Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Welcome to the freakin' Guardians of the Galaxy
The coolest team of the galaxy returns to save it one more time. But before you even begin to read the review, I can hear you asking: Is it better than the first one? For me: almost. Let's explain. This time our heroes are being chased through the galaxy by those gold people you see in the trailer. At some point, Star Lord meets his father, Ego (yes, this is actually his name) and that's where things get interesting. Starting with the technical aspects of the movie, I want to say this is probably the most beautiful among all the Marvel movies (flawless visual effects, colorful scenery and from what I know they used the same type of digital camera Pacific Rim used.) Now let's talk about the story.
1) Double the humor: While the first was a really funny adventure, Vol.2 is a really adventurous comedy. Luckily, it mostly works, but sometimes it breaks the tone of some dramatic moments.
2) We get to know them better: This time we spend more time with them talking to each other and learning their back- stories(especially Star Lord, Nebula, even Yondu), which helps to develop the characters and make us care even more. Also, that's where a potential negative lies.
3) More action: and probably better. It's very creative and usually combined with humor, which makes it so fun to watch.
What's worse: Story structure: until half way through the movie, just funny things happen along with a lot of action. Our heroes don't have a specific goal to focus on. This, of course, is not necessarily a bad thing. Remember the same goes for Goodfellas, but it works perfectly. The thing is while Star Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Groot are definitely really funny characters with distinct personalities and a nice chemistry, they are still not so perfectly written. The jokes sometimes remind me of sitcoms. You can tell the character told the joke for the sake of telling a joke and making the scene funnier. All in all, Guardians of the Galaxy vol.2 is still a damn good time at the cinema. (9/10)
Life is beautiful as it is
Paterson is the story of Paterson, a bus driver in the city of Paterson, played by Adam Driver(personally, I laughed a little). This film is all about his everyday life...just that, really. What we actually see is a week of his life. He has a wife he loves, he goes to work everyday, every evening he goes to the local pub, he writes poems and other stuff ordinary people do. All these things seven times. So...the most boring movie ever? Not really, but (watch out!) if you are not prepared for that, you might find it boring! Nevertheless, Paterson always finds humorous elements in everyday situations, photography and editing make it beautiful to watch, Adam Driver and pretty much everyone's acting (and dialog) in the film is so realistic. Now, talking about "realistic", this is exactly where the whole point of the film lies. Among the buzz of all the superhero movies, the big budget blockbusters, even typical dramas and biographies, Paterson comes as a breath of fresh air to tell us what it means to be an ordinary person. And it became crystal clear to me as soon as I watched the ending. Life is beautiful as it is, no need of extra-ordinary coincidences, and even if sometimes something unpleasing happens...life goes on. (9/10) Very good
Eteros ego (2016)
An interesting character in an interesting story told through some good direction
Eteros Ego is the story of Dimitris Lainis, a criminologist who is asked to help the police with the case of a serial killer who leaves behind quotes of Pythagoras. Rarely do we see a Greek movie like this one, but I won't go too soft on it just because of this fact. So, is Eteros Ego really worth your time?
Let's begin with the pros. Before watching, I was expecting a completely story-driven movie. However, I was happy to realize that the movie is not just about an intriguing criminal case and how it was solved, but also about how it affects our protagonist combined with some personal problems. In fact, it's more about the second one. And that wouldn't work unless Dimitris' character was so well- fleshed out. That's thanks to Pigmalion Dadakaridis's performance and careful direction which explains his character through visual details. What also kept me engaged was the sense of danger. It was clear that the killer was intelligent and careful, but the direction offered us some really intense scenes. The cinematography was also pretty good. Just by a few specific takes you can tell that a considerable amount of effort was put. I said I don't want to go too soft on it just because it's a Greek crime movie but I can't help being amazed by the Hollywood- level make-up. Major props to the make-up team! However, the movie has also a few weaknesses. The first complaint I have is related to the characters. While all the performances are generally OK or good, the problem comes from the script. At some points dialogue sounds unnatural, but, at least, it doesn't happen too much. My main problem is about the police lieutenant, who is clearly there just to ask the questions we the audience need to know. Apart from that he is kind of useless and the least interesting character. Finally, I found the ending somewhat forced. At first I was really surprised, but then I found myself not being so emotionally invested as I was hoping to.
