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Awful... The smarter Lucy gets, the dumber this film becomes.
The smarter Scarlett's Lucy gets, the dumber this film becomes. I don't even want to call these idiotic concoction of images an actual movie.
Given that I found the trailer to be fascinating, this effort is one of the biggest disappointments of the year. It's very tough to set aside the absolute nonsensical elements of the concept itself. Then, they add moronic character decisions to set up and drive the nonsensical "science" and events of the film. What the Asian gang/drug cartel does throughout the running time is so insane that all I could do was roll my eyes. There are no real action beat nor are there any interesting confrontations or thrills.
This thing plays like a bad music video that wants to pay tribute to insane philosophy. At least it showcases Scarlett's acting chops a bit (at least until she becomes a superpowered zombie stoner for the third act). Her fear and work on display in the first act is amazing work. The rest of this mess is a waste of time and film even with it's short running time.
The Wolverine (2013)
This really is the Wolverine film we have been waiting for... GREAT FILM!
The Wolverine exists in its own world and that's very refreshing at this point. I was so tired of Fox hammering in mutant cameos just for the sake of cameos and ruining future use of cool characters. The focus is on Logan separated from that X-Men Universe and they do it masterfully well. This movie has done what Fox has refused to do over the years. They touch on and stay true to plot essences from the books. The awesome Claremont/Miller saga really is felt in this film.
The start finds Logan coming in to a place where he is suffering from the loss of everyone he has known and cares about. His long life is a burden he can't shake and he's truly having difficulty handling the struggle of knowing he will lose everyone he loves all the time. The move to Japan as this happens is a masterful turn and fits so well as Logan learns that he is the same as a masterless samurai. Listen, I like alien invasions as much as the next guy but it is refreshing that this is not a film with a gigantic, nefarious force trying to destroy the Earth or take over. Logan's challenges are unique, challenging and fresh because the story really is counter to other genre plots. This is a mystery/drama/adventure film, not a superhero film. The stakes are much more personal. The consequences are much more grounded and involve people that you really do care about. This is how you write a summer film! I've read reviews and interviews that mention the classic samurai films and The Outlaw Josey Wales when talking about this movie and that is absolutely right on the mark. The say less/do more but still have character depth of the best of those films are in this film. This gem is NOT about Wolverine slashing his way through the enemy. Sure there's slice and dice action but the story is about love, about suicide, about calamity, about loss, about selfishness versus selflessness, about love lasting beyond the grave and about heart. It's as far away from a video game movie as it gets and this summer is in need of that right now.
Everything set up perfectly here and they sure did deliver. You have the right actor that's been already established and a X-world we already know enough about. They shelve any idea of an introduction or origin and finally tell an incredibly smart story we all wanted to see and one that hasn't been done before. This movie squarely focuses on Logan. It's a story just about him that allows him to explore everything that makes the character great. It explores everything including his rage, his methods of fighting, his honor, the conflict in his soul, his very nature, his intelligence and mystery solving abilities as well as his ability to love and have relationships. All of it without it having to juggle any team members or mutant plots. It's just what a Wolverine movie should be.
This is a gritty Wolverine. It's all about anger and determination and being a "mutant monster" created by both God and man. He was born with his mutant abilities but was augmented with adamantium by man. Knowing what he is and what he has done has left psychic wounds. That depth and the gritty action really gives this film the grounded feel. Like with all good Marvel films, it feels like this wild stuff can occur in this world and it isn't so fantastical that it pulls you out of the film. The balance is perfect and thrilling. This really is the Wolverine film we have been waiting for and my favorite movie of the year to date.
Iron Man Three (2013)
EXCEPTIONAL MOVIE! Complex, Emotional, Funny and Fun!
Iron Man 3 really is as fabulous as you've heard and as good as everyone is saying. It does the near impossible and that's improve on the first two films. The entire cast, the crew, the FX people and writers should all be as proud of this exceptional movie as they were of the first film. The entire journey and entire film is amazing but it's worth mentioning that they build on what worked in The Avengers. Tony's outward displays of bravado and wit have always hidden a deeply troubled and complex character. His demons are always under the surface. They make sure to recall the events of Avengers where this mortal hero faced impossible odds and even death in the darkest of deep space. That would rattle any person and I'm so glad they didn't gloss that over. It adds depth never before seen in these type of films. Tony was deeply affected and is deeply troubled. Now, add a twisted and truly formidable villain presence in Kingley's Mandarin and what they delivered was a movie as good as it gets. I loved the ending and how everything was handled because it can't be what anyone expected! This is without question the BEST film to finish a trilogy that's ever been made. The best "number three" film all-time in now Iron Man's title and Iron Man's title alone.
