Marter's Reviews

Page 24 of 25 Previous  1 ... 13 ... 23, 24, 25  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:26 pm

Faeces in the Crowd
After falling victim to an attempted murder, Anna Merchant (Milla Jovovich) wakes up in a hospital room. Friends tower over her, asking her how she's feeling, but instead of answering, she runs to the washroom. She didn't recognize them. In the bathroom, she looks at a mirror. She doesn't recognize her face either. If she closes her eyes while talking to someone, their face morphs. What's going on?

A doctor explains that she has prosopagnosia, meaning that part of her brain was damaged in the murder attempt. Most of the people unable to recognize faces don't suffer from the affliction for long, he explains, and she should be back to normal soon. But it would be best if she went after a second opinion anyway. Eventually, she seeks the help of a woman (Marianne Faithfull), who attempts to help her out in this matter. It seems that she's going to be stuck this way for a while, which will likely put a strain on her relationship with her boyfriend, Bryce (Michael Shanks), as she can't remember his face either.

Meanwhile, the killer is still out there. She's the only one to survive a murder attempt from this man, and she's also the only one to see his face. Detective Kerrest (Julian McMahon) is investigating the case, although Anna proves to be a difficult witness given the fact that she can't remember faces. This leads to a lot of situations where she thinks the killer might be in the room with her -- and he very well might be -- but she can't tell who it is. Everyone is a suspect. It could be Bryce, the detective, or even her father (whom she has arrested at one point).

Faces in the Crowd is a very odd viewing experience. Sometimes we see things from Anna's perspective, meaning we see many different faces for all of the different characters, but other times, we see it from an outsider's. It leads to a strange situation wherein we get disoriented because we're never sure if what we're seeing is true. This does make it interesting and keeps us engaged, but if you're hoping to always know what's going on, you'll be disappointed.

You won't feel that way if you want to understand what Anna is thinking, observing and feeling as we follow her around her post-accident experiences. Remember something like The Eye, which had the opportunity to shine some light into what someone would go through in recovering from a mid-life disability? Remember how it kind of sidestepped that in favor of some ghosts and jump scares? Faces in the Crowd wants to remedy this, so it spends a lot of time dealing with how someone would have to adapt to this condition.

As a result, Faces in the Crowd plays out more like a drama than a thriller for most of its runtime. It spends more time dealing with Anna trying to live her life unable to recognize faces than it does with the murderer possibly stalking her or the police investigation. Eventually, it turns into something of a love story, although you're always wondering who the murderer might be. Using the killer sparingly instead of all the time makes him more menacing while allowing us to focus on the characters, but also ensures that we don't forget about him. He could always be the guy standing right in front of her.

If nothing else, I felt like I understood what people with prosopagnosia feel like. It's a real condition, not just something made up for the film, and seeing how difficult life would be while living with it (even without the added bonus of having a killer on the loose who may or may not be after you) was terrifying. That's the scariest part of the film, and it certainly brought the condition to light. It's portrayed as a real disability and a hindrance on one's life, and that's usually an important thing for me.

The unfortunate thing about Faces in the Crowd is that it's not really all that entertaining, even if it is somewhat educational. When you strip away Anna's condition and you get down to the crux of the story, the mystery involving a killer, you get downright silly. And the solution isn't overly complicated either. Yes, most of the characters are there just to be red herrings. No, the actual killer probably won't come as a surprise. After we finally found out who it was, I lost complete interest -- and then the film still had to conclude and either kill him or kill Anna. I yawned and realized there hadn't been many thrills in the past hour and a half.

I've never disliked Milla Jovovich in a lead role. Generally, she's a pretty good action star and a decent dramatic actor. She's fine here, and gives us a believable character, even if some of the dialogue she's given is cringe-worthy. Julian McMahon is also good, although I hoped he would be creepier given that he's one of the characters we're supposed to suspect. Everyone else blended into the background -- likely on purpose.

Faces in the Crowd is a decent drama/thriller about a woman having to adjust to face-blindness all while being stalked by her would-be murderer. It's entertaining, although it's less thrilling than one might hope for. I did have fun with it, and I think it's worth a watch, even if the murderer and the mystery surrounding him isn't particularly interesting or surprising. You'll probably figure it out even with the ever-changing faces.
avatar
Movie Martyr
Words Go Here

Posts : 4459
Leprechaun Gold : 21174
Pineapple Power : 10317
Join date : 2010-12-21
Age : 24
Alignment : Lawful Good
Location : Calgary, Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:33 pm

Jumper
Jumper is a well-paced, poorly plotted superhero film. If that sounds like your average superhero film, well, you're probably not alone in thinking that. Here, the origin story is handled within minutes, leaving us with a nice 75 minutes to tell the rest of the plot. That's not a long time by any stretch of the imagination -- Jumper is 88 minutes long once credits are factored in -- and it's probably for the best. Even at 88 minutes, the movie feels a bit long, in large part because it jumps all over the place. Pun totally intended.

Our origin story: David (Max Thieriot as a child and Hayden Christensen as an adult) is about to drown. A schoolyard bully threw the snow globe he gave to his crush, Millie (Annasophia Robb, who grows up to be Rachel Bilson), onto the icy river. The ice broke, David fell in, but somehow, he teleported into the local library. Later, when fighting with his father, he found himself back in the library again. He has gained teleportation powers, so he decides to run away from home, steal money from banks, and travel the world. This is who he is now, and that's the end of our origin story.

Part two of our film involves him coming back to his hometown, taking Millie to Rome, being chased down by "Jumper Hunter" Samuel L. Jackson, and teaming up with Griffin (Jamie Bell), a fellow Jumper, to take down Jackson's team of Paladins. There has apparently been a war going on since the Middle Ages between Jumpers and Paladins, and David is now stuck in the middle of it. Why do the Paladins hate the Jumpers? Because they all turn evil, at some point, so says Samuel L. Jackson. And when he says something, you listen.

The final portion of the film involves setting up a sequel that very likely will never come. As unfortunate as it is for everyone involved the final product simply wasn't captivating enough to really warrant a sequel, even though it desperately seems to want one. There are at least 15 minutes dedicated to giving us one, including a final scene with two major reveals that come out of nowhere. But when the first film's success hinges on a sequel, you know it's not a good film to begin with.

There isn't really much of a plot. David, Millie and Griffin basically just go around from place to place, hoping that they won't get caught by the Paladins. And because we wouldn't have a movie if they were, we eventually get some chase/fight sequences. The chases aren't particularly interesting considering the characters can just teleport away at will. The action scenes are just hand to hand combat fights that are not at all fun to watch.

There is one good fight scene in Jumper, which takes place when Samuel L. Jackson's Paladin and David come face to face for the first time. It establishes how much of a threat Jackson's character is, while also looking pretty neat. The teleporting does, for the most part, look pretty cool, and I'd be interested in learning just how they did it. The special effects don't look dated, and the teleportation will hold up for years to come, even if it doesn't lend itself well to fight scenes.

The X-Men film that first featured Nightcrawler (X2?) understood exactly how to have fight scenes with a teleporter. The first time we saw that character, I was in awe of what I was watching. Here, the telportation serves only to take us from gorgeous locale to another one, with little impact on the actual fight. I did like going on the sight-seeing tour, but it's little different than changing stages in a terrible fighting game. The combat's still the same, and it's not fun even though it looks like you're trading blows on the top of a pyramid.

Another problem that it has is its characters, which are paper-thin and have absolutely no depth to them. Their decisions and actions don't even always make sense. In one scene, Millie says she hates David, but five minutes later, without any prior interaction with him, says she forgives him. Why? Because the plot deems it so, I guess. Griffin's unpredictability leads to a bunch of "Why?" moments when he has exchanges with David, and the whole Paladin thing never gets the explanation that it needs.

It doesn't help that two of the lead actors are as wooden as can be and still have a job. Hayden Christensen and Rachel Bilson are very poor considering how much of the film they need to carry. They show no emotion, and they have no chemistry together on-screen, which didn't endear them to me. If they were to die, I wouldn't have cared. Samuel L. Jackson is more enjoyable, as he usually is, and Jamie Bell is at least charismatic, although he's in a much lesser and evidently unnecessary role.

I was glad that Jumper was only 88 minutes. If it happened to be longer, I probably would have lost interest due to the poor plotting, underdeveloped characters, lackluster action scenes and cardboard lead actors. It's a superhero film that has based its success on whether or not a sequel will be made, and the chances of that seem slim to none. It takes us on an impressive visual tour, showing us many sights all over the world, but when you look past the pretty visuals, there's nothing underneath -- yes, even for a superhero film.
avatar
Movie Martyr
Words Go Here

Posts : 4459
Leprechaun Gold : 21174
Pineapple Power : 10317
Join date : 2010-12-21
Age : 24
Alignment : Lawful Good
Location : Calgary, Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:43 pm

Cowboys & Aliens
Cowboys & Aliens has about the simplest and most descriptive title that I can think of. It's simple because it uses only a couple of easy words, while it's an apt descriptor because it tells you exactly what the film is about. There's no mystery here, which is probably a good thing, as any confusion probably would have hurt the final product. Now, if only that final product would have been good. We might have had some fun if that was the case.

The film opens with a jump scene in which an amnesiac, unnamed man (Daniel Craig), awakens in the middle of a desert. He notices that there's a strange metallic device hardwired to his wrist, but can't get it off. Those of you who have seen the trailers know that it's a futuristic weapon that can shoot lasers. In a time when everyone else is using revolvers, this will prove pivotal. He heads into town, meets the rest of the people who will eventually become important, and then bears witness to an alien invasion. The rest of the film involves the titular cowboys trying to locate and then kill the titular aliens.

Why are the cowboys dead-set on killing the aliens? Well, during the initial invasions, some of their friends and family were captured. So, it kind of makes sense that they'd like to rescue the people they care about, I suppose. Oh, and the aliens also want all of their gold, not that this matters at all. I guess it's just to give the aliens a reason to be on Earth in the first place, as if they didn't have one, we might question why they're here in the first place like in so many other alien invasion flicks.

I laughed at the title and the trailer for this movie, but I didn't laugh while it was playing, which to me says that director Jon Fraveau and his team -- seriously, just look at the names of the guys who produced this thing and be amazed -- did their job in some regards. This is a silly premise, has some silly moments, but on the whole is pretty serious. It never gets so bad or self-referential to take you out of its world, and I ended up buying into the attempt by the cowboys to stop an alien invasion. It's only now that I laugh at how ridiculous it is.

The main problem, however, are the jarring shifts in tone that happen from scene to scene. This isn't even just an issue with each scene -- some are trying for old-school Western, others for horror, and others for action -- but with the characters as well. The biggest perpetrator is Harrison Ford's grizzled cattleman, who begins the film seeming like he'll need a lot to come around, but then flip-flops between being soft and mean whenever the filmmakers feel like it.

The other, probably more important problem for anyone actually wanting to see a movie titled "Cowboys & Aliens" is that it's simply not a whole lot of fun. Even with the uneven tone, some of these action scenes could have been a lot of fun. I mean, we have James Bond and Indiana Jones in the same action movie, and I still wasn't having a good time. It's just boring, routine, cliché, or any other words you want to throw in there that tell someone that you've seen it all before. And in this case, you really have seen it all before.

Even the aliens are uninspired looking. Take the xenomorphs from the Alien franchise, make them look far less dangerous, and you have a pretty good idea of what these ones are like. There's a weak point -- for no real reason, as it only comes into play a couple of times -- arms come out of its stomach, and I was yawning as the aliens tried to make a couple of jump scenes work. The only one of those that was effective was the one in the very first scene.