Final verdict: Eteros Ego is actually worth your time. Even if you like the ending or not, Dimitris is an interesting character in an interesting story told through some good direction.
Rogue One (2016)
An important movie for the franchise
SPOILER-FREE review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (or Star Wars: Rogue One or Star Wars: Episode 3.9 as some people on the Internet want to call it ) is the 8th installment in our favorite sci-fi franchise and tells the story of how the Death Star plans end up on princess Leia's hands. It is directed by Gareth Edwards and I am happy to tell you that he knows well how to direct action and drama and this film has a lot of these elements, all well-made(almost). If you haven't watched the movie yet then let me confirm that Rogue One is as good as everybody says. If you are a sci-fi/action fan, it is totally worth your time even if you have never watched a Star Wars movie before (wow, where have you been all this time?); the movie explains everything you need to know. Also, I am really sorry, but this will be a spoiler-filled review, because there are so many things I feel the need to discuss.
SPOILER review: As you read above I consider it an important movie for the franchise. That's due to all those things that Rogue One, in my opinion, adds to the Star Wars mythos. First and foremost is the correction of the "A New Hope" plot hole: why cinema's most memorable weapon of mass destruction has such a serious weakness? Episode 3.9 answers that it was a conspiracy! And we couldn't be more thankful. I mean, A New Hope is even better now because of another film. Apart from this, there is something that I really appreciate about Gareth Edwards' direction and unfortunately not enough people point it out. After so many years of discussion about Star Wars and after so many times we have watched each episode (and we'll keep re-watching), we've forgot the awe Darth Vader and the Empire inspired back then. Now, after all these years I feel again intimidated. And how does he manage this? It's all about some details in the cinematography and the plot that emphasize on how the whole rebel army views the battle and not only our protagonist. I am talking about moments like: an impressing shot of Death Star in space showing us its size, Death Star hides the sun before it destroys Jeda, AT-AT walkers appear from inside the fog and everyone runs for his life, while they are shown from the rebel's point of view for us to comprehend their size compared to humans, Darth Vader force-chokes another person (Krennic). And of course, the most intimidating, violent, intense scene of Darth Vader we've ever had, a scene that comes out of nowhere, because you think he is going to find Leia's ship, but suddenly you hear him breathing in the dark hall...then his light-saber shines red and an epic massacre follows(I didn't say the best scene, I said the most intense). It is directed just perfectly. It doesn't get better than this or at least much better. However, it is not only the Empire we get to know better. We also see a different side of the rebellion. A side, where possible enemies are tortured to prove their innocence and its members argue with each other and the best decision is not immediately taken. Some other smaller additions/changes are the fact that the name of the planet our heroes are approaching is shown on screen to remind us that this is a large world and the fact that the movie doesn't begin with the classic exposition text (which I think respects the original trilogy, the prequels and the sequels by saying "this is not exactly a Star Wars Episode"). Of course, this is not a perfect movie and the main complaint is about the characters. By the way, I have no complaints about Darth Vader's limited screen time, because I expected that (Edwards did it with Godzilla as well) and this was not really a movie about him. While all characters are likable, badass and with a good sense of humor, we still don't really understand or feel their motives; we hardly get to know some of them, actually. Because of this, we can't get 100% invested in the action scenes. Jyn is the only one we really get to know, but her relationship with Cassian isn't explored enough. That's why their death brought no tears in my eyes. Another weakness is surprisingly the music score (Later, I learned Michael Giacchino was given only a month to compose, so I respect his attempt); Furthermore, one could say the first act is kind of slow-paced, but it doesn't really bother me. I think it is needed to set up the story. I almost forgot to talk about the CGI: perfect, beautiful, well- combined with practical effects. My only complaint is about Leia's CGI face (not too bad-It was just the most obvious CGI element among perfect CGI elements). Tarkin's was OK I think. All space scenes are incredible, including the space battle-one of the best we've ever seen.