fails miserably on every level
The ONLY intention of this ridiculous movie is presumably to keep you on the edge of your seat through any nonsensical means possible. Even that lone goal fails miserably. Seeing the same effects over and over again numbs the brain as much as listening to the dumbest dialogue exchanges in the history of the cinema. This movie exits in a hyper-reality where the world is like a giant video game and battleships defy the laws of physics. I found that to be VERY annoying. If there are no consequences, even by the laws of nature, then what's the point? Even poor video game graphics make more sense then what you see on screen here. Have you ever watched a child play with matchbox cars? Nonsensically spinning cars, bad guys flinging bee hives and snakes from car to car and far too many dumb things too mention aren't fun or revolutionary. This movie is geared to very, very young kids and to absolutely no one else. This is, without a doubt, one of the worst movies of the year if you're an adult with a fully functional brain.
The Avengers (2012)
As Much Fun As I've Ever Had In The Cinema!!!!!!!!!
Ladies and gentlemen, WE HAVE A WINNER! Most Superhero comic book movies seem to share a problem in tone. Most films try to cope with wild concepts by emphasizing darkness, even over-emphasizing it. Troubled, brooding characters, black leather and anger rule the day. Here, the Avengers mix everything so well. It leans to the dark but touches on fun and the interaction of every character just enough. Maybe it's the fact that all the lead characters got their chance to be introduced in their own movies or maybe it's because they wanted genuinely real dialogue but the movie feels real and believable. It's truly better than any other comic-book based movie that I have ever seen. I say that not to egg on fans of other properties because I AM a fan of other properties. Because of the groundwork that has come before and because of the high level that this film operates, it IS bigger than any have ever delivered. ALL the dramatic beats really click. Besides the depth and action pieces, so much of the humor works because it is so well written. The writing displays true character establishment and development over the course of the film but never gets bogged down by the shear number of characters. What's also rare for any summer movie is that just about every scene packs real emotional weight. This is what you get when you mix fine acting talent with outstanding material. They make it shine and give you a remarkable movie that people will be talking about for years to come. The TV clips seen leading up to the movie tease at the action but there is SO much they saved for the actual running. I can't thank them enough for that factor. They knew they had a hit on their hands so why spoil the word of mouth! If you liked the trailers and TV stuff, YOU HAVEN'T SEEN ANYTHING YET! That in and of itself was a pleasant surprise. Avengers is a complete and very well done movie and as much fun as I've ever had in the cinema. That's no lie or no joke.
Intelligent and fun comic-book popcorn epic!
Thor was much much better than I expected. I didn't know if they could pull of the balance between the Norse mythology stuff and the real world Marvel Universe. I should've known better because Marvel knows their characters and knows what we want to see. Spider-Man set a new standard for the superhero film genre back in the day. Iron Man upped the ante. Thor takes the ball and runs with it and places that bar even higher. I look forward to seeing it again and know it will do well enough to be worthy of a sequel because word of mouth is going to be great. Trust me when I say Thor REALLY IS as good as Iron Man and is most worthy to be called one of the greatest adaptations ever.
Chris Hemsworth as the Norse god Thor, and Tom Hiddleston as his villainous brother Loki show they have the acting ability and star quality to become mega-marquee names in the future. Marvel found two absolute diamonds in the rough. Both actors make a HUGE impression and are wonderful on screen. You knew Acedemy Award winners Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman would bring it but these relative unkowns more than hold their own on screen. I know the script is written mostly for them but they carry it in a big way. From what I've read, Hemsworth and Hiddleston were cast almost a year in advance of filming the story so, they had time to get into shape and do character research. They certain did these long-time Marvel greats proud. Intelligent comic-book popcorn epics are rare and this one is definitely a cut above the usual fare.
Piranha 3D (2010)
Worse Movie of the YEAR ... disgusting and dumb
I was expecting 3D babes and dumb "Jaws" type action but what they delivered was repulsive crap of the lowest order. How on earth did they get that cast to go anywhere near this disgusting and dumb mess??? Did Elizabeth Shue need money that badly? I've rarely seen bigger names involved with something this awful. Who the hell enjoys seeing woman getting graphically butchered in every way possible??? They graphically present everything ranging from flesh being peeled to the bone to women getting cut in half to a face literally being pulled off by yanking on a ponytail and all in bad 3D. Although, the ultra low point may have been showing a fish feeding on a severed penis and then spitting it out all chewed up at the screen. Come to think of it, that very well may be the low point in all of cinematic history.
