age of Ultron was pretty much like most other Marvel superhero movies. It starts off with the whole Avenger crew killing countless no-name henchmen that never stood a chance since it was the beginning of the movie. This is my biggest pet-peeve with superhero movies. Why do any of these men agree to fight someone who cannot be hurt by their weapons and can drop them with little effort? Anyway, the antagonist of the movie is created by the ever-self-indulgent Tony Stark, played by the equally self-indulgent Robert Downey Jr. This antagonist is the world's first artificial intelligence. This highly intelligent being can move to different host bodies that it designs itself using the internet, and it has access to all information on the internet. Sounds pretty impressive, right? Maybe even a little overpowered for the group? Nope. In the final battle, the AI uses extremely advanced technology and raises half a city into the sky. It also possesses an entire army of Iron Man robots that should be just as powerful as Iron Man. Fortunately for the citizens of the city, the Avengers destroy all of the robots with ease and defeat the all powerful AI along with its extremely powerful body, because the villain doesn't use any of the powers it was able to throughout the rest of the movie. Oh, and the Avengers did all this while pulling the civilians on the floating city to safety. For being painfully average, I give this movie a 5/10.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Deadpool

I just finished watching the latest movie installment in the Marvel series Deadpool. Before watching this film, Marvel movies hadn't really caught my attention. They are always just different super-suits plugged into the same superhero-movie formula. Although Deadpool did fall victim to some of this since it is his origin story, it was very different and original and broke from the normal superhero molds. First of all, it is funny to see Ryan Reynolds in any movie, and to see him in the lead role with his sarcasm is perfect for Deadpool's character. The number 1 factor that sets this apart from other hero movies is the swearing and vulgarity. It is absolutely hilarious to hear the quips and insults that would never appear in any other Marvel movie. Also, since Deadpool can break the 4th wall, as in he knows he's in a comic, he makes real-life references to things other than Marvel comics. Unfortunately, Deadpool is given a supporting cast of other minor superheroes that are honestly hard to care about. Rating this film, I give it an 8/10 for meaningless side heroes and a cliche ending where Deadpool must save his girlfriend from the villain, who's superpower of not feeling pain is extremely underwhelming.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler is one of my favorite recently-released movies. It was released a little over a year ago and is about a poor guy with no friends or family finding out about the money that "nightcrawlers" make by selling footage of gruesome or gory news stories to news stations. The main character, Louis Bloom, is played by one of my favorite actors, Jake Gyllenhaal. Early on in the movie, you see that there is something definitely wrong with Louis, but as the movie progresses, you witness Louis reveal himself as a total sociopath! Naturally, not having any feeling for others, Louis begins to create the "accidents" that he sells to the news. One great example is when he sabotages a rival nightcrawler's breaks in his van, sending the rival flying into a telephone pole, almost killing him. Not to worry though, Louis is right there to capture the bloody mess! The film reaches its climax as Louis and his assistant, Rick, tail a pair of hitmen, and purposely wait to call the police until the men are in a public, affluent area. When the police arrive, there is a shootout and a car chase, which ends in a nasty car crash for the cops and criminals, all caught on camera. As Louis and Rick approach the crash site on foot, Louis tells Rick that the gunman is dead and Rick should go get a close up while Louis stands back. As Rick moves in for the shot, the injured gunman fatally shoots Rick, but is then killed by police. Louis persuaded Rick to do this just so he didn't have to pay him, and he could get a good shot of Rick dying. I give this movie a 9/10 for Jake Gyllenhaal's amazing performance!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I think it is safe to say that The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is my favorite movie. The film is about three separate outlaws searching for a gold cache somewhere in the Southwestern U.S. during the Civil War. I love the adventurous aspect of the movie the most. It's great to see the characters travel across many different settings and cross paths which I don't think you see very often in old Westerns. And, of course, the role of The Good goes to none other than Clint Eastwood, my favorite cowboy movie actor, and one of my favorite actors in general. The movie would not have been as good without him in the lead. In addition, this film isn't just a shoot 'em up action movie, but inspires feelings for even the extras in the background. One of the best scenes was when The Good and The Ugly get trapped in a Union prison camp called Andersonville. While there, the viewer learns that Southern prisoners are forced to play music to hide the screams of their friends being tortured by Northern guards. Also, the intense Mexican standoff at the end once all of the characters find the gold makes this movie a classic! Rating this movie, I would give it a 10/10 for the amazing story!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Maze Runner Review

The first Maze Runner felt awfully underwhelming upon watching it for the first time. I think I was unimpressed because I have never read the books, and the movie didn't do a great job of dropping you into that new world. It felt like the movie was relying on the viewer to have already read the books. Furthermore, the idea of this film was unoriginal, and it felt like it was just like The Hunger Games or Divergent. The cinematography and picture looked exactly the same as well! Aside from the aspects that I thought brought the movie down, there some higher notes. Even though it was ANOTHER post-apocalyptic movie, I love post-apocalypse settings. Also, the entire deadly maze being a test for the children to overcome is a neat aspect. My favorite part though, is the fact the the kids "escape" the test and think that the people that put them in it are dead, but they are actually just entering another test under the same organization. The deceit is what makes this film interesting! Rating this movie, I would give it a 6 out of 10, because it feels like so many other recently-released movies.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road is the newest installment of the Mad Max series. After staying quiet for decades, this new edition separates itself from the older movies with all new characters in a totally new story line. The film starts off with a glimpse of the world after a nuclear war, with everything in post-apocalyptic Australia turned to desert. It is here that different factions fight for the few remaining resources, like gas, water, bullets, and cars, the latter being stolen from Max himself. After being taken prisoner by the band of war boys that stole his car, he fights hard to escape, and eventually stows away on the war rig of Imperator Furiosa. Lucky for Max, Furiosa is also attempting to flee from this war band. The majority of the movie after this point is filled with countless action sequences as the war bands attempt to stop Max and Furiosa. The pure creativity of the vehicles and the immense adrenaline the viewer receives when watching this film is jaw-dropping. Although I think the story is somewhat lacking, replaced by the intense action bits, this film is amazing! Rating this movie, I would it a 9/10, only losing the point in the lack of story.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Saving Private Ryan

The movie Saving Private Ryan is one of my all-time favorite movies! I love to learn about World War II, and veterans of the war have said that this movie gives a very accurate representation of the fighting taking place in Northern France at the time. That fact really makes it stand out from other WWII movies. The perfectly cast roles are also a huge bonus for this film. Personally, it is hard to deny any movie with Tom Hanks, so with him at the lead, I couldn't tear my eyes away from the screen. Adding Vin Diesel as Caparzo, and Barry Pepper as Jackson, it only adds to this amazing movie. The best part of this film though is the story that makes you care about what is being displayed in front of you. Eight American soldiers must travel across the war-torn countryside of France to extract another soldier who is the last surviving son in his family. As they lose men however, they begin to wonder if this Private Ryan is worth so many of their friends lives'. The climax of this film brings with it one of the most intense battle scenes that I have experienced, and is among my scenes of all time. Rating this movie, I would give it a 9/10, only because it leaves out some amazing sequences from the book. This movie is a must watch!