Dual Movie Mini Review

So, recently I went and saw a couple of movies, Chronicle, and Hugo. I had been wanting to see Hugo since it came out, as I enjoy Scorsese movies. Even though its different from his usual movies. Instead of me putting this off much longer, as I tend to get lazy sometimes, kinda like Kevin Smith sometimes does. I’m going to move forward and keep going.

Hugo and Chronicle

Hugo and Chronicle

Chronicle

This movie is different from most found footage movies, as it takes the path of having hand-held cameras, but execute them well. It uses the shaky factor sparingly, but goes for a more standard film presentation, where the camera frames the people in the shots, and keeps us interested. I’m not a fan of these kind of movies, as I only enjoy such times when its a documentary, where it’s not staged. To me it seems like the producers and director on the film either are lazy, or are trying to fool us into thinking what’s going on is real. I prefer my fiction in the standard movie format, so that I can see what’s going on, instead of the case like Devil Inside where the car is rolling, but I don’t know what the hell is going on. I have not seen the movie, and from what I’ve heard, it’s very poor. Chronicle however is the complete opposite, it’s an exceptionally executed film. The filmmakers have done their homework, they took what works in found footage movies, and amped it up, in one instance by having the camera in a 3rd person, due to the gifts of the teens in the film. Also, in some instances, with the girl vlogger, hopping back and forth between cameras to show what’s happening.

What I really like is toward the climax, where *Spoiler* the main character is floating above a tower, becoming even more angry, letting the rage build, all while controlling several handycams and cellphone cameras, and our perspective hops between them when he confronts his cousin. I enjoyed the films nuances, and action scenes. The movie is plausible, with its action, to a certain degree, however, the ending is a little odd, but fitting due to the aspirations of the main character. I did catch how people would think that the climax, much like a good chunk of the film is like the Japanese Manga “Akira”, as the climax is almost something right out of that flick. It still hadn’t been really done in a live action setting, and the character needed to do something big, so I let it slide in that regard. The film is a great piece of work, the acting is solid, the plot, while some parts are predictable at times, keeps you interested enough to keep it enjoyable. If you don’t like found footage, you may have mixed feelings going into this movie. I didn’t know until I bought a ticket that it was found footage, until a friend told me. I had seen the trailer and liked what I saw, so I went and watched it in a theatre.  I enjoyed the movie, and would probably pick it up on DVD or Blu-ray when it’s out. The movie can be seen by most people, there isn’t too much blood, gore, or sex in the movie, but because of its film style, it may not be for everyone.

Hugo

I really enjoyed this flick, it is meant for everyone to enjoy, and reminds us how awesome it is to watch movies. Scorsese takes a shot at being a family film director, as he was inspired by his daughter, as she wanted to see a film about this story. So Martin decided to throw his hat in the ring and give it a go and its fantastic. The movie is deserving of all the awards it won for techincals at the Oscars. For 3D, it used it well, a lot of the movie’s enhanced effects work well with its use of it. I’d recommend seeing it on theatres, as it’s definitely something you can take the kids to, and enjoy yourselves with a drink and some popcorn. It’s a movie I could show my grandparents and they would enjoy seeing. The characters are memorable, and you can’t help but become attached to them. Ben Kingsley does an awesome performance as the retired filmmaker Georges Méliès, as the historical figure that the story takes place around. I can’t say too much about adaptation of the book, but if it was nominated for an oscar and well liked by critics, usually its done well. I enjoyed this movie, and will buy it on DVD for my nieces, but probably on Blu-ray for myself. I don’t want to say too much about the story, as I don’t want to ruin it for you.

We get to see however, various actors we’ve seen before in other roles, in the film. Sacha Baron Cohen finally plays a character that isn’t in your face comedy that turns you off, like his Borat or Ali G characters. His portrayal of the Station Inspector is fitting for him, and he shows the emotions of the character’s predicaments very well. We see 2 former Harry Potter actors in this film, Richard Griffiths (Harry’s Uncle) and Frances de la Tour (Madame Olympe Maxime, Hagrid’s love interest) fit the roles of a couple of people who care for one another, but can never see more of each other for more than 10 seconds due to her character’s dog. We also have Christopher Lee [Dooku (Star Wars), Saruman (LOTR), and Ansem (Kingdom Hearts games)] as the bookstore owner, as a small role, but significant enough to the main character. Jude Law plays Hugo’s father, and definitely draws you into the film with his raw talent that he’s shown countless times before. This movie is like eating a fine dessert at a 5 star restaurant, as if it were comfort food, making you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It’s definitely worth a watch to everyone. Go see it, or buy it on DVD or Blu-Ray, it’s an instant classic.

Well, that’s all for now, I still haven’t seen Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance yet, still have mixed feelings about it, but I’ll get to it as soon as I can.