The Other Guys (2010)
Funny start but fades fast
The movie is funny to start and rolls along nicely but quickly loses all steam and finishes quite weak. Having every single character be an off center borderline nutjob loses something without any straight men to set them up or play off of. Mark Wahlberg played the straight man part well for the first half of the movie but turns as loony as everyone else before it's over. A few laugh out loud moments save the entire experience but it really could've and should've been a better film in general and certainly funnier across the board.
Not nearly as bad as Step Brothers but not half as good as Anchorman. Probably Semi-Pro and Jackie Moon levels here.
Tooth Fairy (2010)
This movie truly is bad as it looks. I don't know what's worse, being trapped in a dentist chair actually having your teeth yanked out or being forced to watch this film. Despite a very likable cast (The Rock, Billy Crystal, Ashley Judd, Julie Andrews, etc.), this movie watched enough times could actually induce insanity. Probably the worst depiction of the sport of hockey ever put to film. The Rock really needs to return to action films and soon. What about Expendables 2, Dwayne??? (And bring Ashley with you, please save her she's too good for this even though it's a Disney paycheck!) Speaking of Disney, since they own Marvel now, why not star as the Sub-Mariner in a comic book adaptation??? Just looking out for a cast that deserves better than this thing.
The Expendables (2010)
action bonanza that literally pulls no punches and leaves you with a giant 1980's style grin on your face
Well, just what I thought it would be but in a good way. It's a turn back the clock action bonanza that literally pulls no punches and leaves you with a giant 1980's style grin on your face. Sure, the plot is mindless but SO WHAT? Even tacked on shallow moments that seem useless work (playground beat down of abuser) and I love that they went mostly old school with very little CGI stupidity. I even love that they didn't fall victim to a pet peeve of mine. I hate it when a guy whips out a knife in the middle of a gun battle for no reason. Every knife used was used for a reason or in lieu of reloading. Gun battles were fierce and wild but actually not too over-the-top. I'd have to say that "guy movie" perfection was hit in the catacombs/tunnel sequence
Steven Seagal type arm snapping, Jet Li VS Ray Park, overwhelming action and I swear even Rocky Balboa showed up for a moment! I didn't expect to like this film as much as I did.
Amazing. You can feel the frustration, heartache and fear they experience right through the camera.
Normally, I don't rate or rank documentaries with regular films but I'm going to make an exception in this case. This is a well structured and powerful film delivering incredible insight and feeling about the ground war in Afghanistan. There's no political agenda at all. What the film does deliver is the actual feeling of being deployed with these incredibly brave and heroic soldiers. You can feel the frustration, heartache and fear they experience right through the camera. We know the harshness of war and have seen the terrain they have to deal with on the news but it's tough to comprehend how difficult a task they face until you've seen it documented in this manner. They are more noble and tolerant then I would be in their situation. Civilian Afghan casualties would be my very last concern if I were in their shoes. Anyway, one line stood out for me and that was delivered by a soldier that was talking about the recent memory of losing a friend in battle. He said, "I don't want to forget because it makes me appreciate what I have." We can all take a cue from that quote. We should never forget what these guys are doing for us and appreciate life and the freedoms they and others like them have earned for us all.
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Complex but FUN..... Believe The Hype, GREAT film.
Iron Man 2 delivers action with great emotional moments and a movie that lives up to all the hype it has generated. It hits a high standard of excellence by combining humor, a complex plot, breathtaking action sequences, a heavy dose of self discovery and realization, betrayal, forgiveness, love and puts it all together in one amazing package. All too infrequently, a much hyped blockbuster hits the mark with such power that it resonates above all others. Iron Man 2 is such a movie. Much like the first film, it's truly deep and complex but sacrifices none of the fun. The inner turmoil worked well, the beautiful thing is that we can relate to each character, especially that of Tony Stark. Stark's indomitable charm mixed with his flawed character makes this hero more interesting then most. Mark my words; Iron Man 2 is a movie people will be talking about all year if not for years to come. Iron Man 2 delivers action with great emotional moments and a movie that lives up to all the hype it has generated.
