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Yet another movie about a hapless Asian male courting a Caucasian girl. And she even has her finger in her mouth on the poster. Seriously?
Enough, we get it.
A shameful attempt on all fronts
I'm a lifelong Godzilla fan. I hated 2014's "Godzilla" and frankly had very low expectations for this sequel. I was still somehow disappointed. The washed out look of this film, the halfhearted dialogue and storyline, the bland slate of actors lined up for this movie - which appears to have been marketing primarily to less-critical audiences in China.
This is a new minimum-standard in moviemaking. They go through all the predictable motions. No charm whatsoever. In stark contrast to the recent Japanese-made "Shin Godzilla" which was very enjoyable.
I want to call out the male lead in this film. He seems to appear in every movie like this, makes the exact same stupid face and tries to act emphatic. Blah!
Tojo should be careful about licensing their treasured character to fly-by-night cheeseball movie studios. Otherwise they could permanently tarnish the brand.
Alita: Battle Angel (2019)
A prequel which could have been a great science-fiction film
I just watched this. A nice-looking film, no doubt. But it could have been so much better. My chief gripe is that it is ever so clearly setting the stage for a sequel. Making it just half a movie. And as a result there's way too much filler material. To the point that the editing doesn't even seem so great. Anyone agree with that? On the flip side, we get some decent character development - over a running time which seems much longer than two hours.
I doin't even mind that this film is quite derivative. Others will say it pays homage to films such as Robocop and Gladiator. There is one great scene involving cyborg dogs. As I said above, there are other scenes which are just unnecessary.
I liked Alita herself. Good performance from the lead. Definitely didn't like the actor who plays her boyfriend.
Looking forward to the sequel which we all know is coming.
The Amazing Spider-Man
This film is a game changer. It's also the first movie to depict Spider-Man as an adult (as he actually was throughout most of the comic's history).
By now everyone has remarked on the visuals; I'll second that, as well as the lighting, and the sound. You can tell a lot of love went into this.
Well at least I wasn't bored
Silly, unserious, and at times completely ridiculous, 'Venom' offers an origin story which is completely unrelated to the comics, and for that matter, spider-man. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. This idea had potential, but the execution results in a bunch of cliches (particularly as concerns the "villain", a stereotypical tech CEO.)
Tom Hardy is great to watch no matter what movie he's in. Without him this film would be completely forgettable.
Using Carnage as the evil symbiote, rather than some random Venom clone would have seemed the obvious route, but they are clearly saving that character for the sequel.
Red Sparrow (2018)
A pretty contrived depiction of life in Russia
The person in the seat in front of me on the plane was watching this, so I was sort of subjected to it against my will. This is a pretty cartoonish depiction of Russia. They even have a character who was clearly designed to look just like Vladimir Putin. As far Jennifer Lawrence's character goes, she strips down to her underwear at least a half-dozen times. So just know what you're getting into with this film.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
This was one of Marvel's better offerings. It has some great scenes, and some cringeworthy ones.
There's a great scene where they team up and try to restrain Thanos. The racoon is hilarious. The axe-forging sequence was great.
Zoe Saldana's scenes are hard to watch. Mark Ruffalo is very annoying. I don't think he should be in these movies, or at least they should give him better lines and better direction. Chris Pratt is annoying as always.
Most of the movie involves battles where a hero is close to being killed, then gets rescued at the last moment by another hero. This happens throughout the film.
I didn't like Josh Brolin as Thanos. Memorable villains are extremely rare. This one had potential but I would have used a more emotive actor.
Lastly: where is the Army and the police, while Earth is being invaded by aliens. They are nowhere to be seen =/
Better than TPM and AOTC, worse than ROTS
Not as bad as I expected. From the reviews I was expecting cameos from the classic characters and the most minimal service possible of Star wars themes. (Star Trek Into Darkness was frankly a dreadful movie, so I had very low expectations going into this. )
The storyline is typical 'blockbuster'. You have a stereotypical bad guy. The good guys overcome obstacles and finally prevail in the end. The new characters aren't terrible. The classic characters seem very out of place here. Harrison Ford is an old man. He looks like a retiree. Carrie Fisher's role is completely unnecessary.
I suppose it's pointless to ask questions of the plot. But a couple of the ones I had: How is the Empire still around -and apparently more powerful than ever- after being defeated in ROTJ? And related: why do we still have a "resistance"? I thought the Republic won the war in ROTJ.
All in all, I'm glad I watched. There is one good scene where they jump into lightspeed with a huge bug on the windshield. That was very clever. For one brief moment, it felt like Star Wars was back.
The Simpsons: Puffless (2015)
Worst season ever.
This has been the worst season of The Simpsons in its history. It's just sad to see them staining the reputation of one of the best shows of all time.