Franken Movie Review: Movies I’ve seen lately…

So, as promised, here is the frankenreview of movies I’ve seen between the postings I made about Batman: the Widening Gyre and Drive.

The Adventures Of TinTin, Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Haywire

The Adventures Of Tin Tin in 3D:

The movie itself is really well done and adapted from 3 of the classic Tin Tin comics. The animation is very well done, and the 3D in this movie works, although I’m not a huge advocate of 3D, its one of the few that 3D is done well, and because its animated motion capture, the 3D does enhance well. The Scottish accent that Andy Serkis (Lord Of The Rings and Kong), puts on Captain Haddock is interesting, and done very well. This movie as a whole is a fun ride, perfect for people of all ages, and fans of the Tin Tin lore, new and old. The action sequences while highly unlikely in some instances, are entertaining to see, and not implausible like that of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom Of the Crystal Skull. It made me feel like a kid again, watching the animated cartoon in front of the small TV in my family home. Definitely see this movie. Spielberg and Jackson do a wonderful job with this movie, and make me look forward to the coming sequels in this franchise.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol IMAX:

This movie is done very well, and the action suits the characters. It brings Tom Cruise back to the action star again, instead of being the scared, desperate man out to save himself and his loved ones (Mi:3 and War Of the Worlds). Jeremy Renner also joins the cast, and does incredibly well as Brant. Unlike the previous films where are only ties to previous iterations of the film series, were characters; this movie uses not only characters, but also plot developments from the previous film. Simon Pegg as Benji, leaves the lab and becomes a field agent, as if he were a fan following in the footsteps of his idol (Ethan Hunt). Although this isn’t new, but its nice to see it as a fresh perspective for the film series. The action is jam-packed and awesome in this film. Stunts are plausible without being completely over the top, as in one instance, Ethan hurts himself while in the middle of a fight in a technologically advanced parking structure. Instead of trying to just save himself or friends or family, Hunt is out to save the world. Brad Bird and J.J. Abrams help bring this fantastic movie into the light, and bring the movie series back into the centre ring for action flicks. This is definitely a watch, not necessarily in IMAX like I saw, but worth watching on DVD and Blu-Ray when released.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011):

This movie is excellently portrayed in its cast selection and very well done as a movie. I can’t really comment too much on the adaptation of the book, as I have yet to read it. For those of you interested in it, but not yet seen it, the plot follows the path of a columnist Blomkvist (Played by Daniel Craig), who is down on his luck with his magazine, he received false information about a person he was writing an article about, and got bad press for it. He is contacted by a wealthy, retired businessman Henrik Vanger (Played by Christopher Plummer) who wants to find out what happened to his grandniece, who went missing and is presumed dead 40 years before. Blomkvist enlists the help of a young woman Lisbeth Salander (Played by Rooney Mara), a researcher and computer hacker to help him solve this mystery. I don’t want to reveal too much about the plot, as it is a great film to see. I will warn people now, that it is not for the faint of heart, or children, due to the violence and scenes of rape in the movie. Those of you who can stomach such things and want to see a great mystery flick, check this out! The atmosphere is exquisite in the movie, the pacing is intentionally slow, as per the usual mystery movie, but it keeps you interested along the way to ensure you enjoy the movie’s ambience and tone throughout. This is a movie worth checking out, if you enjoy these books, and movies from David Fincher (The Social Network). I’m definitely interested in the coming sequels, that have yet to be officially announced, as both Craig and Mara have said they would like to play the roles again for the other 2 stories.

Haywire:

This movie is a little different from the previous ones, while it is shot well, the plot moves at a good pace, it can go either way with what people may enjoy about the movie. I thought it was a good flick, worthy of a rental, or stream on Netflix. It isn’t one of the best, I will admit, but the action sequences are very well done, and fight scenes choreographed near perfection. They use the environment well, with the fight scenes, as anyone with that kind of training would use walls, and other items around them to get the job done. I was surprised to see Michael Fassbender in the movie, I had very little research behind the flick prior to viewing, so I thought it was nice to see him in another movie since X-men First Class. I also do plan on at least checking out Shame, as I hear it’s a good movie. The basic plot has been done before, many times, but at least it’s presented in a style that we can recognise and relate to. The movie is presented in a fashion where you see the character at a particular part in the story, to which referred to as the present time. Then as the movie progresses, time moves forward in the present, while backtracking and explaining how the character ended up at that point, and then once explained, moves forward until the very end, when more backtracking is needed to find out one critical point the main character needs to know. This technique is very prominent in the Ocean’s movies, and as this movie is directed by the same director, Steven Soderbergh, as I’ve noticed that a lot his recent movies, like those of the Ocean’s movies and Haywire, are presented in the same way. The character portrayals are done very well, some may have called the main character’s portrayal to be flat, indicative of the actress, Gina Carano. However in my opinion, the character dictated that behaviour, and the actress was just letting the character’s personality to be known. The other actors in the movie, such as Michael Douglas, Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas, and Bill Paxton do a good job for their characters, as they are good actors to help support this movie. Tatum does a really good job playing his character, and makes me want to see more of his movies, if they’re like this one. He was always the one playing the muscle-bound, highschool girl magnet in previous movies, but with this serious role, he can definitely be said to be a good actor for this time. The movie overall is a little predictable at times, as the basic plot has been done numerous times before, and relies mainly on its cast, action and fight choreography to make it through. It is worth at least a rent for most people who want to see this formula of movie again.