Extraordinary Measures (2010)
heart-warming albeit predictable
Pretty much what I expected it to be, a well told and heart-warming story about dedication, love and endurance. What I did doubt about this film was the casting. All doubts were quickly dispelled because everyone was PERFECT in their roles. You knew Harrison Ford would deliver but both Brendan Fraser and Keri Russell were amazing as desperate parents determined to save their kids. The film is predictable, maybe to a fault and really didn't go for the deep emotional impact that I was expecting but it still hits home hard enough. The ending seemed also to be somewhat abrupt but still, I enjoyed this movie very much.
The Book of Eli (2010)
Finish the race, fight the good fight and keep the faith!
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie on many levels. Yes, the spurts of violence seem to clash with the overall message but even that aspect is covered by dialogue and a nicely crafted story. The parallels between Denzel's character and Jesus (again minus the violence) and Mila's character to Mary Magdalene are apparent but handled well in my opinion. A big point off for the premise that apparently led to the apocalyptic times depicted but that grim world does draw you in to the film completely. Taking entertainment to a thoughtful level is always good and this film succeeds at that remarkably well. It points out that it's critical to define what's really important in life. There are no small things, just things we take for granted. (Next time I'm in KFC, I'm going to take a massive handful of wet wipes!) The reverence and reference to the need for faith and what life would be like without it is strong. "Finish the race, fight the good fight and keep the faith."
Crazy on the Outside (2010)
A sometimes fun and harmless family film
This movie absolutely snuck in to theatres. I never saw one advertisement or one commercial. Usually when a studio has no faith in a film, they don't advertise. That's a shame here because the movie is better than you would expect. Putting aside severe plot leaps in character logic and relationships, it's a sometimes fun and harmless family film. Without question it has to fall in to the category of solid TV sitcom type movie but nothing extraordinary. I've always been somewhat a fan of Tim Allen. So, watching him in full TV sitcom mode again was good to see. What definitely helps is the fact that the supporting cast really shines and pretty much carry the film. JK Simmons plays his usual quirky role to perfection. Ray Liotta and Sigourney Weaver are fantastic. The only real problem I saw is that Tim Allen shouldn't try and direct in the future. His bizarre choices screamed amateur hour at times. (Cutting to bobble-headed devils instead of sex scenes, cutting to a cartoon "angry meter" in his heart, etc. = awful)
Up in the Air (2009)
a wonderful character study that makes you think
A story that takes a deep look at purpose in life and exactly what avenues that are available to some. It's a wonderful character study and I'm glad the movie itself never resorted to clichés or an overly predictable path. Sure, some plot turns are easy to spot but the message I got out of the story is that purpose has to be defined by an individual, not society or other people's expectations. That's the true beauty of the script. Clooney's quips and charm do carry the film but the overall tone is masterfully presented. Do you need a "co-pilot" to be happy in life? As in reality, the answer is not what you think it would be. Clooney's character himself doesn't know for certain but he seems to be trying to figure it out while enjoying true freedom and self-fulfillment. Loneliness only rears its head after he fools himself in to thinking that he wants more. His ending monologue doesn't pass judgment but does give the viewer more to think about. Paraphrasing: "People will come home to their bouncing dogs and screaming kids after locking themselves away for the day to look up at the stars. One star that is shining brighter than the rest will be my wingtip as I pass by."
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Robert Downey Jr. is AMAZING!
Robert Downey Jr. delivers just as everyone knew that he would. He has to be considered the greatest actor working today now that DeNiro and Pacino are past their prime. (No offense to Al & Bob) Cast anyone else in the lead and this film isn't as good nor as interesting. Most of the presentation works, especially the internal monologue of Holmes' actions and deductions. The director does display a self important heavy hand in some scenes but it never takes away from the overall enjoyment of the movie. Rachel McAdams is woefully underused but sets up nicely for the sequel. I'm glad the film is doing well because to see Downey's Holmes lock horns with his greatest adversary is what the cinema is for. Let the casting begin!
District 9 (2009)
Nothing of Substance Here at All... poorly executed Film
I honestly don't understand all the love for this film. I love sci-fi but there's really nothing of substance here at all. The ridiculous overall notion aside, the story really wasn't told very well. The mix of point of view documentary, live TV coverage and regular film was poorly executed. It just doesn't work when you intermix those presentations throughout a film. The characters themselves were all unsympathetic, even the lead. His physical transformation is tragic (and gross) but every human is portrayed as a major a-hole. The violence was disgusting but I need more from my cinema than exploding humans and funky looking prawn aliens. The Iron Man meets Transformers exo-suit action at the end helps save the film as warped popcorn entertainment but that comes far too late to even care. BTW- There's 1.8 million aliens yet what amounts to two of them takes down the MNU complex? The story doesn't even hold up under its own weight.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)
THE greatest combination of loud noise and cheese ever!