It's as if they've stopped trying. The jokes are awful, Dan Casteneletta has either stopped caring, or is too old to bring it... Even the animation looks bad this year.
It's getting hard to argue with people who say the show should be cancelled. In my opinion they should end the TV series and release movies every few years, after they've accumulated enough material.
It's getting hard to argue with people who say the show should be cancelled. In my opinion they should end the TV series and release movies every few years, after they've accumulated enough material.
In a word, terrible.
Probably the most annoying thing about "Chappie" is Chappie himself. The robot is annoying and weak. He speaks with a very irritating South African hoodlum accent. Did they think this would be cute? It's not endearing at all.
As so many other reviewers have said, the rest of the movie is just a mishmash of shamelessly stolen sci-fi movie clichés and product placement.
(Why on earth does this take place in South Africa? Everything else about the film suggests it should be in Los Angeles.)
I'm one of the few people who *didn't* like District 9. I found it insulting to my intelligence. (You can read my review for that movie if you like. Just go to my IMDb page.) So I had low expectations for Chapppie, and it lived down to them.
A.D. The Bible Continues (2015)
I want to address the "accuracy" factor
Reviewers are complaining about the historical accuracy of this series. Well I want to point out that it's a lot more accurate than most films. Of course it takes some liberties to spice up the storyline.
It's accurate in a lot of subtle ways which many people might not even notice. (For example, legend has it that Pilate was born in Northern Europe, which is why he looks the way he does.)
I'm really enjoying "A.D." In fact I've enjoyed it more than 'Game of Thrones' this season. The production quality is excellent. The CGI scenes, the lighting, and especially the costume design.
(I really want to shout out to the costume designers. Claudia's red dress is lovely, and Pilate looks magnificent. He actually wears real bronze armor, instead of the stainless steel you see in cheaper films.)
The one area this series falls a bit short is the dialogue. This wasn't written by the Coen brothers. But it's quite enough to move the story along.
This is a series about the Bible on a national TV network. It doesn't vilify any particular group. Almost every character is both good and bad. It's not overly-religious, and where it is religious, it's unambiguously so.
I hope to see more historical dramas like this. (And by the way, I'm not even Christian.)
**** EDIT: What's with the Caligula statue??? Classical statues were among the most magnificent objects ever created! I realize funds are limited, but you could have done a LOT more with the statue.
The Interview (2014)
A serious review
I don't usually enjoy films in the Seth Rogen genre, so I had low expectations for The Interview. The movie is better than I expected. It's not as vulgar and trashy as I was expecting.
The plot is stupid, and makes no effort to conceal that fact. It's quite watchable, despite a slowdown midway through.
Seth Rogen is basically hilarious every time he's on screen, as much as it pains me to admit that. James Franco -as others have do doubt pointed out- is insufferable. He's plain annoying and unlikeable.
This otherwise quite ordinary film will be viewed through the curious lens of foreign relations. It serves as an unwitting example of Western culture. The good, and the bad.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Typical sci-fi fare. Nothing special.
"Guardians of the Galaxy" certainly does not warrant the 8.5 rating it currently enjoys on IMDb. The screenplay follows the same pattern we have seen a thousand times now.
I was under the impression this was a sort of comedy, and looked forward to seeing an original concept. But unfortunately this movie isn't very funny at all. At least not any more so than other Marvel films.
This movie relies very heavily on CGI. Some of the visuals are stunning. The style borrows from movies such as the Star Wars prequels and The Fifth Element.
Frankly it was hard to understand exactly what was going on. Some dude with a two-syllable name has a beef with some other two-syllable dude. My overall impression is that of an average action-packed film without a lot of intelligence.
As for the stellar ratings by other reviewers, I can only guess it's from a younger generation which has been brainwashed into mistaking Hollywood hand-fed consumerist horsesh1t for art. Downvote away brethren.
Not so herculanean
"Hercules" starring Dwayne Johnson is scarcely better than the other recent Hercules movie, which was made on a smaller budget. Frankly, both movies are terrible.
Although he looks magnificent, the lead actor's delivery is poor, even for a notorious B-movie star like The Rock.
The film includes an Amazon woman in Hercules' posse in order to lure female moviegoers, but still manages to be sexist. The plot is utterly common and predictable. Dumbed-down jokes attempt to break up the tedium. The only bright spot in this film are the two supporting actors who incidentally worked together in Starz' excellent "Pillars of the Earth" series.
In fairness, this film isn't worse than a 1950s B-movie sci-fi or sword-and-sandals film. So if all you want is a bubblegum feature with rippling muscles and occasional badly-choreographed fights, then go ahead and try "Hercules". I'll still be waiting in vain for a quality ancient history film.