Well thanks for checking out the Franken movie review of some of the flicks I’ve seen lately. I might do the new Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance movie, as I’ll probably see it on a Tuesday Night Matinee with friends, as I hear good things about its presentation, despite misgivings with Nicholas Cage.

Drive

Image hosting thanks to Tingo: University of Leicester Student News. tingoleicester.com

Hey everyone, I know its been a while since I’ve posted anything. Sorry about that, in the middle of small “refreshing” of the house for a near future sell. I had my friend over and we watched Drive, with Ryan Gosaling. Despite my preconceptions with Gosling’s role in previous movies, he does a fantastic job in this movie. This is something to be proud of in his career, working with a fantastic cast that delivers a hit that is a perfect homage to the films of the 80’s. The atmosphere and ambience of the movie is fantastic, I really enjoy movies that take advantage of the screen and tell a story, even with limited dialogue from the main character. Sure its nice sometimes to have a lead role that is witty and engaging to the audience to get a good laugh. However, in this movie, the tone is fairly serious, but it does have some lighthearted moments meant to keep us interested in the character depth. The pacing is meant to be slow, and methodical, but we stay interested because of what is happening on-screen. Some sequences have you feeling tension, as if you are in the driver’s shoes, following him through his exploits on-screen, and of those around him. I couldn’t find any plotholes, as while somethings were expected to happen, as we’ve seen before, at least with the one twist, I noticed anyway, but I didn’t care. It is definitely a movie to see, although I wouldn’t recommend it while children are around, as it isn’t for the light of heart. The director favoured a more direct stance with the action and violence to the movie. I don’t want to give specific examples, as it may ruin the movie for some of you. Some of them are that important to see in the movie. I’ll say this though as an example, when someone is shot, you see it, not just a pan or a cut away and seeing blood on the wall. The movie is almost in a dream-like state when it comes to the Driver’s emotional state with his love interest in the movie. As I said, this movie is a perfect homage to the old 80’s style film making. While some might say it is out of its time, I don’t. I really enjoy this movie and thought that this style of filmmaking is a lost art on modern-day movies. Few movies made today, really make us think, and become involved in what’s going on. It’s just wow-factor in this day and age, what kind of special effects or computer enhanced or generated effects can be done. This movie is exactly what the modern age needed, a practical movie with traditional effects and a gripping story that will keep you involved. With the Oscars looming around, I do agree that Albert Brooks should’ve at least been nominated for his role in this movie. I am a fan of some of the old tactics when it comes to movies, and its nice to see others are still into them as well. The sound track is perfect for the movie, it makes you feel like you’re in the 80’s but you’re in the present. Cinematography is excellent, you see a lot of what’s going on to understand what is going on, and as I said, it tells the story more than just the dialogue does. In terms of the supporting cast, we have Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman, Bryan Cranston, Casey Mulligan, and Christina Hendricks. All of whom play their roles well, Albert Brooks, as I mentioned earlier, is awesome in this movie. He scares the crap out of me, his character being a businessman, kind of throws you off a bit, you don’t fear him, but as the movie progresses and we see his true self, it becomes all too clear that he is the man to fear in this movie. Perlman does a good job as well, being the traditional gangster with ambitions to go further. While being the type of villain we normally see in these movies, he is able to bring the character to life with some of his own flair. Bryan Cranston plays his character well, and keeps an eye on Gosling’s character, being a good friend, although be it a little misguided with some of his own decisions. Casey Mulligan, being Gosling’s love interest in the movie, enjoys his character’s company, despite being a married woman. We see enough of the emotion on-screen between the two characters to know how they feel, without all the physical treatment we usually see when it comes to the main characters in the movie. Christina Hendricks, while her role is short, she plays the role well. Her character may not have a lot of screen time overall, but is integral for the story to progress and for information to be passed to the Driver, so that he can proceed forward in his progression of character and to bring the plot and audience along for the ride.  This movie, being a character and visually driven piece, is definitely something to check out. It is one of the few movies of 2011, that I’ve seen that I would consider a great flick. I don’t want to spoil the story, if you want to know, you’ll have to watch the movie to find out.

Check back soon, as I’ll have a Franken-Blog as it were of other movies I saw over the month of January.