All in all, I really liked Rogue One. Its existence is a blessing for Lucas' universe and I am looking forward to the next "not official" Star Wars episode. 8/10 (almost 9/10)
The world of wizards is back full of new thrills and adventure
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (I will call it FBWFT from now on, because SEVEN-WORDS TITLE!), directed by David Yates and written by J.K. Rowling is the 9th film of the Harry Potter universe and the first film of the new franchise. The story takes place in New York 70 years before Harry receives his Hogwarts letter and our protagonist is Newt Scamander. He has a suitcase where he carries a lot of fantastic beasts, which will accidentally escape causing many problems in New York and set in danger the secrecy of the magic world. I don't know about the 3D experience, but what I know is that the 2D is definitely lots of fun and everyone (even people unfamiliar with the 8 Harry Potter movies) will enjoy.
Rowling proves for one more time that her imagination is limitless and Yates proves that he knows well how to make it shine. Some people are concerned this is an attempt of her to make another billion. My answer to those comments is that I don't really think so, but I wouldn't care anyway! Let me explain by reviewing the movie. FBWFT does what no prequel/sequel/remake, which wants too much to succeed, ever did: It is a totally new story with no plot similarities to be found with the original movie ( the Harry Potter franchise in this case ). In contrast with the first H.P. movie, this one is more thrilling, because it dedicates less time to set up the world of the new franchise and more time to the actual story this movie wants to tell. Of course, there are some exposition-heavy scenes, but Rowling's world is just too beautiful to consider it a serious weakness. As I see, not everyone agrees on that, but I feel I nearly know anything about the American school of Magic or how American wizard community works but only a few things. What I feel I watched is Newt, Kowalski and Tina trying to protect New York from all those magic creatures wrecking havoc. That's why I don't think it's a money-grab attempt, because it doesn't feel like that. And why I wouldn't care? Because it's great, anyway! Every character is well-developed and likable for his/her own characteristics. Even Kowalski who, as a regular human, asks all those things we, the audience, need to know(exposition lever) still manages to remain likable thanks to the comic relief he offers and his not being useless as one would expect. Performances are convincing and generally great as expected from such a charismatic cast. Moving on the technical details, CGI is almost flawless and every creature is really beautiful. Same goes for cinematography and editing, which is masterfully used to create a sense of awe when needed, make the pace faster when things get dangerous or just let us enjoy wonderful images. Music score by James Newton Howard is superb and blends perfectly with every scene. (Still, no one is like John Williams, but you already knew that).
Any complaints? I was a little let down, because I expected to learn more things about the American school of magic, but this doesn't really qualify as a weakness, because this was just not the story J.K. Rowling wanted to tell and the movie's marketing never implied something like that. All in all, FBWFT is a prequel, which respects its audience by paying homage at some points to the H.P. movies, but without relying on your H.P. knowledge to be enjoyable(everyone can enjoy it), with great performances, great visual effects and a great story. If you are a fantasy-fan, DO NOT MISS THIS MOVIE! I still reserve the 10-stars rating for a movie that will far exceed my expectations and blow my mind, but still, no real complaints about Fantastic Beasts. 9/10
Doctor Strange (2016)
Totally worth your time(but with some flaws)
Doctor Strange (the 14th entry to the MCU) is the origin story of the Marvel character...Doctor Strange(obviously). Dr Steven Strange is an arrogant neurosurgeon who will immerse himself in the world of mystic arts hoping to cure his hands which have paralyzed after a car accident. Before I talk about the details, I want to say that the movie is definitely good, with some interesting strengths, but some weaknesses as well. I strongly suggest that you watch it in the cinema or a big screen(40+ inches) to fully experience its spectacle (3D is recommended). I haven't read any of his comics, so I will judge it clearly as a movie, not as a comic adaption.