Star Wars: Rebels (2014)
Boring and completely derivative
I've seen two episodes of "Star Wars Rebels". This is a Disney production, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that the shows are childish in nature. Unfortunately, there is nothing remarkable at all about this new series. It is essentially a repackaging of now-cliché'd Star Wars action sequences and musical scores. What remains are a bunch of uninteresting characters and juvenile dialogue.
This isn't creative, it's just more corporate exploitation of a franchise which has already been exploited to death.
Please, give us something new instead of re-purposing someone else's creative ideas for easy money. I doubt that a classic movie like Star Wars could even be made by today's inferior producers.
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
X-Men DOFP is the best blockbuster of 2014
The X-Men franchise has set itself apart, among the gluttonous crop of superhero movies in recent years. After seven films, the characters are very familiar to us, and the latest installment is arguably the best yet, with its predecessor as the only other contender for that title. This is vastly better than the two stand-alone Wolverine films.
This movie wastes no time, putting us right in the action from the opening credits. The storyline is complex and frankly doesn't make an enormous amount of sense, but with a modest disbelief suspension makes for an entertaining couple of hours. It's also a decent science-fiction film in its own right.
The all-star cast does a satisfactory job. (I'm not really convinced by Jennifer Lawrence, sorry.) It's satisfying to have so many characters, which was a hallmark of the comic book series. We could easily be experiencing this story in the pages of a Marvel mag.
The film stumbles a bit when it begins to fall into the blockbuster trap of trying to pack in too many spectacular scenes. On the other hand, the musical score is far less obnoxious than we've been hearing in other recent Hollywood movies.
I was surprised to learn this was directed by the same person who helmed "Superman Returns". I thought that film was a disaster. So he seems to have evolved in his artistic skill.
These new X-Men movies demonstrate how to convincingly make prequels, in contrast to some other blockbuster franchises. One wonders why they gave the coveted Star Wars sequel to JJ Abrams when there are clearly better directors in the business.
The year American cinema died
2014 has been a woefully bad year for Hollywood. Producers are scraping the bottom of the barrel for franchises to reboot. Now here comes the latest remake of 'Godzilla', a pointless two-hour borefest during which the main character is barely even seen.
I'm a lifelong Godzilla fan, and the initial positive reviews for this movie made me cautiously optimistic. Well, big mistake. There is nothing extraordinary about this Summer Blockbuster, and everything typical about it. Frankly, the whole film feels like a cheat, a ripoff designed to lure moviegoers with the most minimal plot possible. Lazy filmmaking to be sure. The mediocre 1998 version, and even last year's 'Pacific Rim' had more charm than 'Godzilla', which forces us to suffer through an hour of pointless human drama before we even see Godzilla.
We have no emotional connection to these characters. Perhaps the biggest flaw in the entire movie is the actor cast in the lead. He's wooden, uncharismatic, and vanilla.
The film itself looks very dark, with thick black smoke and red lights occasionally peeping through. It's actually hard to see what's going on. The soundtrack alternates between silence and blaring, to clue us in that there's a monster on screen.
Yes, there's one very well made scene (which every other commenter has mentioned) when the paratroopers jump into the action with vivid red smoky flares. In fact they put this scene on the movie poster. Well, one nice scene doesn't compensate for the rest of 'Godzilla', which is a failure on every level.
Totally average "superhero" movie
I'm a bit baffled by all the glowing reviews for Captain America 2. I could hazard a guess that these are all young people, who have literally been raised on Hollywood sawdust and can't even tell a good movie from a bad one.
This film boasts a bunch of big actors, but no big acting. The dialogue is wooden, as usual. The plot follows an incredibly stereotypical screenplay arc. In other words, it's exactly like every other blockbuster nowadays.
Product placement is very liberally added. The soundtrack is uninspired and aims to propel the movie along with thumping. Plot elements from the last movie are introduced but do not enhance the story at all.
Scarlett Johansen is particularly bad in this role. She is in the movie to lure female moviegoers but her delivery is cringeworthy.
Finally, the film aims to appeal to paranoid, Ed Snowden types who believe the government is spying on them. (Which is actually a narcissistic belief).
This is not a good film at all. And I'm starting to doubt there will ever be a good superhero movie again.
Muppets Most Wanted (2014)
This is actually much better than the last one
This is a big improvement over the reboot starring Jason Segel and Amy Adams two years ago. For starters, the Muppets actually have more than a few lines. The jokes are funnier and the songs are more memorable.
The last film focused on the world's least interesting Muppet, named Walter. His thing is that he's just a regular guy. That's fine but it doesn't make for an interesting movie. Walter has some brief scenes in this film as well.
The biggest thing holding back these new Muppets is that the voices have changed. Oh well, nothing can be done about that.