It also doesn't help that nobody seems to be having a ton of fun. Harrison Ford, in the scenes where he's happy to be in a fight -- and not the downer like he is some of the time -- is the only one with a smile on his face. Everyone else looks so sad, like they've already given into the idea that their family and friends are all alien aliment. They're going to war, sure, but if they've already accepted the inevitable, why should we root for them? I would have liked some humor thrown in, or at least some smiles.

The story also fails to really connect, in large part because it's built around Craig's character's amnesia ... before forgetting about that completely and making him a generic action star. The twists in the story are uninteresting and predictable, the plot itself is recycled from a dozen other movies, and there's nothing to really excite or enthrall. The baddies are bad for the sake of being bad, the characters don't develop or even stay consistent in their arcs, and it all winds up being a familiar mess.

Cowboys & Aliens will please those of you who say things like "just turn your brain off and have fun." Because, really, my brain was trying to keep a tally of how many other movies I would rather be watching with one of the two characters of the title. The list was large. There isn't a lot of fun to be had here, and when your title and premise are both so simple and silly that it's hard not to laugh, fun is the most important element. It's all too routine and familiar to enjoy, and there's no joy both inside the screen, or outside it.
avatar
Movie Martyr
Words Go Here

Posts : 4459
Leprechaun Gold : 21174
Pineapple Power : 10317
Join date : 2010-12-21
Age : 24
Alignment : Lawful Good
Location : Calgary, Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:33 pm

Sunshine
Sunshine is the best kind of hard science fiction film. It's smart, evocative, thoughtful, and thrilling, and it makes sure that the "science" part is accounted for. Director Danny Boyle and the rest of the of the crew have decided to make a film that takes place only in space -- save for one scene on Earth -- that deals with science and religion, and about the different personalities aboard a ship that, for all intents and purposes, will not be returning home.

The Sun is failing, you see, and in order to fix that, a team of scientists have gone up in a spaceship in order to put a bomb inside of it. I'm not sure if you can get a simpler plot than that, although everything will, assuredly, not go as planned. They're aboard the Icarus II, after all, and if there's one thing that sci-fi films love to do, it's throw in previous versions of ships that shouldn't still be alive, yet somehow are. And the Sun is also always bearing down, which poses a potential hazard to anyone who might want to, I dunno, go outside for a little while. Or even look out there without some very special protection.

Basically, things start going wrong once the decision is made to respond to the distress signal made by Icarus I, which was sent up into space seven years prior to perform the same task. Crew members start dying one by one, and you can almost see exactly where Sunshine is going to take you as soon as this occurs. I wasn't exactly surprised by anything I saw within the film, but that didn't make it resonate any less. I was awestruck by some of the things shown to us.

The crew of Icarus II (Hiroyuki Sanada, Troy Garity, Chris Evans, Rose Byrne, Cillian Murphy, Michelle Yeoh, Benedict Wong and Cliff Curtis) all have interesting personalities. These personalities factor in and actually come into play, too, which is always a bonus. When a decision needs to be made, you already know what each character is thinking and that there is going to be some conflict. Some of the secondary characters aren't as fully realized as those given to the bigger-name actors, but you'll still understand where they're coming from most of the time.

Sunshine also looks great, particularly for its small-ish budget. Costing just over $30 million, this is a science fiction piece that doesn't look cheap. The special effects are spectacular, the ship and set designs are fabulous, and I believed that these people were in space. The scene where they pass by Mercury and just stare at it for a minute or so really drives this point home, and then you're sold on it for the rest of the film's running time.

I was also sold on the science, as there weren't very many moment when I questioned what was going on. Could it all happen? Probably not, but I didn't think about that while it was going on. Among the credits is scientific adviser Brian Cox, and I'm going to just believe that the filmmakers took his recommendations to make this film as realistic as possible. Sure, there are some parts that seem a little silly when taking a step back, but you're so immersed while it's playing that they hardly matter.

Religion becomes a topic that's touched upon throughout, although it's more in the background than shouted to the heavens. I don't really want to spoil it, but just keep in mind exactly what happens before characters start being picked off, and whether or not they've had an epiphany of sorts. From where I'm sitting, as soon as a character -- a logical scientist who thinks and acts as such all the time -- starts allowing the idea of miracles or a god into their minds, things go badly. Does that make it an atheist movie?

Sunshine doesn't always feel original. There are definitely elements of 2001, Solaris, Event Horizon -- even Alien is in there a bit. But the way that it comes together makes it so very much worth watching. The imagery that is generated is beautiful, and if you don't feel some sort of emotion while watching many of the scenes, then something might be wrong with you. It's a surprisingly emotional film, but it's also thrilling, which is a tough balance to pull off.

You could watch Sunshine a half-dozen times and still get something out of it. It has that kind of depth, and having only seen it once, I can tell you I will be seeing it again sometime soon. After you've seen it the first time and have a decent grasp of everything that goes on, you can look more closely and figure more things about, learning more about what it wants to say and interpreting it in different ways. And yes, perhaps you'll also notice some more implausible science. That just comes with the territory.

Sunshine is, without question, a great film. It's thoughtful, evocative, smart, thrilling, and will make you feel something. It's one of those rare science fiction films that's interested in both the characters and the science that makes its plot possible. It'll give you something to think about once it's done playing, and might make you tear up while it's playing. It looks great as well, despite a relatively low budget. It deserves multiple viewings, and if you get the chance, I urge you to see it at least twice.
avatar
Movie Martyr
Words Go Here

Posts : 4459
Leprechaun Gold : 21174
Pineapple Power : 10317
Join date : 2010-12-21
Age : 24
Alignment : Lawful Good
Location : Calgary, Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:00 pm

50/50
It's hard to find the right mix between comedy and drama at the best of times, let alone when the subject you're dealing with happens to be cancer. 50/50, a film where the main character, a healthy 27-year-old male named Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), gets cancer, finds such a balance, and becomes a wonderful film as a result. Here is a movie that will make you laugh and cry as it plays, and contains several strong, evocative performances along the way. It's really the full package, even if it might feel a little too familiar.

The plot begins with us learning a thing or two about our main character, Adam. He is the nicest possible person, doing everything for everyone, having no vices, and ... he recycles! He makes sure to bring that up when he gets told that he has a rare form of cancer, because that would factor in. Anyway, he does get cancer, which you might think would be instantly life-changing. It isn't, really, although the rest of the film deals with his reactions to it, as well as the reactions of the people he surrounds himself with.

We first find out the impact it has on his girlfriend, Rachael (Bryce Dallas Howard), who starts off incredibly supportive but slowly begins to drift. We find out that his mother (Anjelica Houston), already dealing with his father's Alzheimer's, gets as clingy as possible. He explains all of this to his therapist, a student named Katherine (Anna Kendrick) working on her doctorate. And where would he be without his best friend, Kyle (Seth Rogan), who wants him to use his cancer as a lure to bring in the women for the both of them.

Each one of these characters gets enough time to feel like a real human being. In a movie that's only 100 minutes long, that's quite the accomplishment. We understand all of them and recognize what they want out of life. We see their growth and progression as the film plays out, and it's very rewarding to watch them succeed, while it's equally as disappointing when things don't go their way. I was shocked by the end how much I cared about them all. And yes, the ending makes sure that you recognize your attachment to them.

The comedy aspect does not serve to undermine the drama, nor does it really make light of the situation that Adam finds himself in. Okay, so there are some jabs taken at, well, everyone, including the cancer, but the film is sensitive and is unlikely to get too many people upset about how it's making fun of something very serious. It's not like a film that makes fun of a mental disorder; it makes fun, but in a lighthearted, not mean-spirited, way.

It's also really funny, which helps to justify some of the scenes that would otherwise serve no purpose plot-wise. I accepted their conclusion just because they frequently provided a fairly solid laugh, even if they could have been trimmed without anyone noticing. Seth Rogan serves as one of the producers, and I'm sure some of the scenes were improvised on-set just because he wanted to. The script was written by Will Reiser, one of Rogan's friends and based on a true story, and Rogan is known for some improvisation. If those scenes are to his credit, then I must say that I was happy for his inclusion.

Speaking of Rogan, I think this is the first time that I've actually liked him in a movie role. He was fine in Superbad, but he actually gets to be kind of touching and actually fairly humorous in 50/50. I appreciated him more here than I have in the past, and if he wanted to make the transition to dramatic actor, this is a pretty solid audition, even if a lot of his purpose is to be the comic relief.

That's not to take away from the other actors, most of whom are very good, but I almost expect that from them. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has consistently proven that he's a talent, Anna Kendrick has been good-to-great in everything she's been in, while veteran actors like Anjelica Huston, Matt Frewer, and Philip Baker Hall are all just fine. I wasn't as big of a fan of Bryce Dallas Howard coming in, and 50/50 didn't sell me on her. That's in large part due to her character disappearing at the midway point, but in the first half, she wasn't terribly impressive.

I was still touched by the majority of the film, even though it felt familiar. You know pretty much how it's going to play out -- it doesn't drift too far from your average rom-com, actually -- and it has no surprises to offer you. But it makes up for that by being funny and sweet. Sometimes you can base a whole movie around that and it'll still work. This is one of those times. I had a really good time with 50/50.

50/50 is a great film. It's very funny, it's charming, it's sweet, and while it makes fun of everyone involved, it does so in a good-natured fashion so as to avoid hurting anyone's feelings. When you're dealing something as life-threatening as cancer, that's the best way to go about it. Most of the actors, particularly the ones in leading roles, are very strong. I even liked Seth Rogan in this, which is something that I say very, very rarely. I was touched by 50/50, and if you're looking for a very enjoyable comedy/drama, you can't do a whole lot better than this one.
avatar
Movie Martyr
Words Go Here

Posts : 4459
Leprechaun Gold : 21174
Pineapple Power : 10317
Join date : 2010-12-21
Age : 24
Alignment : Lawful Good
Location : Calgary, Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:16 pm

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
I can't think of more than two scenes in Rise of the Planet of the Apes that are must-see material. The rest have all been shown in the trailer. If you've somehow managed to avoid the trailer up until this point in time, then I can give this movie a recommendation. For those of you unfortunate enough to have already been exposed, you have very little reason to go see it. I felt like I had already seen this entire movie before, just because of how revealing both the trailer and title are.

The plot begins when a bunch of scientists, led by James Franco as a man named Will, are trying to find a cure for Alzheimer's. They test their cure on apes, and hastily rush to the conclusion that it works without side effects and that human trials should begin. The ape goes insane, is put down, and the rest of the apes, deemed to be contaminated, are also slaughtered. Only a baby is left, and Will, with no other options besides adoption or execution, chooses the former, taking the baby ape home.

It turns out to be extremely intelligent, and over the next few years grows and grows to be the smartest ape you will (hopefully) ever see. Will is now living with a primatologist, Caroline (Freida Pinto), and has successfully tested his Alzheimer's cure in his father (John Lithgow). Everything seems to be going as planned in his life. Of course, things can't stay perfect forever, and before you know it, conflict comes and messes everything up. Pretty much everything is revealed in the trailer and title, but if you've somehow not yet seen or figured out exactly what will take place, then I'm not going to be the one to ruin that.

Suffice to say that the majority of the film focuses on Ceaser (performance capture work done by Andy Serkis). He is by far the highlight of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and if it wasn't for some amazing special effects and performance capture work, the movie would have fallen apart. Serkis' performance is outstanding, even if it might have been aided by the special effects people. You actually do care about this ape, and only because of how sophisticated the motion capture technology has become. He's already played an ape in Peter Jackson's take on King Kong, and steps up his game here.

In fact, the special effects on the whole look amazing. This is the first Planet of the Apes property to use fully CGI apes, and the result is quite impressive. While some of the background apes don't always look spot-on, for the most part, this is some phenomenal visual effects work, and if nothing else, you'll have something impressive to look at while the film's playing. But, again, the trailer does that job just fine, and then you don't have to sit through the boring human portions.