What we do have is the new record holder!!!!!!! This movie, without a doubt, is the new champion! It is THE greatest combination of loud noise and cheese ever put forth on to the silver screen. I was expecting a dumb and crazy CGfest but I thought that maybe they could provide mindless popcorn fun like Transformers somehow managed to deliver. I was wrong. Unlike Transformers 2, spectacle did NOT win out over the shear stupidity. The plot is as bad as you would expect but the action set pieces are too loud and ridiculous to enjoy. I was snickering often at the absurdity. This could be the quintessential roll your eyes movie. Whether it was the preposterous flashbacks (kung fu kids? bunker bad guy lives?) or the insane disregard for human life (how many people died in Paris?) this movie was so bad that it may be rewatchable simply to mock it.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
Great action, sex appeal, a powerful and emotional script, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? See This Gem
The first real blockbuster of 2009 and deservingly so. It's exciting and an all-around entertaining comic book adaptation and I doubt anything will be better this year. Everyone involved in the production should be proud to know that their movie can stand toe-to-toe with the likes of anything else that summer 2009 has and can throw at them. Star power, sex appeal, a powerful and emotional script, and a great plot make this one memorable flick.
Real fans (not those whinny online imposters who can't let go of their own warped preconceptions) can breath a sigh of relief because X-Men Origins: Wolverine takes the X-Men franchise films to the next level. There are plenty of action scenes that you have to see to believe! This movie was just shear fun. I love it. What are you waiting for?
Iron Man (2008)
Hits a High Standard of Excellence... GREAT Film.
All too infrequently, a much hyped blockbuster hits the mark with such power that it resonates above all others. Mark my words, Iron Man is such a movie. I've been privileged enough to view an advanced screening and, honestly, it's the best big budget movie that I've seen in many years. It hits a high standard of excellence for mass audiences by combining humor, a smart plot, breathtaking action sequences, a heavy dose of self discovery and realization, betrayal, forgiveness, love and puts it all together in one amazing package. The special effects and CGI are probably the best I've ever seen in terms of relatable effects. They're not over the top and don't overwhelm your senses. What's even more remarkable is this movie will surprise a lot of people with its depth while sacrificing none of the fun. The inner turmoil worked well, the beautiful thing is that we can relate to each character, especially that of Tony Stark. Stark's indomitable charm mixed with his flawed character makes this hero more interesting then most. Iron Man delivers action with great emotional moments and a movie that lives up to all the hype it has generated.
The cast is obviously stellar but that doesn't always mean greatness. (American Gangster, Street Kings anyone?) I'm happy to say this amazing cast delivers in every way. Downey himself delivers one of the greatest performances in a comic adaptation film EVER. Maybe it's because the character itself is one of the most complex and intriguing that any genre has to offer but that doesn't diminish just what a home run Downey has hit. They took the character seriously but still remembered to include fun and humor. I almost can't convey how much I enjoyed his performance.
My only real complaint is the rumor of a Sam Jackson cameo was not fulfilled. He is even listed here as playing the character of Nick Fury. He did not appear in the cut that I saw. After browsing, it's been offered that his cameo was probably just removed for the early screenings. I hope that's true and they put it back for the final cut. This means I'll just HAVE to see this movie again. LUCKY ME!
Ultimate Avengers II (2006)
Very Well Done
In an age of silly anime and dumbed down cartoons, this Ultimate Avengers franchise is more then a breath of fresh air. Films like Ultimate Avengers 2 (and that's just what it is ... a full blown feature film)take the classic Marvel grandeur and add a modern twist. The action is intense and the story flows so very well. Classic Marvel characters like Iron Man, Captain America and the Black Panther (the worlds first African-American superhero) really shine in this format. My only real disappointment lies in the fact that the Hulk wasn't really used and that the Thor depicted is nothing but a watered down version of the classic Thor. Still, the other characters and the riveting story more then make up for any shortcomings. The alien threat from the first film is handled and resolved brilliantly while doing so without it being necessary for the viewer to have seen the first movie. That's a hard thing to pull off but, like the rest of the movie, they did it so very well.
Great animated movie that's well worth anyone's time and effort.