Let's begin with the visual effects, because it is the easiest part. They are seriously good, like Oscar-nomination worthy. I don't think I exaggerate. Not a second will you feel like you are watching something fake. And this is, of course, an accomplishment given the extraordinary(Inception-like and even more impressing, I dare to say!) scenes you will witness. They make up the most of the action, which is breathtaking and probably the strongest aspect of this movie. But it's not only about the cool-looking battles, the story is also pretty good. It has the basic structure of Iron Man but the "mystic arts" factor is what makes it unique. I will talk again about the story, because here lies the major problem about the movie. As far as the characters are concerned, they are all pretty likable. Steven Strange is the intelligent arrogant guy with humor that eventually changes his mind and uses his intelligence for the greater good. And, of course, Benedict Cumberbatch is really good at this role. He plays arrogant guys all the time. I also liked Rachel McAdams' character as Strange's love interest. Not necessarily an important character, but because of her, some really funny moments occur so it's always fun to watch these two together. Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One plays well her role, although I did expect more from her as a character. You see, in movies where the protagonist learns some sort of a new art, we as viewers usually create a bond with the teacher/master along with the protagonist. For me it was a little disappointing to realize that her character was not so developed. Mads Mikkelsen as Kaecilius was not particularly great but above the average Marvel villain. He is not the "muahaha I want to destroy everything because I am bad" type of villain. He just does what he thinks it's right and you can understand his motives. He is menacing and poses a threat even for the Ancient One. We don't really get to know him well and that's why he is not a remarkable villain. All the other characters like Wong and Mordo are good as well and often contribute to the comic relief of the movie. Now, let's talk again about the story and focus on the pacing, which was the biggest weakness of Doctor Strange. The problem is that it never takes its time in order for us to get to know something or someone well or introduce in depth this new world. Do you remember in Harry Potter some scenes in Hogwarts' classrooms where we are taught along with the characters about various spells, creatures etc? Those scenes help us immerse in the world of the movie. Doctor Strange lacks such scenes. It always feels like the director introduces us to a new important about the plot element and then moves on quickly to the next one, so that Steven Strange transforms from a neurosurgeon to the Mystic arts master of the comics as soon as possible. Personally, I would like ten more minutes dedicated to the introduction of the mystic arts world. In my opinion, it would make certain characters more likable and the whole theory about mystic arts more believable.
However, Doctor Strange is still a fun movie with lots of incredible reality bending sequences, an interesting main character, humor and a clever ending. (8/10)
Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)
Give this movie a chance, but with the right expectations
Independence day: Resurgence is the sequel to the well-known Independence day(1996). Like the first one, it is directed by Roland Emmerich and almost everyone from the old cast has returned along with a lot of new characters. A plot synopsis would be simple: 20 years after the invasion humanity is still united and used alien technology to improve their defenses and life on earth generally. The aliens return and this time they have gotten serious. It's a movie rated 5,3 so I will not talk very much about its problems(I will but I don't want to give the most emphasis there), because everything that was to be said has already been said. I'll be focusing on the strengths of the movie and what you should to do to be able to enjoy it. So, let us begin.
Something basic about film reviewing is that a movie is rated and judged differently depending on its genre. And that's what I did. However, I acknowledged that this is not just an action/sci-fi, but a sub-genre: destruction movie. This category includes: San Andreas(2015), 2012, Armageddon, Godzilla(1998) etc. Furthermore, it's a sequel. Why am I saying all these? Because wrong expectations kill the movie experience and then an unfair review follows by the same person. Some people out there expected clever dialogue and deep meanings. Let's see, however, how much Roland Emmerich tried to satisfy a destruction fan. Good visual effects: check! Actually, good is an understatement. They are perfect. Although, the movie is full of CGI, never do you feel like you watch something fake. And given the size of this thing and what happens we get to see really impressing images. Moreover, there is no shaky camera to be found! Every shot is wide and made to be pleasing to the eye. Moving on to heroic acts...check! There are a couple of them and they are impressive as to be expected. Comic relief: check! I have to say they are not so effective as Marvel's jokes, but at least a few of them should land and what they also manage is to make the characters more likable. Tribute to previous movie: check! This is not for the destruction fans in general, it's for the classic Independence day fans (which I suppose are a big portion of the audience). Most old characters are back, along with our beloved Jeff Goldblum, who gives a great performance once more and has some nice lines. It's kind of nostalgic to see them again in action. So, that's pretty much what I found to be a strength for a destruction movie. Now, let's talk about what he did not. Unfortunately, Mr Emmerich didn't really try to make likable enough characters. As I said, because of the comic relief you may like one or two, but they are not so well developed. Generally, they are overshadowed by the old cast and some of them are...not needed. There is an over-abundance of characters! Why is this bad? Because there is not enough time to make them all likable. Pretty much everybody will get in danger at some point so if they are not likable, how are you supposed to get excited in an action scene? Plus, it destroys the pacing given that the movie needs to not let a scene get too long so that we can see what every character does. So don't expect very long action scenes, except for the last one. By the way, it's my favorite one of the movie. And luckily it is much different than the previous one. All these above mean that we have a beautiful movie with inadequate emotional depth.