It's when focusing on Franco, Pinto, Lithgow, and the other humans that Rise of the Planet of the Apes doesn't quite work. This is the "rise" movie, meaning that you should know the basic idea of where things are going. The apes have to be the focus, and it doesn't really work all that well when you're focusing on the humans. It isn't their story, and whenever they pop up, they feel like filler material. You could almost exclude them, focus solely on the apes -- there's a prison break sequence that's quite enthralling, for instance -- and you'd have a better movie.

You also might have a more satisfying one. For the 110 minutes that Rise of the Planet of the Apes plays, I felt like it was building up to what we eventually see in Planet of the Apes. We don't get quite that far, and the ending felt very anticlimactic. Let's just say that you don't get a whole lot farther than the trailer shows, which furthers my point that if you've seen the trailer, you don't need to watch the full movie.

We also clumsily stumble along for the first portion of the film. We zoom past months or sometimes even years in the matter of moments, and it feels like we've missed a whole lot in that time. The film just glances over it, and before you know it, that baby ape is fully grown, having had no problems whatsoever in the past eight years or so. I wasn't buying it, and I felt like that was a missed opportunity. They could have shown some of the problems with raising an ape in the suburbs -- allowing for both humorous and genuinely sweet moments -- but that only comes after Ceaser is all grown up.

Those going in hoping for an action-packed summer blockbuster will probably be disappointed. There isn't a whole lot of action here, although what is included is exciting enough. This is far more plot-driven than you might expect, with the inevitable ape revolt only coming in the final 30 minutes. Before that, a couple of action scenes take place, but they're incredibly short and inconsequential.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is disappointing in large part because the trailer gives so much of it away. It's only really worth seeing if you haven't been exposed to the trailer, or if you want to see what is probably the best motion capture performance to-date. The visual effects as a whole are incredible, and you will care for Ceaser by the end. You probably just won't have a lot of fun, which is a shame when you consider that this is a summer blockbuster designed to reinvigorate the Planet of the Apes franchise.
avatar
Movie Martyr
Words Go Here

Posts : 4459
Leprechaun Gold : 21174
Pineapple Power : 10317
Join date : 2010-12-21
Age : 24
Alignment : Lawful Good
Location : Calgary, Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:29 am

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2
It took three more movies but I think the Twilight saga has finally come full circle, recapturing exactly what made the first film a watchable mess. That was the most campy of the installment -- innocent idealism that, whether done ironically or not, was unintentionally hilarious to many and absolutely magical to others -- and we've finally gotten back to that vision with the second of two Breaking Dawn movies. This is, perhaps, the funniest of the Twilight movies. And also possibly the best.

After Breaking Dawn -- Part 1, where almost nothing happened for the majority of the film, Part 2 picks up, presumably, the first time that Bella (Kristen Stewart) awakens from her near-death experience. She's a vampire now, and has given birth to a half-human, half-vampire, named Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy). The father, Edward (Robert Pattinson), their mutual friend and shapeshifter, Jacob (Taylor Lautner), and the rest of Edward's family are all there upon her awakening. She has finally gotten her lifelong wish fulfilled: she's just like Edward.

Of course, with a new species comes new experiences, like hunting for deer, giving us the first of many hilarious moments. After that, she's basically a full-fledged vampire. Unfortunately, thanks to a misunderstanding, the Volturi -- the villains of the series who have yet to really do anything evil, but are portrayed as such anyway -- have decided that Renesmee presents a threat to the vampire species, and that she must die. Aro (Michael Sheen), is their leader, and he has an army that could easily wipe out the Cullens. Clearly, the Cullens need an army of their own, so that the war can be fought fairly.

To say much more would be spoiling, but the basic idea of the film is pretty much just this. The majority of Breaking Dawn -- Part 2 is just recruitment and talking amongst characters who either have or have not previously had any involvement in the series. Seriously, there is such a large cast of characters here, most of whom have super powers -- oh yeah, all the vampire get superpowers in this film, some of which are more unbelievable than anything else in the series -- that it's really hard to keep track of it all.

If you can figure out why everyone would get superpowers, you probably have a decent idea of what will happen near the end of the film. There is a war that one side wants, anyway, so if you still needed a hint, there you go. Now, if you read the books, you'll probably figure you know how big of a letdown the ending is. Let me tell you something: The film adds one scene that is not in the books, and it is the best scene in the entire franchise.

It also basically equates to the film trolling its audience members, bringing us the single biggest "Come on!" moment of 2012. You'll know it when you see it. I sat, open-eyed, with a smile on my face, for twenty straight minutes, as I saw the most cathartic experience the series could bring me. And then it was all taken away in an instant. That doesn't stop the joy, but it does remind you that the series is still Twilight, and that it can't just end the way the filmmakers clearly wanted it to.

There isn't a whole lot of romance in Breaking Dawn -- Part 2, and much of the talking seems to have some sense of urgency to it. It's not the brisk-paced thriller that some might want, but it does at least progress, has some sort of plot, and quickly wraps up a series that was as drawn out as it can get. In terms of actual things happening, Eclipse probably still has this film beat, but at least you can't summarize the plot in one sentence like you could for Part 1.

I have to say that I'm glad Twilight is over. This is the sendoff it deserves, save for a pre-credit self-congratulatory sequence in which the actors and characters from the entire saga gets his or her own shot, complete with character and actor name. It's done to sweet music and is as nostalgic as they come, but at this point, we had just seen the entire story end and I wasn't in the mood to reminisce. The series has four movies out in five years, and while they've made lots of money and been of varying quality -- I don't know. I'm not sure if they're deserving of this kind of celebration.

You might be pleased to know that Kristen Stewart doesn't swipe her hair back once in the entire film -- or if she does, I don't remember it happening. And she smiles a lot. And gets to tackle a cougar. How does this not sound like fun to you? The other actors are all as bland as they've been in the other movies, save for Michael Sheen, who gets multiple scenes to ham it up as much as he chooses -- and he chooses to a great deal. His jovial facial expressions to not match the tone or characters of the rest of the film, and are absolutely hilarious as a result.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2, is sort of the Twilight film for non-fans, at least in parts. There's a twenty minute sequence inserted just to troll the devoted fans, while providing a sense of catharsis to those who haven't liked the series from the start. It's campy, funny, mostly devoid of the slow-moving, uneventful nature of a couple of films, and will likely please the die-hard fans, as well as not being a total bore for those who are just dragged along for the ride. It's a good sendoff to a mediocre series, and now we can stop hating it for a few years until Lionsgate decides it needs more money and reboots it.
avatar
Movie Martyr
Words Go Here

Posts : 4459
Leprechaun Gold : 21174
Pineapple Power : 10317
Join date : 2010-12-21
Age : 24
Alignment : Lawful Good
Location : Calgary, Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:34 pm

Rise of the Guardians
Rise of the Guardians is a frustrating animated picture. It takes a really interesting idea, and has some very enjoyable moments, but on the whole isn't all that interesting and feels much longer than its 97 minute running time would suggest. It's easy to see the film appealing to its young target audience, but if you're hoping for the next How to Train Your Dragon, you're going to leave disappointed. This is a film for those who still believe in Santa Claus.

The basic idea here is that a bunch of folkloric people and creatures team up to stop an evil force that threatens to ruin holidays and the dreams of children everywhere. The team, as the movie begins, consists of Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin, donning an Eastern European accent), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman, in his native Australian accent, presumably only so other characters can call Bunny a "kangaroo"), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher, in an American accent), and a mute Sandman. The force they need to stop is Pitch Black (Jude Law, trying so hard to sound evil).

Apparently, they can't do it alone, because the Man in the Moon decides that another Guardian is needed. The chosen one is Jack Frost (Chris Pine, as bland as he has ever been), who spent the last 300 years fooling around. The film doesn't take a long time to establish this premise, which was refreshing. We don't get introductory scenes for each member, for instance; we cut right to the chase and the planning stage about how to stop the villain's devious plot.

However, for whatever reason, after the team is assembled, and is ready for war, we spend a great deal of time with menial chores. Pitch starts targeting the Guardians one by one, making the children of the world stop believing in them. Teeth don't get collected one night, kids cease believing in the Tooth Fairy, and she subsequently loses her power. So, to prevent this, the Guardians have to, at least twice -- although I might have dozed off during a third time -- perform the tasks that the targeted individual would do on a daily basis.

What makes this more frustrating, apart from the fact that it feels like filler and stalling, is that there are also two instances of action happening off-screen, and having some of the team show up too late, and then being told what happened. These seemed like they'd be big action scenes, but we only get them described to us instead of getting to see them occur. Replace the two menial activities and give us these scenes, movie. It's not like it would be much of an increase in the already large ($145 million) budget.

The action is generally quite fun, too, which furthers my disappointment. It's a bit fast, with the camera flying around at what seems like a million miles per hour, but there are some cool effects, and who doesn't want to see Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny fight the Boogeyman? That premise alone justifies the movie's existence. It's just too bad that more wasn't done with this. These characters have been retooled to be action heroes, but they only get to be that in the last half hour or so.

A deus ex machina happens in the final few moments of the last action scene, which (by definition) comes out of nowhere but doesn't even try to be explained by the film. It just happens, everyone accepts it, and then we move on. Younger children probably won't care, but parents and older kids will notice and question the film. It wouldn't even be that hard to explain -- and Rise of the Guardians looks like it's going to make an attempt to do so and then just ignores that attempt afterward -- so I have to wonder if the reason got cut somewhere along the line.

DreamWorks' animated studio is one that makes good looking films -- at least, until the human or human-like characters get involved. The backgrounds are detailed, animals look great, and even clothing looks just fine. But there's always something about the humans, in particular their faces and skin, that is jarring. Santa Claus is a great example of this in Rise of the Guardians. His beard and hair look great, but his face looks like it's made of processed cheese. Jack Frost and Pitch Black look even worse, as they have no facial hair to cover up part of their faces.

Rise of the Guardians also has an odd issue with its secondary characters being more interesting and humorous than its leads. Jack Frost is the protagonist, and is the most bland of the characters. Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are more enjoyable. However, Claus has elves and yetis that steal the show, while the Tooth Fairy has mini-faeries that are funnier and more interesting than she is. We needed more time with these characters, but we have to focus on Frost and his dull, predictable character arc.

Rise of the Guardians is a failure, but I can see the potential and if it happens to make a lot of money, a sequel isn't something that I'd root against. It needed to take more risks, possibly calm down the camera, and be more of a shower, not a teller (and hire someone with more enthusiasm than Chris Pine for the lead), but the premise is solid and there is a lot of talent behind it. The franchise could make a believer out of me yet.
avatar
Movie Martyr
Words Go Here

Posts : 4459
Leprechaun Gold : 21174
Pineapple Power : 10317
Join date : 2010-12-21
Age : 24
Alignment : Lawful Good
Location : Calgary, Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by GrinningManiac on Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:02 am

Wait, you liked Sunshine?

I really, really hated it. I can't even remember why for the most part, only a seething rage at the immense stupidity of the whole thing.

Maybe I ought to re-watch it. Give it another chance. You know your sh*t and you say it's good.

Hmm

I just remember hating it so much for such a long time...