The fireworks at the end were a nice touch. I look forward to the next Muppet movie.
A muddled mess of a movie
The original Robocop is one of my very favorite films of the 1980s. Like most of you, I had low expectations for this reboot, and the movie lived down to those expectations.
This movie wants to be "Batman". They even cast one of the main actors from the Batman franchise, Gary Oldman.
Where do I even begin. Let's start with the main character, who is totally uninteresting. Unlike the original Robocop, this modern one doesn't look spectacular at all. They chose a completely random-looking and unknown actor to play him. He has no screen presence or charisma. The suit looks really uninspired.
Next up is the plot, which is little more than a reworking of the original Paul Verhoven storyline. Only much more boring. It was hard to finish this movie. Even Gary Oldman has nothing to work with. This movie needs a serious villain, like Clarence Boddiker.
I'm sure other commenters have mentioned the shaky camera, so I won't bother. Most obnoxiously, the producers managed to splice in some of the theme music from the original movie, and it's jarringly out of place. And what about those bizarre flickering screen wipes??
I did give this movie five stars because it's not a complete train wreck. It might have made a decent TV series. It was somewhat interesting to see how the original film would translate to today's hyper-propaganda media world.
Samuel Jackson was the only shining personality in the film, though he just plays his typical character (which is always entertaining).
Please, no sequels.
Planet Ocean (2012)
This is one of the most important documentaries ever made
It's a very rare film which receives a "10" from me on IMDb. "Planet Ocean" deserves it; this is a visually impressive, well-crafted, timely, and critical piece of film making.
This doco focuses on wide angle shots of huge ocean trawlers and cargo ships, to drive home to the viewer the industrial nature of modern seafood harvesting. After seeing this film, you will understand why our oceans are literally on the brink of collapse. The wealth of ocean riches -which we once assumed was inexhaustible- simply cannot handle modern, industrialized fishing.
The film tells us: "Every day, 4 million ships set out to attack the ocean." It's a mind boggling figure, and one which cannot be ignored.
This is not a joke. This is very real, and in all likelihood, the oceans will be fished out by the time your grandchildren come into this world. But it doesn't have to happen.
Everyone should see "Planet Ocean". It should be required viewing in public schools. We can either be the generation which destroyed the Natural World, or the one which saved it.
The Immigrant (2013)
'The Immigrant' is definitely worth watching
I just finished this movie and wanted to leave a review, while the credits are still rolling.
I'm one of the harsher critics on IMDb, but I enjoyed The Immigrant. This is a dark film about Prohibition-era New York, and the trials of Eastern European immigrants who have come here in the hopes of a better life.
Like most good films, good and evil are blurred. We aren't asked to judge the characters, but rather to observe them as they are.
The plot is solid and the performances are impressive, particularly Marion Cotillard and Juaquin Phoenix.
Someone Marry Barry (2014)
Very trashy but entertaining comedy
I see there aren't many reviews for this movie yet. Therefore I should let you know that this is a funny but very crude comedy. Definitely not for the kids. You don't even need to be a prude to be offended by this; I think any normal person probably *should* be offended by the antics of Barry, a chubby party animal, and his socially inappropriate girlfriend Mia, played by Lucy Punch.
Tyler Labine handles the lead role with confidence, and whose career looks ready to blast off. Lucy Punch is also very effective as Barry's partner in crime.
The film loses a lot of steam in the second half. But there's a steady drumbeat of funny situations to keep you entertained, sort of like watching The Simpsons. Have fun.
Before Midnight (2013)
Self-absorbed, narcissistic pap
Like some other reviews, I am seriously vexed by the positive reviews for this film on this site. Are they real? I couldn't finish this. It's clear from the first 40 minutes that it's a boring, self-indulgent drama about a couple of marginally-interesting people. We hear them whine and ramble on about the ephemera of their lives.
This kind of movie does not work unless executed perfectly. I don't care for Woody Allen's recent work, either. Watch last year's excellent "The Great Beauty" if you want to see how good a "window into the life" kind of film can actually be.
And skip "Before Midnight".
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
A pretty forgettable entry in the Marvel catalogue
I was a big fan of Marvel comics when I was a kid. The stories were always more sophisticated than these modern movies, so I usually feel disappointed. The first "Thor" was probably the best of the lot, but sadly the sequel fails short.
This movie doesn't take itself as seriously as its predecessor. There are a constant stream of cheesy one-liners and occasionally one manages to be funny.
Thor and Loki are well played as usual, but Portman's character is just annoying and uneven. Her romance with Thor is about as bad as 'Star Wars Attack of the Clones'. I don't think this is Portman's fault; I just don't think the producers of this movie were very ambitious.