Character and pacing problems are quite serious, but here's what you can do to have a good time. Step 1: Remember it's big dump fun. It's an eye candy, not a clever sci-fi with sophisticated theories and deep dialogue. Step 2: Watch it on a 35+ inches screen (its obvious why). Step 3: Don't watch it after a clever movie. Step 4: Maybe call some friends. With this review I hope to help people see this movie with the point of view I saw it. To be honest it's not one of my favorites, but at least I didn't hate it like some others. Have fun.
Hot Fuzz (2007)
Not the typical comedy you would expect
Hot Fuzz is about the most capable, disciplined and dedicated police officer you've ever seen, Nickolas Angel. When he is transferred from London where he works to a small village he will realize things there are far more interesting than he was expecting at the beginning. Straight to the point: I totally recommend this movie. Skip the mainstream comedy you were planning to watch and give this little diamond a go. Are you bored of the typical full of sexual humor comedies we usually get? This movie is for you. Are you not? Its OK you will still love it. Do you think that humor in cinema is more than just watching someone saying something funny or getting into an embarrassing situation? Then, like I said this movie is for you. I did have some minor issues, though, so let me explain everything.
The movie makes it clear to you that it's a comedy from the first seconds. It's not only about the jokes which are not too clever (but most times work), it's also about the plot and the tone of the film. It's some kind of crime-action-comedy-hybrid and I have to say the director combined them well. Every time you think it's becoming kind of serious, something funny will remind you what you are actually watching. And now, let's move on my favorite aspect of Hot Fuzz, the visual comedy.This is the art of telling a joke through images. Not many directors know hot to use it, so it feels like a breath of fresh air. The key factor for this kind of comedy is the editing. Either it is the funny part of the scene or it propels a joke, it always makes Hot Fuzz fun to watch and it is a major reason why you will never get bored. But the editing is just a As far as the characters are concerned, Nick Angel and Danny (Nick Frost) are fleshed out well and they make a nice team I enjoy to see together. Apart from them, every other character has his/her own funny quirks that make them enjoyable as well. Those minor issues I was talking about earlier have to do with one or two exposition-heavy scenes(not too heavy) where we are explained what's really going on in this village(the only parts that I felt for a moment that all this built- up tension is lost) and something about the action scenes. Most of them are fun to watch, but sometimes the camera gets a little too shaky and you may not understand exactly what's happening. Moreover, there are a couple of times it gets too violent(gory actually) and I suppose they could be considered unnecessary by some people. If these things don't bother you, then you will definitely have a good time. So...nothing else to be said here. Have fun!
The Accountant (2016)
Above average with some minor issues
The accountant is about a man with high-function autism who uses the perks of his nature in his job, an accountant for dangerous people. I would like to make clear that among all the genres that this movie is categorized as it is more of a crime movie. If you go to the cinema expecting an action movie you will be probably disappointed (it takes some time for action to start). Of course it is all of crime, drama, thriller and action to some degree and what I have to say is that it generally works well. As a crime/thriller it is pretty good. It will not be your favorite plot, but it's somewhat clever I have to admit. Now as a drama, don't expect particular emphasis on the hardships an autistic person faces. It kind of feels the autism is there to give you a good reason why this guy is really badass and clever (but personally it didn't bother me. Being a special character made him more likable for me.). At the end there is some kind of coincidence or revelation but you may be able to see it coming. However, the film takes its time to flesh out the characters so you will always find yourself caring about him and Anna Kendrick's character, as well as another character who surprisingly has more depth than I thought at the beginning(I don't want to spoil it). Regarding the action, as I said this movie is more about the plot in my opinion. However, I was actually impressed by most of the action scenes - I also found myself subtly cheering for him(although one scene was almost a typical "hero kills everybody, because he's fast so enemies always miss " killing spree). Finally, I will close my review with my only serious complaint about the narration. At the end I had a problem to follow the plot and I didn't know why certain things happened. Of course, this is a subjective problem, but it might indicate that some information could be presented better. All in all, I think the accountant is worth your time. Although not particularly great, I ensure you it is above average in every aspect: acting(it's Ben Affleck after all), cinematography(always pleasing to watch), plot, action etc.