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
मैं हिन्दी जानना चाहता हूँ…અને ગુજરાતી…ਅਤੇ ਪੰਜਾਬੀ…এবং হয়ত বাংলা.
Aprenderé a bailar salsa y nada detendrá me. 对不起我的中文不好,对不起我不知道你说什么。
Не слышны в саду даже шорохи. Все здесь замерло до утра, Если б знали вы, как мне дороги, Подмосковные вечера.
The problem with having an open mind, you see, is that people insist on coming along and putting things in it
- Sir Terry Pratchett
avatar
GrinningManiac
His Grace, His Excellency, The Duke of Ankh; Commander Sir Alasdair Lawrence

Posts : 5597
Leprechaun Gold : 15239
Pineapple Power : 3009
Join date : 2010-10-10
Age : 24
Alignment : Morally Unperturbed Mongoose-Man
Location : England

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:08 am

Yeah, maybe give it another watch.

Then again, opinions and whatnot. I've known others to hate it, too, even if the majority did quite enjoy it.

The most hated part, I've found, has been the ending, which was basically a traditional slasher affair.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
You might as well sit back 'cause I ain't tryin' to show maturity.
avatar
Movie Martyr
Words Go Here

Posts : 4459
Leprechaun Gold : 21174
Pineapple Power : 10317
Join date : 2010-12-21
Age : 24
Alignment : Lawful Good
Location : Calgary, Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by ggggggggggg on Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:29 am

If they had cut out the ending it would have been a decent sci fi, but nope.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


ggggggggggg
Kay-Ron, Destroyer of Worlds

Posts : 3006
Leprechaun Gold : 29357
Pineapple Power : 21476
Join date : 2010-10-09
Age : 24
Location : Ireland

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by GrinningManiac on Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:14 pm

Yeah that was what annoyed me. It was the random genre shifts from Realistic Sci-Fi to Supernatural Horror Thing to Psychological Horror to Slasher to a bad action film ending.

And the science was terrible. Like, really, really bad. Trying to reignite the sun with a nuclear explosion of that magnitude is like trying to relight a volcano with a matchstick. It would neither work based on scale nor the mechanics of how a volcano/the sun works.

Also why the hell did they have an observation deck for looking at the SUN

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
मैं हिन्दी जानना चाहता हूँ…અને ગુજરાતી…ਅਤੇ ਪੰਜਾਬੀ…এবং হয়ত বাংলা.
Aprenderé a bailar salsa y nada detendrá me. 对不起我的中文不好,对不起我不知道你说什么。
Не слышны в саду даже шорохи. Все здесь замерло до утра, Если б знали вы, как мне дороги, Подмосковные вечера.
The problem with having an open mind, you see, is that people insist on coming along and putting things in it
- Sir Terry Pratchett
avatar
GrinningManiac
His Grace, His Excellency, The Duke of Ankh; Commander Sir Alasdair Lawrence

Posts : 5597
Leprechaun Gold : 15239
Pineapple Power : 3009
Join date : 2010-10-10
Age : 24
Alignment : Morally Unperturbed Mongoose-Man
Location : England

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:55 pm

The Man with the Iron Fists
It's obvious that the people behind The Man with the Iron Fists like the martial arts genre of films. This is an homage to them -- a love-letter that is about as entertaining as the bottom tier of the genre to whom it wishes to become a love letter. This is an absolute disaster of a movie, and not even in a good way. It's just bad, with about every decision made working against whatever the filmmakers were trying to pull off. This is the worst movie that I have seen in 2012.

A lot of the problem seems to be with director/writer/composer/lead actor RZA, the rapper whose best known work is with the Wu-Tang Clan. He occasionally acts, and is given the directorial role here, too. He plays a blacksmith in nineteenth century China, whose main purpose is to create weapons to warring factions, and also become -- after the majority of the film is over and he's done absolutely nothing of importance -- the man with the iron fists. He gets to use them in three whole scenes, and if he didn't provide the voiceover narration, I would consider his character useless.

Speaking of the narration, it seemed like it was added late in the post-production process in an attempt to explain the movie to the audience. The Man with the Iron Fists still doesn't make a lick of sense, by the way, but RZA, in as monotone and mumbling manner of speech possible -- probably because he didn't want it in there and was forced to add it by the studio in an attempt to salvage this train wreck -- gets to narrate for what seems like at least a quarter of the time this movie plays.

Other characters include: X-Blade (Rick Yune), who dons armor that can shoot spikes; Mr. Knife (Russell Crowe), who has a purpose revealed late in the movie but mostly seems to be in here so that Crowe can be next to beautiful women for the majority of his screen time; Madam Blossom (Lucy Liu), who owns a brothel; Brass Body (David Bautista), whose body is impenetrable by most everything because it's made of brass; Lady Silk (Jamie Chung), the Blacksmith's girlfriend and nothing else of important; and the Silver Lion (Byron Mann), the leader of one of the warring factions.

If you wanted me to try to fit everyone into teams and figure out their relations to each other, I wouldn't be able to. Some characters barely get introduced before they die or leave for too long to even matter, while others change motivations part way through, making it hard to even know who's fighting for what at any given time. This goes on for the entire first hour before everyone finally figures out their side for a big battle in the final 30 minutes. No, it still isn't as good as that massive battle in the first Kill Bill, although it might be a bit more creative.

The action scenes, the few that we get, are separated by extended sequences of exposition, which attempt to explain what the narration can't, but also fail at the simple task of telling us what's going on. When we finally get action, it's sometimes fun, but the wire-fu is often so bad, and RZA's style is incomprehensible that it's best to just wait until the action scenes end to figure out who lived and who didn't.

Part of the problem is that the film doesn't seem to know what it wants to do. It has a couple of scenes -- flashbacks which are supposed to reveal a character's back story but add absolutely nothing -- that bring us an anti-racism message, but the rest of the film has no indication of that at all. There is a whole sequence of woman's empowerment, but then that's dropped instantaneously. Certain motivations are revealed way later than they should be -- there was no reason to hide them -- while other reveals are so anti-climactic that you have to wonder why it was handled in this manner.

And it's all set to a soundtrack made by RZA, meaning we have hip-hop music playing over both action and dialogue scenes set in 1800 China, featuring a multicultural -- but still predominantly Asian -- cast. It not only doesn't fit, but it's loud and obnoxious enough to draw attention to itself, effectively removing any impact or enjoyability that the action scenes had.

The cast is so laughably bad that it's almost funny to see them try to act out the screenplay by RZA and one Eli Roth -- who is also a producer and makes a cameo. RZA is the absolute worst, showing absolutely nothing but a complete deadpan stare toward whoever might possibly be talking. Rick Yune is the next worst, whose "I will avenge my father" line is so laughably awful that ... I still remember it, I guess. Crowe seems to be enjoying himself, and he and Liu share a couple of comedic scenes, but that's about the only thing this film has going for it.

RZA's The Man with the Iron Fists is a film that has absolutely nothing going for it, and contains not a single reason for you to watch it. This homage -- which purportedly started as a four-hour "epic" and was trimmed down to the 96-minute disaster that was released -- to the martial arts genre is worse than the vast majority of the films it aspires to admire. If only RZA adopted the stage name "RAZ." It would be that much easier to lead into what I think this film deserves: All of the RAZzies.
avatar
Movie Martyr
Words Go Here

Posts : 4459
Leprechaun Gold : 21174
Pineapple Power : 10317
Join date : 2010-12-21
Age : 24
Alignment : Lawful Good
Location : Calgary, Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Mr. Wiggles on Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:30 pm

Not going to argue with all of this, but I will try to justify the sound track. The Wu Tang sound revolved around bringing kung-fu and hip-hop together and much of RZA in particular's back catalogue has been kung fu inspired, two of his albums are concept albums based on a black samurai.

Whilst it probably doesn't fit in, not having his own music feature in the sound track to an extent, would be like MacDonald's selling car insurance. That is his niche and to me, his soundtracks have always been stellar, unlike many other of his contributions.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

You can buy a dream or two to last you all the years, and the only price you'll pay is a heart full of tears.
avatar
Mr. Wiggles
Professional Green Tea Enthusiast. It cures Space Aids dontcha know?

Posts : 5741
Leprechaun Gold : 26799
Pineapple Power : 15453
Join date : 2011-04-01
Age : 22
Alignment : Semi-sadistic Tea-drinking Schizophrenic
Location : Location LOCATION! (That was funnier in my mind)

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:32 pm

It's weird hearing F-bomb and N-words being dropped ad nauseum during what is essentially a wanna kung-fu movie.

I just really didn't like it, mostly. ;p

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
You might as well sit back 'cause I ain't tryin' to show maturity.
avatar
Movie Martyr
Words Go Here

Posts : 4459
Leprechaun Gold : 21174
Pineapple Power : 10317
Join date : 2010-12-21
Age : 24
Alignment : Lawful Good
Location : Calgary, Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Mr. Wiggles on Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:36 pm

Each to their own, Kung Fu has been too racist for too long. Only having them gooks in the lead roles and then mocking and steretyping every other race. Everyone I know who has seen it loves Wu Tang and have hence been raving about it.

Sadly, the critics seem to agree with you on this one.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

You can buy a dream or two to last you all the years, and the only price you'll pay is a heart full of tears.
avatar
Mr. Wiggles
Professional Green Tea Enthusiast. It cures Space Aids dontcha know?

Posts : 5741
Leprechaun Gold : 26799
Pineapple Power : 15453
Join date : 2011-04-01
Age : 22
Alignment : Semi-sadistic Tea-drinking Schizophrenic
Location : Location LOCATION! (That was funnier in my mind)

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:37 pm

Y'know, I thought that it was far more negative in terms of reception, but it was close to 50/50, at least on Rotten Tomatoes.

I figured it would be more of a 20/80 split, and was shocked to see it get as many positive reviews as it did.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
You might as well sit back 'cause I ain't tryin' to show maturity.
avatar
Movie Martyr
Words Go Here

Posts : 4459
Leprechaun Gold : 21174
Pineapple Power : 10317
Join date : 2010-12-21
Age : 24
Alignment : Lawful Good
Location : Calgary, Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:22 pm

Pieces of April
Pieces of April, a Thanksgiving movie about dysfunctional families, tells three stories. Maybe it's more like two and a half. The third isn't developed enough to really warrant a full number, which is a shame. The film runs for only 80 minutes, barely enough, and was shot for under $300,000. It appears that trimming had to be done, which leaves us with an underdeveloped third story and an ending which is generic and feels rushed. Regardless, it's a film with charm and drama, and is absolutely worth watching.

April (Katie Holmes) used to be the perfect daughter. Then, she started going down the wrong path. Drugs, tattoos, and other such tomfoolery drove her away from her family, and in particular, her mother, Joy (Patricia Clarkson). Now, her mother has been diagnosed with breast cancer, and in an attempt to make up for her rebellious last few years, she invites the rest of her family to her apartment for Thanksgiving dinner. Along with her boyfriend, Bobby (Derek Luke), she begins to prepare dinner.

That's the first story. The second is the family's journey to get to her Manhattan residence. Joy is the most reluctant to go, although she's pushed along by the rest, starting with her husband, Jim (Olver Platt). Their other kids, the photographer, Timmy (John Gallagher, Jr.) and the spiteful daughter, who can never get the admiration that April did, Beth (Alison Pill), along with the Alzheimer's patient grandmother (Alice Drummond), all get in the car and, before you know it, we're on our way to New York.

The half-story involves Bobby running around town trying to do ... something. He claims it'll help April out, but it appears incredibly shady. And who is Tyrone? Apparently he's looking for Bobby, even though Bobby has no clue who he is. This is a clever ruse that's actually just a trick, something you'll find out rather early on. Bobby is a good person, and although his first interaction with April's family involves him being bloodied and bruised, it's not what it looks like. This time, that's not a lie.

April's story mostly involves her interactions with her neighbors, considering her oven refuses to start and she has to cook a turkey. These range from hilarious to disturbing to sweet, with a couple of them going through the whole spectrum. We see her determination and we realize that she genuinely wants to make things right. Meanwhile, her family is trying to figure out any reason not to go that their conscience will let them live with. Oh, and they're also going through their own funny or touching scenes, while also allowing us to learn about their (less-established) characters.

It adds up to a very simple and effective, if easy and clichéd, ending, that uses a photo montage to tell the story. It seems to me that director Peter Hedges ran out of money, so he got the cast to take pictures instead of filming them actually acting out the scenes he probably had planned. This is much cheaper and easier, although it doesn't allow for much of the drama and tension that easily could have existed. If only he had more money.

If that was the planned ending, and it was supposed to be told in that way, it's too easy and simple. No risks are taken in the way Pieces of April ends, even though it seems like some will for most of the picture. The film eventually gives into formula, which tarnishes it a bit. It is still powerful, and I'll admit that I found it moving, but it could have been more, and it could have brought all the tension that is built up throughout to a head, instead of letting it die. It has the buildup without any payoff, which is rarely a good thing.

Pieces of April also looks really cheap, using a video camera that probably could be bought at your local electronics retailer. It gives the film almost a documentary look, for some of it, and makes the characters and their situations more intimate. It's a really simple story, after all, even though a few of the events throughout are special. A movie like this one doesn't need -- and in fact, might be hindered by -- really good looking cameras. What is used here is effective.

Katie Holmes carries the film but is not the standout star. It's Patricia Clarkson, as the cancer victim mother, who gets the most sympathy, the most laughs, and turns in the strongest performances. With that said, everyone ranges from fine to good, with Holmes still shaking off her Dawson's Creek image -- and doing so effectively, I might add. Most of these actors are likable, charismatic people, and that's about all that's necessary in a film like this.

Pieces of April is a surprisingly touching film considering how many other movies like it are out there. It's about reuniting a dysfunctional family, but does it with an approach balancing comedy and drama, while also being an intimate picture with its almost documentary style. It is funny, and it is sweet, and it's ultimately a lot of fun, even though its budget and short filming schedule seem to tarnish the ending. Instead of taking a risk, a generic, yet effective, approach is used. It works, and ends up being a Thanksgiving film worth your time.
avatar
Movie Martyr
Words Go Here

Posts : 4459
Leprechaun Gold : 21174
Pineapple Power : 10317
Join date : 2010-12-21
Age : 24
Alignment : Lawful Good
Location : Calgary, Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by MilkyFresh on Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:18 pm

Still going to watch TMWTIF, I can't not be excited about it

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
WHY MONKEY, WHY?
No one loves a prick,
No one loves a coffee sniffing motherfucker.
avatar
MilkyFresh
Wizard of Piss

Posts : 9787
Leprechaun Gold : 38820
Pineapple Power : 22738
Join date : 2010-10-26
Age : 24
Alignment : Arseheart
Location : Australia

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:04 pm

The Suburbans
The Suburbans needed a point, or perhaps a plot. It jumps around from point in time to another point in time so rapidly that it was kind of hard to follow the "when" of the storyline. Apparently the time between the jumps are completely meaningless and uneventful, as the characters are the same both before and after. In fact, apart from a couple of late-game turnarounds that are obligatory, they're all the same from beginning to end, having learned nothing and not having done anything of consequence except having wasted your time.

The film's basic premise involves a group of former band mates being given the opportunity by a company (apparently run by Ben and Jerry Stiller and Jennifer Love Hewitt) to rejuvenate their career. They weren't very big in their heyday, having only released one album with one hit track, but Hewitt's character seems dead-set on bringing back the 80's vibe, and thinks that this band will be the ones to do it. The Stillers only appear in two or three scenes, and in their short time on-screen manage to be the film's highlights.

The rest of the movie deals with the subsequent things tat happen after you get a studio backing you when you're part of a band. The rehearsal, the music video filming, the parties, and so on. Strangely, no concerts occur, probably because it quickly becomes clear that the band members, all of whom are pushing 40 and have their own lives to deal with, are not going to be able to be successful. It's only the Hewitt character's enthusiasm that might make this work, and those aren't odds I'd place money on.

There isn't any coherency to what happens. We just jump from important event to another important event without any time for these characters to do their behind-the-scenes work. And whenever those parts do come out, they feel artificial and forced, like they were only included so that they could call The Suburbans a real movie. It's like star, director and writer Donal Lardner Ward just wanted to make a movie where he gets to be a rock star, which resulted in this. Maybe he only got financing if he agreed to include faux character moments as well.

It all comes across as insincere, which is a problem when your film ends up preaching relationship and life advice. When you don't believe that the characters really believe what they're saying and end up practicing, it's hard to take it to heart. I felt more put off by what The Suburbans was saying than inspired. It doesn't help that you have actors with very little depth in the lead roles, leading to a bunch of dramatic scenes that fall flat, but the writing is just so poor that even good actors might struggle here.

I'm not sure if The Suburbans was going for comedy or drama most of the time. It was simply hard to tell. Apart from the Stillers' involvement, there isn't a single scene that made me laugh. So, I'm thinking it's a bad comedy. But what if it's not supposed to be funny? Considering how much terrible drama plays in, I figured it was going for that. But it doesn't really fit the bill there either. It's in some sort of limbo, stuck in the middle between drama and comedy/satire, never being any good at either.

It was also, however, never terrible enough to make me want to quit watching it. It's a brief film, not even clocking in at 90 minutes, and it's just mediocre enough to not be a complete waste of time. Don't take that as a recommendation, as I definitely do not think it's worth watching, but if you're bored and it's playing on television one night, and you have homework or something to do, it can be fine as a film to play in the background.

I'm actually kind of surprised that it wasn't even in part a musical. Having the members of a band as the lead characters seems like a perfect excuse to include a few three-minute songs in order to fill in the running time. But The Suburbans never goes that way; there's only one song that the band plays, and we only hear the chorus -- over and over again, I might add. I actually expected that Hewitt's character might join the band and skyrocket it into stardom -- she has a singing background, after all -- but that never happens either, which I thought was a bit of a wasted opportunity.

There's nothing much to say of the actors within The Suburbans. Donal Larder Ward is the most charismatic of the bunch of band members, I guess, but that might only be because he points the camera at himself as frequently as possible, and because he seems like the only one actually having fun. Will Ferrell is even in this flick, but he's not funny and he doesn't have that large of a role. In fact, I think he disappeared for a large portion of the middle of the film, or maybe it just seemed that way.

The Suburbans is an odd film. It's loaded with star power, has a sold premise ... and then pretty much nothing shown on-screen works the way that it should. It's a mediocre-at-best film that never lives up to its potential. It feels insincere, like a fraud, and the drama fails because of this. It's not funny, it's not touching, it preaches nothing of importance, and there's no reason to give it 90 minutes of your life.
avatar
Movie Martyr
Words Go Here

Posts : 4459
Leprechaun Gold : 21174
Pineapple Power : 10317
Join date : 2010-12-21
Age : 24
Alignment : Lawful Good
Location : Calgary, Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:10 pm

Anna Karenina
I'm not big on costume dramas. Thankfully, Anna Karenina is more approachable than most, and actually winds up being one of the few costume dramas that didn't bore me for the majority of its running time. The main reason for this is that the B-story winds up playing out completely contrary to what's expected of the genre, and has a polar opposite payoff to what you'd generally think should happen. It's refreshing to see, and simply on a narrative level, it makes Anna Karenina stand out.

Let's back up a few steps here. If you're not familiar with this type of costume drama, here's how the generally play out: A woman and her husband, or husband-to-be, aren't really as fond as each other as their marriage would indicate. The woman finds someone else, and wants to leave her husband. But, since we're a couple of centuries in the past, divorce was a much more complicated and damning process. The husband just doesn't want the social embarrassment -- these are all high society types, after all -- while the woman just wants love. Something has to break by the end.

That's precisely how much of Anna Karenina plays out. Keira Knightley plays Anna, a character married to Alexei (Jude Law). She winds up falling in love with one Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), after he stalks her for the better part of the first hour of the movie. The film might be based on a novel written in 1877, but it's a film adaptation further reinforcing the recently concluded Twilight's message that stalking someone will eventually get them to love you. You know, just in case someone hadn't figured that out yet.

However, the secondary story has a man named Konstantin Levin (Domhnall Gleeson) attempting to woo a woman named Kitty (Alicia Vikander). He's single, she's single -- no marriage vows are being broken here -- and their love feels far more real than anything that happens in the arbitrary main story. If the focus of the film was on them, instead of having them as more of an afterthought, it possibly could have been the best of its genre.

That's not the case, so for most of our time we have to trudge through the predictable and boring main story involving the affair, the cover-up, and the lack of passion from everyone involved. Vronsky is suave, but he doesn't appear to have human emotions. Anna seems to think of this more as something to be done to kill time, not because it's real love. Alexei cares only about his social status, not about his wife or his marriage -- at least, for the most part. It's just how these things are.

It becomes even harder to get a read on these characters when they swap motivations and feelings with the change of a scene. It seriously feels as if every action is done based just on how a character might feel at the moment -- which changes often, rarely with cause -- and without any consideration given to the past or future; it's all "here and now," and considering how much time is spent talking about things that could happen, it doesn't make any sense why the actions would disregard and contradict what the characters are saying.

There are some visual flourishes that directer Joe Wright uses to make Anna Karenina have a unique look. Many of the scenes are set on a stage, with stationary backgrounds that can mold into something more later on, or be raised to reveal something more. Sometimes, characters freeze in place while Anna moves about them; there's a fantastic dancing scene in which Anna and Vronsky dance around a ballroom, and everyone is frozen in place until they are passed by the couple, at which point they begin to move. It looks great, and there's some definite eye-candy here.

I feel there was a missed opportunity here. The literal staging doesn't happen all the time, and at first it seemed like it was going to be done just to indicate when certain characters were "acting" for the purpose of the surrounding cast. This could have been done to great effect to reflect their emotional state. It seemed to me to be random whenever this would occur, and the characters are so inconsistent that I couldn't figure out if this was ever even attempted.

The sets and costumes are wonderful, I'll grant you, and they help lend some authenticity and immersion to the picture -- even though Anna Karenina takes place in Russia with Russian character but everyone's speaking in English with various British accents. Costume dramas almost always look good, and this one is no exception. You feel like you're taken back in time, which is something that this type of film does wonderfully.

Look: It's a costume drama about the upper class in the late 1800s. You pretty much know what you're getting into before it even starts. And, for the most part, you're right. There are some things that are done in an attempt to spice it up -- a fun secondary story and some visual panache, for the most part, do a good job at this -- but it's still just a costume drama even underneath all of this fun. It's a good version of one, I'll admit, and I got into the film once it got started, but if this isn't your thing, Anna Karenina won't change your mind.
avatar
Movie Martyr
Words Go Here

Posts : 4459
Leprechaun Gold : 21174
Pineapple Power : 10317
Join date : 2010-12-21
Age : 24
Alignment : Lawful Good
Location : Calgary, Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Xandy on Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:33 pm

Review the Toxic Avenger.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Wu-Tang is for the children!
avatar
Xandy
Halfblood Prince of Persia

Posts : 5571
Leprechaun Gold : 24774
Pineapple Power : 1164
Join date : 2010-10-09
Age : 23
Alignment : Chaotic Faggy
Location : North North America

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:36 pm

Buy it for me and I will.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
You might as well sit back 'cause I ain't tryin' to show maturity.
avatar
Movie Martyr
Words Go Here

Posts : 4459
Leprechaun Gold : 21174
Pineapple Power : 10317
Join date : 2010-12-21
Age : 24
Alignment : Lawful Good
Location : Calgary, Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Hubilub on Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:46 am

I didn't have high hopes for the movie. I think Joe Wright is a hack, and I didn't like the direction he was taking the film (All that crap about it being on a stage), but I was at least hoping that he could capture the characters correctly. Apparently he faaaaailed.