It Follows (2014)
Definitely not a masterpiece, but worth your time
THIS PARAGRAPH CAN BE SKIPPED Before I proceed with my review, let me analyze it so that it is actually useful for you. However, you can still skip it without affecting your understanding of my point. So what I want to say is that I judge a movie with two different ways: objective and subjective. The first one refers on some technical details and generally aspects of the movie that are viewed the same at least by the majority of people. This will most possibly help you understand if you will like the movie. Now, about the second way: it's my personal point of view. What I liked and what I disliked. Ι believe both are important. But enough about me. Let's talk about the movie.
Plot synopsis: "It follows" is about a girl, Annie who finds herself being chased everywhere by a creature with the ability to take various human forms after she has sex with her new boyfriend Hugh. Later, she finds out that the curse can be transferred through sexual contact to someone else and that the creature is invisible to everyone except her and the previous carrier of the curse. Knowing these, she and her friends try to save her. While "It follows" is generally pretty good, I find the massive praise it receives by older viewers to be hyperbolic (film reminds of older movies so I guess it's because of nostalgia) and of course the negative reviews by teenagers to be unfair. Scariness: 7/10 "It follows" is not considered a very scary movie in general. It has two fake jumps scares (the first one will definitely get you) and an actual one that you can easily expect though. Moreover, somewhere, in the middle of the movie there is a really good scare I have to acknowledge (the tall guy). No more scares, the rest of the scariness of the film comes from the "it is non-stop heading towards you" concept and the way the music score and the direction supports it. And that's one of the main reasons this movie is praised so much: it tries to make you constantly feel unease and it succeeds! I found myself a lot of times checking the protagonist's surroundings for someone following her. Acting: 6/10 you have seen better, but generally it works out. Bailey Spry as Annie is convincing throughout the movie and gives the best performance of all the cast. Her friends are just OK Music score (not sure how to rate it): As everybody says: "It reminds of John Carpenter's Halloween electronic score." As I will say in the subjective part, while it succeeded in building tension when needed, some other times I felt it was distracting and meaningless. But I don't want to disappoint you. Most people like it. Plot and characters: 7/10 if you have read the plot synopsis you may have probably realized it is not something remarkable. Apart from this, there are some little inconsistencies (e.g. where are these kids' parents? Why are they not worried about them missing all the time?), some scenes feel vague (e.g. when at beach looking at the fishermen) and for the most of the movie the characters are on the verge of being what we all hate in horror movies careless and sometimes dangerously impulsive (which makes it easier for the murderer to kill people (and the director). Why does it get 7/10 though? Generally, the plot makes sense and it's unpredictable (except for one jump scare as I said earlier). Moreover, there are some interesting elements that I can't ignore, but it is not for sure that you will notice all of them the first time you watch the film. A lot of them are hidden in the background or require from you to remember faces so that you understand them. The point is that the better your observation skills are, the more you will like the movie. Finally, the end is up to you to decide if it is happy or not.
The subjective part: Unfortunately, I was left kind of cold at the end. It has to do with what I like in horror movies and what I got was not exactly that. As I said although it has that unsettling feeling of being watched it is not that scary in general (although the tall guy scene still gives me the creeps). It also lacked creepiness according to my tastes. Example of creepy moments in movies (SPOILERS): in Mama there is a scene where the woman is in girl's bedroom and sees a human resembling form hidden under a blanket and assumes it is one of the children she has adopted. Then she looks on the other direction doing something and the blanket moves and hides in the wardrobe. Then she hears the voice of both girls in the kitchen. In Insidious the moment that the old lady describes the demon only she can see and her co-worker draws it. About the cinematography, it was well-shot, but I was not impressed or something I found the music distracting in many moments. It actually didn't even sound like music sometimes. An issue I had was about some scenes I thought were vague. I re-watched them and I still don't know what they meant. And about the ending, I believe it's up to you to decide if it's good because it is vague as well. I just feel I didn't understand what happened at the end. I think I am not the only one with this issue. Final verdict: If you are more of a typical horror fan like me you may be a little disappointed by "It follows", but I don't think you will hate it either. If you have much experience with horror movies and can appreciate good directing details then you will most probably like it. I am certain it is not a masterpiece (yeah you may have notice that characterization), but either way it's worth your time.