Once again my favorite book gets an unsatisfactory movie adaption

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
I felt my sphincter clench and my scrotum contract in shock at his response.
avatar
Hubilub
Conquistador of the Useless

Posts : 7827
Leprechaun Gold : 15140
Pineapple Power : 4328
Join date : 2010-10-09
Age : 24
Alignment : Probiotics are Evil
Location : Linkoping, Sweden

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:35 pm

The Fast and the Furious
You have seen this film before. It might not have been called "The Fast and the Furious," and it might not have been about racing really fast cars, but you've seen it. A cop gets in deep with a criminal organization, finds out that there are parts about them that aren't so bad, and has to pick between the law and his new found friends. The cop in this case is Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker), and the criminal organization is a group of street racers led by Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel).

Oh, and the cop also has to fall for the leader's sister, because then there is even more of a reason for him to stay with the "bad guys." The sister in this case is Mia (Jordana Brewster), who works at the local food join serving terrible tuna. Brian initially gets off on the wrong foot with Dom, but after saving the group's leader from the cops following a race, he's the new best buddy. Despite being a cop, which we don't find out about until after the whole cop incident takes place, but will be surprising to probably nobody watching the movie.

The reason that Brian has gone undercover: A group of people have been driving up to large trucks carrying expensive cargo and robbing them mid-transport -- without slowing down the truck, either, which is pretty impressive even if it seems less efficient than just knocking the driver out (which they do anyway) and letting the truck come to a stop. Regardless, the higher ranking authority figures think that Dom is behind it, even though Brian isn't so sure. Of course, Mia might be clouding his head in that regard, but does that really matter?

No. No, it doesn't. It's all an excuse for a bunch of car races and chase scenes. The plot doesn't matter whatsoever, and that's why it's so simple and not at all involving. You are watching this movie to watch cool cars, and that's it. The filmmakers know this, the actors know this, and hopefully you know this, too. If you don't, well, you do now. If you want a film that will challenge you even the slightest bit intellectually, you will be disappointed by this movie.

I'll admit that I was impressed by the cars in this film. They're shiny and they move fast. Real car fans will understand more of the jargon and really appreciate what's shown here, but I liked how pretty it all was. Oh, sorry, "pretty" is probably an offensive word to lots of the people who would appreciate the cars I'm describing with it. Let's see. Would "cool" be better? I wouldn't want to inadvertently make fun of the cars by calling them "pretty," although that's exactly what I was saying when we saw lines and lines of cars.

It's also kind of thrilling to watch these cars race or be involved in chase scenes. Cars chase other cars. Cars are chased by motorcycles. Cars are shot at. Cars are crashed. Cars get blown up. We see the interior of cars which ends up being a blur of the actor and whatever environment is outside the car he or she is sitting in. Cars. Cars. Cars. They're the star of this film. It's not about humans or even a plot; it's about letting expensive cars have their own film.

As a result, it's really hard to care about any of these people. Okay, so Dom isn't as terrible a person as the authority figures have built him up to be, but does that make him someone to emulate or become good friends with? Well, no, not really, but what does Brian care? He's an emotionless block who happens to be good at driving a car. There aren't a whole lot of occupations that he'd be good at, although street racing would make the list. His relationship with Mia doesn't work at all. Paul Walker isn't charismatic enough, and the filmmakers don't really seem to care about it.

There's a secondary plot -- if you can call it that -- involving a rival gang of Chinese men, but it doesn't get enough focus to really matter. There seemed to be quite a history between the leaders of the two groups, but it doesn't get expanded upon apart from a few quips back and forth. I wanted to find out exactly why there was a history, as that would have been interesting. But the single-minded focus on cars made that impossible, unfortunately.

There are some fun action scenes, and the races are genuinely thrilling, but I just wanted more depth. That's probably not what I should have expected, but it's what I hoped for nonetheless. Sometimes, these action movies bring more to the plate, and I was hoping that The Fast and the Furious was one of them. That's not what I got. Instead, I got a sometimes fun action movie that has no real characters and a plot that you've seen a dozen times before.

The Fast and the Furious is a dumb, shallow action movie. It's all about the cars, and if you're someone who likes seeing fast, expensive cars race around the street, then you'll probably want to give this a whirl. Even if you don't, some of these races and chase scenes are quite entertaining, even if there isn't going to be anything within that will challenge your intelligence. A lot of potentially interesting developments are ignored so that the cars can be the stars, although I have a feeling that the people the filmmakers are targeting with this release won't care anyway.
avatar
Movie Martyr
Words Go Here

Posts : 4459
Leprechaun Gold : 21174
Pineapple Power : 10317
Join date : 2010-12-21
Age : 24
Alignment : Lawful Good
Location : Calgary, Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:46 pm

2 Fast 2 Furious
You recognize that 2 Fast 2 Furious is a sequel to The Fast and the Furious because of all of the twos in the title. If you don't know going in, you'd be surprised to learn that Vin Diesel, the star of the first film and the one who really carried it, has not returned this time around. We're left with Paul Walker, reprising his role as former LAPD Officer Brian O'Conner. That's a shame, in large part because Walker's character was one of the least interesting things about the first Fast and the Furious, and also because Paul Walker just isn't very good.

At least he's given a fun sidekick in the name of Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson). Roman, currently on house arrest -- although what does that mean when your house is a trailer? -- is told that his record will be wiped clean if he helps Brian to bring down our villain, Carter (Cole Hauser), a drug lord who cannot be brought down by the local cops because ... who cares? Along with Evan Mendes, who is working undercover and has been for almost a year, the pair has to gain his trust and then make a delivery for him which will allow the cops to place him and illegally obtained money together.

Does that sound too complicated? How about when that delivery involves a fifteen minute window granted by a corrupt cop threatened with a rat, which ends up in a police chase instantly anyway, and what's probably the most crowded intentional traffic jam in film history. It doesn't make a lick of sense when all's said and done, but at least I could see that a plot was attempted. At least it wasn't like the first film where a plot was ignored so we could stare at shiny cars.

Don't get me wrong, I kind of enjoyed looking at all of the cars, but if you wanted some substance in your film, the first Fast and the Furious wasn't for you. I'm not sure if this one is, either, but there's more of an attempt at having some, which I appreciated. As a whole film, I think 2 Fast 2 Furious is worse, largely because of the car races and chases, but at least this one element has been improved just a tad.

As for the car sequences, they're not anywhere near as enjoyable this time around. I don't know if this was the case, but it seemed like there was a lot more noticeable CGI this time around, and the chases seemed fake as a result. You'd see these actors doing their best "I'm a race car driver" impression from inside the car, and then when we went outside, it felt as if their face was edited into the car. It didn't feel to me as if these people were inside these fast-moving vehicles, which is the most basic type of immersion necessary for a film like this.

I wasn't often thrilled, as I didn't feel as if these people were in any danger. The method used in order to show us that these people are in these steel death traps took me out of the film, and really hampered my enjoyment. Not having Vin Diesel doesn't help, as Paul Walker can't carry the film and Tyrese Gibson only helps a smidgen, but my general lack of enjoyment came primarily from the lack of immersion from all of the scenes involving cars moving at very fast speeds.

There probably wouldn't be much of a problem if, say, these types of scenes weren't focused on so heavily, but like Fast and the Furious before it, cars are front and center in almost every scene. Once again, if you're a car fanatic you'll probably get more out of this than someone like me who is happy with anything that moves and is fairly fuel efficient. But these cars move really fast and look very nice -- I promised myself not to call them "pretty," although that's still the word I'd like to use -- so some audience members will be pleased at the eye-candy.

The soundtrack began to irritate me this time around. I don't like the kind of music that was in 2 Fast 2 Furious, and I started to become tired of it. During these chase scenes, I felt like I should just plug my ears and just watch the visuals. It's the same type of rap and hip-hop songs that were in The Fast and the Furious, and I guess I just grew tired of it. If you like that kind of music, you'll be happy with the film's soundtrack, but if you're not, you might want to get ready for some pain.

I was surprised by how much of the supporting cast got time to -- not develop -- exist. There are some fairly recognizable names in the supporting cast, and it would have been nice to see more of some of them. For instance, Devon Aoki plays Brian's girlfriend, Ludacris plays an ex-racer, and James Remar is a customs agent. They're all given no development, even if they're on-screen more often than you might expect.

2 Fast 2 Furious at least has a bit of a plot. That's more you can say about the last installment, all since the part with the most potential -- the car races -- is far less exciting, the film suffers quite a lot and doesn't wind up being as enjoyable as its predecessor. The soundtrack bugged me, the races were boring and didn't immerse, and the actors were boring and uninspired. Nobody gets any time to develop, and if you're not either a big fan of the first flick or a major car fanatic, you can probably go without seeing 2 Fast 2 Furious.
avatar
Movie Martyr
Words Go Here

Posts : 4459
Leprechaun Gold : 21174
Pineapple Power : 10317
Join date : 2010-12-21
Age : 24
Alignment : Lawful Good
Location : Calgary, Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:12 pm

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
It should be noted that most of the characters in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift are all supposed to be of high school age. That means that all of them, somehow or another, have acquired a fantastic amount of wealth, allowing them to purchase the super-cool cars that will draw fans to see this movie. The sad thing is that this is the part I have trouble believing. Given how ridiculous and preposterous the first two Fast and the Furious films have been so far, something must be wrong with me if this is the first thing I'm having difficulty with.

Okay, so we have these high school kids who have fancy cars and can spend all night racing them. Accept that, and you might be able to enjoy Tokyo Drift. Perhaps not, as it's silly and lacks a real plot -- what else is new considering the series' track record? -- but maybe you will. It's said that these people go to school, and occasionally we do see them in the classroom, but that's forgotten about at the midway point. For all intents and purposes, these characters are grownups. What is the point of making them underage?

My guess is that the filmmakers wanted to make everything they do feel riskier. You know, if a kid does it, it'll feel more dangerous and therefore the audience will care more. My other guess is that there needs to be a bit of growing up in regards to our main character, so making him a teenager means that he shouldn't already be that way by the start of the movie. Because adults don't have to mature in any way once they reach the age of, say, twenty one, right?

Anyway, our high school protagonist is Sean Boswell, who has been shipped off to Japan after yet another street race. I don't know if he won the race, as both participants ended up crashed and badly injured. He went farther, though, so let's give it to him. In Tokyo, he is staying with his father (Brian Goodman), as that's the only choice not named "juvie." He's told that street racing is a no-no, although that doesn't stop him, as he's back on the streets the second night in the new country.

Unfortunately, Japanese racers have a different idea of racing. In America, there aren't a ton of tight turns, so drifting isn't even though of. Drag races are far more common, I suppose. In Japan, everywhere is a potential track, including a parking garage. Drifting is essential, and suffice to say that Sean gets schooled in his first attempt to become the best racer ever. He crashes the car, ends up in debt to Han (Sung Kang), and basically does the same thing that Paul walker's character did in the first film, except without an ulterior motive.

I'll admit that all of this drifting looks cool the very first time you see it. That first race, the one that takes place in a parking garage, is a lot of fun. Seeing the opponent and main villain, Takashi (Brian Tee) just barely miss each wall as he zooms around the corner is exhilarating and I was looking forward to seeing more drifting as the film progressed. I was also looking forward to the montage of failed drift attempts by our main character, but that's beside the point.

Problematically, too much of anything will make it seem less impressive, and the same is true of drifting. When the cars are drifting with every lane change, you know something's gone wrong. There's no way anyone would drive like that; it's just not smart. Unlike in Mario Kart, there's no magical boost gained from snaking like that. I started laughing at what was supposed to be a very intense scene, and realized that Tokyo Drift had come off the rails. One could say it drifted astray, but one could also be shot for stupid puns.

The plot ends up being familiar and stupid, with silly being the side dish. That's par for the course in this franchise thus far, and I'm kind of glad that they're not actually trying to be serious. Still, the obligatory love side plot could have been excluded without much of a problem, and that would've trimmed 10 minutes off the running time, which would have helped the pacing. Do we really need to see a jealous boyfriend show up to beat up a guy ... twice? No we don't.

I was happy to see that the action scenes looked more realistic this time around, which was the biggest issue I took with 2 Fast 2 Furious. Instead of looking as if the actors were superimposed onto cars that were nowhere near them, I actually believed that these people were driving these cars. They probably weren't, but through the magic of competent filmmaking, I bought into them being able to. The actors don't sell it as much as you might like, but since the filmmakers made it look so real, it didn't matter.

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift is a spinoff film. It features none of the cast of the first two films -- except for a last-minute, uncredited cameo that's sadly the film's highlight -- and it ultimately inconsequential. Is the drifting fun? At first, sure it is. It's used too frequently to stay that way, but at first, it was pretty cool. Some of the chase scenes are still fun, and I can't say I was frequently bored, but this is just another Fast and the Furious film. Everything you expect is there, and everything previously absent still is.
avatar
Movie Martyr
Words Go Here

Posts : 4459
Leprechaun Gold : 21174
Pineapple Power : 10317
Join date : 2010-12-21
Age : 24
Alignment : Lawful Good
Location : Calgary, Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Mr. Wiggles on Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:15 pm

Have you reviewed Vertigo or All Quiet On The Western Front?

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

You can buy a dream or two to last you all the years, and the only price you'll pay is a heart full of tears.
avatar
Mr. Wiggles
Professional Green Tea Enthusiast. It cures Space Aids dontcha know?

Posts : 5741
Leprechaun Gold : 26799
Pineapple Power : 15453
Join date : 2011-04-01
Age : 22
Alignment : Semi-sadistic Tea-drinking Schizophrenic
Location : Location LOCATION! (That was funnier in my mind)

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:24 pm

No, although I have seen both.

There's just no reason to review either at this point, I felt.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
You might as well sit back 'cause I ain't tryin' to show maturity.
avatar
Movie Martyr
Words Go Here

Posts : 4459
Leprechaun Gold : 21174
Pineapple Power : 10317
Join date : 2010-12-21
Age : 24
Alignment : Lawful Good
Location : Calgary, Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Mr. Wiggles on Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:32 pm

You make a fair point there.

I was just wondering what your opinions were that's all.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

You can buy a dream or two to last you all the years, and the only price you'll pay is a heart full of tears.
avatar
Mr. Wiggles
Professional Green Tea Enthusiast. It cures Space Aids dontcha know?

Posts : 5741
Leprechaun Gold : 26799
Pineapple Power : 15453
Join date : 2011-04-01
Age : 22
Alignment : Semi-sadistic Tea-drinking Schizophrenic
Location : Location LOCATION! (That was funnier in my mind)

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:36 pm

I was much less a fan of Vertigo than I thought I'd be. It was just fine. Nothing particularly special. But, then, I've yet to be completely enamored with anything Hitchcock has done, so there you go.

All Quiet on the Western Front is something I saw quite a long time ago -- five, which to me is a long time -- but I remember being being very engrossed by it.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
You might as well sit back 'cause I ain't tryin' to show maturity.
avatar
Movie Martyr
Words Go Here

Posts : 4459
Leprechaun Gold : 21174
Pineapple Power : 10317
Join date : 2010-12-21
Age : 24
Alignment : Lawful Good
Location : Calgary, Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:20 pm

Fast & Furious
Fast & Furious, apart from having a stupid title, messes with the chronology of the Fast and the Furious movies. Perhaps that's why they didn't name it "Fast and the Furious 4," as that would be too misleading. You'll notice in this film's opening scene, in which a group of people you might recognize from the first film in the franchise attempt to rob a truck with four loads of oil, that Han (Sung Kang) is alive and kicking. Those of you who saw Tokyo Drift know that this can't be possible, and here's where the messiness comes in.

As we eventually learn, Fast & Furious actually takes place before Tokyo Drift. Han has yet to go to Tokyo, and therefore can't be killed. I'm guessing that any future films will also take place before Tokyo Drift, although there are some interesting implications that come from that. For instance, one of our main characters simply cannot die, which might take away some of the thrill for audience members who notice this. However, considering the type of intelligence that these movies aim for, it might not be exactly fair to be thinking about their continuity with this much brain power.

So, the basic plot that's being ripped off from another movie this time around involves a man looking for revenge. Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) has been killed, and Dom (Vin Diesel), has decided that the man who killed her needs to be taken out. An eye for an eye, and all that jazz. Plus, he loved her, and that's good enough reason to kill someone, so the film wants us to believe. He's a wanted man, though, so he'll have to make sure not to make his presence known to the cops.

Of course, Paul Walker returns as well, reprising his role of Brian O'Conner. He's back working with the police, or maybe it's the FBI. He's to infiltrate a drug dealer's gang for the same reasons as he did in 2 Fast 2 Furious. As you'd expect, his and Dom's paths overlap, and the two find themselves teaming up -- reluctantly, at first -- in order to accomplish their goals. Other characters include Dom's sister and Brian's former girlfriend, Mia (Jordana Brewster), Braga, the drug lord (John Ortiz), and Gisele (Gal Gadot), Braga's liaison who may or may not fall in love with Dom.

Newcomers to the series won't have trouble fitting in, and that just tells you how insignificant the last three movies have been. They've been brainless action movies, and they haven't been wholly unenjoyable, but in terms of a series, this has to be one of the weakest team efforts in regards to plot and characters. You can jump right into any of them and be up to speed within minutes. In some respects, I think that's a nice thing, but in others, it's not particularly rewarding to loyal fans.

If you are new, here's how these films usually work: People race cars for money, people, other cars, revenge, pride, or fun. This film is different in that it's more of a generic action movie. Cars aren't the only things that get to be in action scenes, as guns join the mix in a couple of shootouts. This one actually felt the most generic in terms of its action just because of this, although I think at this point in the series, guns are a welcome addition.

The car chases and races are fun this time around, as they have been each time except for 2 Fast 2 Furious. The aforementioned character who can't be killed did lessen some of the tension, but once you get involved, you tend to forget minor details like that. When cars are being driven at this high of a speed, crashes seem inevitable and expected, so every bump and turn makes you even more tense. It's exhilarating, really, and if there's one thing that I have grown to like about these movies, it's that feeling.

There's an attempt, this time around, at making Dom a deeper character. I think that same attempt was given to us in the first film, with mixed results. It was more effective here, although if the filmmakers were hoping to make you care about him or make him sympathetic, they've failed. He's still just Dom, a person who steals from people for a living. But he cared about his girlfriend so revenge is completely justified, right?

Vin Diesel shows up and reminds us why The Fast and the Furious made him a star. He's not exactly charismatic or deep, but he makes for an intimidating presence and is likable enough. He's leaps and bounds better than Walker, who is emotionless throughout. The rest of the actors blend into the background. If I were to compare this film to any of the past three films, it fits right at home as a sequel to the first one. That makes sense considering it's the first true sequel to that movie.

Fast & Furious is the third film chronologically, and the fourth installment released in The Fast and the Furious franchise. Is it particularly good? Not any more than the first film, but it feels like a return to form -- if you can call it that. It's like the first film in terms of pretty much everything but fine elements of the plot, and that it uses guns far more frequently. It tries for a bit of character depth, the chases are as thrilling as they've ever been, and I ended up enjoying myself a fair bit. Fans of the series will want to give it a watch.
avatar
Movie Martyr
Words Go Here

Posts : 4459
Leprechaun Gold : 21174
Pineapple Power : 10317
Join date : 2010-12-21
Age : 24
Alignment : Lawful Good
Location : Calgary, Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:50 pm

Fast Five
If a movie begins like a heist movie and feels like a heist movie in the middle, you're probably going to expect it to continue that trend all the way to its end credits. Fast Five has the first two parts, but forgets that it's a heist movie at the end. It throws its hands up in the air, audibly screams "Screw this!" and decides that all the planning that took up so much time in its middle portion was pointless, as stealth and intelligence is too much for its tiny brain to handle.

The beginning few scenes show us how capable these characters are at pulling off a major heist. We see our group of main characters, Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul walker), Mia (Jordana Brewster) and Vince (Matt Schulze) pull off a job involving the theft of cars ... except not quite. They're betrayed, some federal officers are gunned down, and now they're wanted everywhere around the world -- not just in America. An agent from a special division (Dwayne Johnson) is brought in to hunt them down and bring them in, since killing Federal Agents is a serious crime.

The next part of the film involves Dom and Brian getting together his friends from the last four movies in order to come up with a plan to steal all the money that the drug lord of Rio de Janeiro has, and then make a break for it, disappearing forever as they do. It's like any other heist movie. The characters are introduced, they all have a special skill that will be required for the job, and planning/practice has to take place so that the job will be done without hitches. Now all that needs to be done is the job itself.

That is where Fast Five comes unglued, as the actual "heist" part of our heist film never really comes to fruition. Oh, the job gets started and maybe even finished (I don't want to spoil more than I already have) but it's not at all according to plan and the earlier sections of the movie felt like a waste of time as a result. It all works in terms of the story, but in terms of actually filling up our plate with substance that doesn't dissolve after a few minutes, the film falls short.

It's like if I were to promise you an elaborate tournament in your sport of choice, and the winner gets a nice, new, shiny penny. The tournament has a complex set of rules, tie-breakers, and all that good stuff. Then, on the day you show up for the first day, all the rules have been scrapped, and you're left facing the kid who has never played the sport of choice. All that planning and effort you spent studying the tournament outline and all the practice you put into the sport has been pointless. That's how I felt watching Fast Five. Oh, and it's also way too long, although doesn't that go without saying for a Fast and Furious movie that's 130 minutes in length?

However, it's still enjoyable; it's just without purpose or reason for most of the time. I still had fun watching these people get ready to perform their heist, and I liked seeing the interactions of the characters from all the different Fast and the Furious films. This is like the All-star cast, save for a couple of notable absences -- which are actually rectified in the post-credits scene, so watch through the credits if you want the full experience.

Perhaps most surprising about Fast Five is that it's even more of a generic action movie than its predecessor, which in turn was more generic than the first three flicks. That one replaced a few car chases with gunfights, which I thought was a welcome addition. Here, even more of the chases get replaced, this time with fistfights. We actually get more shootouts and fistfights than races, which is a departure from what made the series successful but is helping to keep things fresh.

There are only two really thrilling scenes in Fast Five, which is fewer than in previous films. I was actually okay with this at the time, mainly because I was hoping it would lead up to a satisfactory heist, but looking back, I'm disappointed. Disappointed by the lack of creativity in all but one of the scenes. Disappointed by the lack of a clever heist. But not at all disappointed by the final action sequence, which is better than probably any other you'll see from a film in Summer 2011.

I think that the inclusion of Dwayne Johnson was smart casting, as he's charismatic and an intimidating presence, making him a perfect villain -- even though he's just doing his job and isn't really a bad guy. Diesel continues to be the best thing about the franchise; his character has the most depth and he really sells the role. Walker is once again uninspired, and the rest of the cast, despite being given ample time to shine, do little more than show up and blend in.

Fast Five pulls a nasty bait-and-switch which renders a large portion of its running time redundant. I was saddened by this, as it made me feel like I had wasted my time watching it. Don't get me wrong, as it's intermittently fun and the last action sequence alone almost justifies a watch, but I just wish it would have went in a different direction. It's a generic action film with characters you've seen on and off for four previous iterations. If that appeals to you, then go for it, as you'll probably have fun.
avatar
Movie Martyr
Words Go Here

Posts : 4459
Leprechaun Gold : 21174
Pineapple Power : 10317
Join date : 2010-12-21
Age : 24
Alignment : Lawful Good
Location : Calgary, Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:30 pm

Our Idiot Brother
Note: It's impossible to discuss some of the problems with Our Idiot Brother without dipping into spoiler territory, so here's your spoiler warning. If you don't want to get the basic gist of how the film will end, don't read this review until after you've seen the movie.

Our Idiot Brother is searching for something. Maybe it's meaning, maybe it's a plot, but there's something missing that it's leading up to but never quite reaches. Much of the film deals with the ways in which a carefree soul impacts the rest of his family, but when it comes time for the negatives to flip around, they do so in basically an instant, rendering any lesson or point without meaning or weight. It leaves the whole production almost meaningless.

Paul Rudd takes the lead as Ned Rochlin, the aforementioned carefree soul. In the film's first scene, he sells weed to an officer of the law, who was in uniform at the time. He explains that he likes to treat people as if their intentions are genuine, as it'll make each person live up to them. It doesn't always work out. It becomes clear as we progress that he's not exactly the brightest bulb in the batch, frequently not understanding even the most basic of situations.

It doesn't matter, as that's where most of the humor is supposed to come from. Ned isn't all that smart or responsible, so his antics will make us laugh. Or so the filmmakers hope. After he gets out of jail, he has to find a new place to live, so over the course of the film, he spends time living in the spare rooms of his mother and his three sisters, impacting each person in some way or another. Actually, he only really factors in on his sisters' lives; I can't think of how his mother gets affected. Maybe there are stresses that get placed on her that we don't learn about. Considering Ned has never held down a job and he's pushing 40, that's a very real possibility.

The sisters: Liz (Emily Mortimer) is the first one that he stays with, along with her husband, Dylan (Steve Coogan). Eventually, he moves on to Miranda (Elizabeth Banks) and her roommate, Jeremy (Adam Scott). And finally, he moves in with Natalie (Zooey Deschanel), her partner, Cindy (Rashida Jones), and the rest of their roommates. Along the way, he ruins lives and basically makes everyone irritable all the time because of his tomfoolery.

Or, at least he does until the final twenty minutes of the film, where reconciliation and a whole bunch of other sentimental stuff happens. However, the change comes in an instant without any buildup to it, making it feel artificial and lessening any impact it could possibly have. There is literally one scene in which Ned and his sisters are fighting, and in the very next one, they've completely accepted him for who he is and are willing to do anything for him. The audience knows this is going to be the case, as we've been watching him subtly improving their lives, but there's no time for recognition on their parts. They simply figure it out, just like that.

There's no natural progression, is what I'm getting at, although it's not limited to Ned's sisters. He doesn't change at all as the film moves along either, which is a bit of a problem. He's teaching them things, but from beginning to end, he doesn't learn anything. He says sorry for his mistakes, but he doesn't actually gleam some knowledge from them. It's the very definition of insanity: He does the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. But it will always be the same. We understand that, even if he never does. And it's frustrating to watch him go through that, as he is a likable person.

Admittedly, there are scenes that are funny, and I laughed a handful of times as Our Idiot Brother played. Sometimes watching a completely incompetent person act just like that can be funny, and there's nobody better at playing that up than Paul Rudd, who makes it seem effortless. He's still charming and charismatic and all those good traits, but he really gets us to buy into the fact that he is, like the title suggests, an idiot.

The rest of the cast is less spectacular. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of talent here, but they're all overshadowed so much by Rudd that it's hard to even remember a standout scene with any of the other actors. I remembered a dog, though. Willie Nelson, I think was the dog's name. Gee, he was kind of cute, and there's a whole subplot involving Ned trying to get back his dog from his ex-girlfriend, Janet (Kathryn Hahn). So, there's that. Go watch it for that dog. It needs all the support it can get. Or something like that.

Our Idiot Brother is occasionally funny, always charming, but progresses too rapidly near its conclusion, leading to most of it feeling artificial and failing to make its point. Paul Rudd does the most he can in a role that doesn't develop at all, and while the rest of the cast is just fine, their development feels fake. It's a very familiar film, too, and I can't help but feel like it's not worth the 90 minutes it takes to play. I didn't dislike it, but I didn't really have a good time, either. But there's a cute doggy and who doesn't love one of those? I'm torn.
avatar
Movie Martyr
Words Go Here

Posts : 4459
Leprechaun Gold : 21174
Pineapple Power : 10317
Join date : 2010-12-21
Age : 24
Alignment : Lawful Good
Location : Calgary, Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:01 pm

Setup
If Grand Theft Auto was a movie, this is about how I would picture it. All of the free-roaming would be gone, you'd have to go on a series of linear missions, and there would be arbitrary betrayals and character turns just to keep things "intense." Setup is all of this, and if a GTA movie ever does start to be made, it should use this film as an example of what not to do. It's really, really bad and even though it's only 90 minutes long, watching it felt like an eternity.

The film begins with a -- you guessed it -- setup. There's a heist that's being planned, but after it's pulled off (it's not thrilling even though the DVD artwork claims that it's "dangerous"), one of the team members (Ryan Phillippe) betrays the others. He also shoots them, presumably because loose ends are not good things to keep around. Unfortunately, one of them (Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson) survives, and is now out for revenge. Oh, and also the $5 million worth of diamonds that they stole. That might come in handy, too.

So, he spends the next 70 minutes of the movie doing random things to random people, all while trying to hunt down the guy who betrayed him. He goes on various "missions," he interrogates people by placing a gun to their head, and he gets in kinda deep with a mob boss (Bruce Willis, who did not deserve to be billed in a leading role considering he's barely in the movie). It's all basic GTA stuff, except that the time he spends traveling from location to location doesn't exist. Consider for a moment that free-roaming was the most enjoyable part of the Grand Theft Auto games.

You look at the poster to a movie like this and you see a few things. Firstly, there are two guns. That tries to tell you that it's an action film. There's also fire coming out of the bottom corner, so you can guess there will be explosions. And Bruce Willis is on it, so you figure he's in it for an extended series of events. His name is even on the poster, which must mean that he features prominently. Gee, if only movie posters didn't try to sell you on their movie.

Firstly, while guns do figure in fairly often, they're only rarely fired. Most of the time, they're shoved into someone's temple in hopes of getting them to talk. That works most of the time. There are only a couple of shootouts, none of those are interesting, and I can't recall them ever ending in explosions. Bruce Willis is also maybe only in the film for 10 minutes, even though he steals the show for that short appearance. If he was the main character, perhaps Setup would be worth watching.

But it's not. It's so not. It's not even worth discussing. There's a reason that, somehow, a movie with Ryan Phillippe and Bruce Willis went direct to home video. It's just that bad. It's about a guy going around and talking to other people while sometimes holding a gun to their head. And it goes on for 90 minutes like that. And there isn't even any tension because the film opens with the "present day" situation -- where the protagonist is alive -- and then flashes backward two weeks. We know that he can't be killed!

And to top that off, there are random twists and turns in the plot that don't make sense, aren't foreshadowed, and also somehow don't manage to have much of an impact on the story. They happen for the sake of shock, but once you get over that -- and you will very quickly -- you realize that they don't actually make a difference and are there solely for the shock factor. There are also random elements introduced that either get forgotten about or removed so quickly that there is no reason for their inclusion.

Okay, okay, listen to this little gem: 50 Cent somehow manages to be the best actor in this movie. Explain that one to me. He's not a good actor, normally, but here he manages to outshine Bruce Willis and Ryan Phillippe. I mean, Willis is clearly doing this for the money, and Phillippe is one of the least emotional guys still working, but they're fairly big names. And yet 50 Cent shows more emotion and is more likable than both of them. I couldn't believe what I was seeing, to be quite honest.

There's maybe one scene that's worth watching, but that's only because of how silly it is. It involves a character being stabbed to death in a prison. It's funny only because of how many times the attacker gets to stab the man, and because of the victim's reaction afterward. I should feel bad about laughing, but because of the way it was filmed and put together, I couldn't. Also, the filmmakers do this weird thing of zooming in quickly and then suddenly stopping in order to emphasize ... nothing, actually. It's random, and while it occasionally looks cool, it serves no purpose and eventually becomes infuriating.

There is no reason to watch Setup. None. There is nothing here that is of any value. There is no excitement, no thrills, no lesson, and you'll feel like you wasted your life watching it. Your entire life, even though it only lasts for just under 90 minutes. I can't think of a more boring movie at the moment, and this one was supposed to be thrilling. It's like watching the life slowly being sucked out of you. Actually, that would be more exciting. That would at least provide some entertainment for someone, I'd assume.
avatar
Movie Martyr
Words Go Here

Posts : 4459
Leprechaun Gold : 21174
Pineapple Power : 10317
Join date : 2010-12-21
Age : 24
Alignment : Lawful Good
Location : Calgary, Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Xandy on Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:25 pm

Review Citizen Kane.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Wu-Tang is for the children!
avatar
Xandy
Halfblood Prince of Persia

Posts : 5571
Leprechaun Gold : 24774
Pineapple Power : 1164
Join date : 2010-10-09
Age : 23
Alignment : Chaotic Faggy
Location : North North America

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sat Dec 01, 2012 10:41 pm

I have done, actually, although considering that review was done before I had taken any film courses, I can't say I'm happy with it looking back on it.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
You might as well sit back 'cause I ain't tryin' to show maturity.
avatar
Movie Martyr
Words Go Here

Posts : 4459
Leprechaun Gold : 21174
Pineapple Power : 10317
Join date : 2010-12-21
Age : 24
Alignment : Lawful Good
Location : Calgary, Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Xandy on Sat Dec 01, 2012 11:19 pm

Review Citizen Kane 2: Kane Harder.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Wu-Tang is for the children!
avatar
Xandy
Halfblood Prince of Persia

Posts : 5571
Leprechaun Gold : 24774
Pineapple Power : 1164
Join date : 2010-10-09
Age : 23
Alignment : Chaotic Faggy
Location : North North America

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Movie Martyr on Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:23 am

2 Citizen 2 Kane.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
You might as well sit back 'cause I ain't tryin' to show maturity.
avatar
Movie Martyr
Words Go Here

Posts : 4459
Leprechaun Gold : 21174
Pineapple Power : 10317
Join date : 2010-12-21
Age : 24
Alignment : Lawful Good
Location : Calgary, Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by GrinningManiac on Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:54 am

Kane 2 - Mo' Money, Mo' Problems

also the "setup" of Setup is identical to the American remake of the Italian Job

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
मैं हिन्दी जानना चाहता हूँ…અને ગુજરાતી…ਅਤੇ ਪੰਜਾਬੀ…এবং হয়ত বাংলা.
Aprenderé a bailar salsa y nada detendrá me. 对不起我的中文不好,对不起我不知道你说什么。
Не слышны в саду даже шорохи. Все здесь замерло до утра, Если б знали вы, как мне дороги, Подмосковные вечера.
The problem with having an open mind, you see, is that people insist on coming along and putting things in it
- Sir Terry Pratchett
avatar
GrinningManiac
His Grace, His Excellency, The Duke of Ankh; Commander Sir Alasdair Lawrence

Posts : 5597
Leprechaun Gold : 15239
Pineapple Power : 3009
Join date : 2010-10-10
Age : 24
Alignment : Morally Unperturbed Mongoose-Man
Location : England

Back to top Go down

Re: Marter's Reviews

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 24 of 25 Previous  1 ... 13 ... 23, 24, 25  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum