Movie Mania Part 1

Sorry for the 2 month hiatus, been sorting things out offline and online. As such, I’m back with some movie reviews and a little news. I’ll be posting more videos, primarily of gameplay and streaming more on my twitch channel and maybe hitbox. I also had worked for a bit, so I picked up a PS4, so expect a game review or two. Also, I’m splitting these reviews in two, just because there’s 18 movies on this list I want to cover.

As expected with that many movies, they all are very different, so here we go.

Birdman

I loved this movie, granted I am a Michael Keaton fan, but as mentioned in the Robocop 2014 review, I don’t always enjoy the movies he’s in. This is one of the good ones, go see this movie, either rent it or Netflix it. It is worth the watch, Keaton probably should have won the oscar this year, but I can see the others were deserving as well. From start to finish, this movie is complex, dealing with the inner workings of a man torn between what the actors and critics tell him what to do, and what he wants to do. The war between the artistic and intellectual vs the fun and exciting. With an excellent cast, awesome score and fantastic camera work, making the movie with as minimal of cuts as possible. Go see this movie.

The Lego Movie

This movie is great, from the music, the animation, the voice acting and double performances from Will Ferrell, this movie is awesome for both kids and adults. It brings out that creativity and imagination from our childhoods, of picking up those plastic blocks and putting them together in ways the kits didn’t show. I usually would build robots and cars and various things out of Lego. This movie celebrates what its like to be a kid and use their imagination to bring worlds to life. This is a movie worth watching for everyone.

Kill The Messenger

Based on the true story of reporter Gary Webb, as he uncovers reports from various sources into the secret mission of the CIA with rebels in Nicaragua, where the CIA knowingly took drugs and money from the rebels in exchange for weapons to fight their own government. Then turning around and using a middle man to work with drug dealers in various locations in the US to sell to the people. This movie may have been criticized as loosening on the facts in favor of adding Dramatic Tension. So far they haven’t given meaning to their statements. The movie is worth the watch to those that enjoy drama on the screen. With a star-studded cast, delivering great performances across the board. Jeremy Renner gives an awesome performance on-screen. Sure, He maybe Hawkeye in Marvel’s movies, but this is the kind of movie that shows off Renner’s talents as an actor.

The Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies

The movie I saw over the holidays, man was it rough. It’s good, but not as good as the previous two. From the start, this book should have been one, three-hour movie, or two of them, but not three. A lot of the scenes feel like filler, even more so than the first movie. They tried to go big with the action in this movie, like they did with Return Of The King. However, it feels like they were banking on the scene to be more epic. It feels like they tried building it too much. A lot of the choices made feel like rehashing of elements from the Lord Of the Rings trilogy. I may actually check out some of the fan edits that cut the fat of the movies, and maybe I’ll enjoy them better. This one just doesn’t deliver, and I can see why. It just didn’t need to be tree movies. There just wasn’t enough meat on the bone to warrant it. Considering its a short novel to begin with.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

A great action movie, even though its source material is of Jack Ryan Jr. As all the previous Tom Clancy movies, featuring Jack Ryan, are all Jack Sr. This one, being based on Jr’s source material, but being given to Sr, is meh in concept, but in practice, turned out pretty well. Chris Pine and Keira Knightley work out great in the movie, along with Kenneth Branagh as the villain. Good popcorn action flick for those that are fans of the Tom Clancy novels and movies. Although the origin story should have been Jr’s instead of Sr’s. I thought Sr’s origin being told in The Sum Of All Fears worked out better in that regard. Although this one works as a standalone. Definitely worth a watch on Netflix or rental.

John Wick

Keanu Reeves is back in the action movie scene with a lot of his crew member friends from the Matrix movies. As the special effects and choreography teams come back to make a hell of a movie. The cast is awesome in the movie too, . including Daniel Bernhardt and Randall Duk Kim, whom had supporting roles in the Matrix Sequels (Bernhardt was the Upgraded Agent that Morpheus fought on the semi truck and Randall Duk Kim was the Keymaker). We also have quite a few guest stars of various TV shows, including Lance Reddick of Fringe, Adrianne Palicki of Agents Of Shield, Bridget Regan of Agent Carter, and Alfie Allen of Game Of Thrones. The movie is a great action movie, with complex and great fight choreography and gun play. Keanu Reeves is a bad ass in this movie, granted the catalyst for his character’s revenge is a bit odd. Although I understand the meaning behind it, some may not. Still a good movie to watch.

Into The Woods

Yes, I watched a musical, even though I’m not always a fan of them. I was curious, as it was a rental my mom wanted to see, so we watched it with my dad over dinner. Although I think he may have passed out watching it. The movie feels a bit too long, and the intertwining storylines work up until a point. The whole giant revenge plot could have been cut from the movie and it would have worked out just as well. Granted it is based on a stage musical, I don’t know if it worked out as an adaptation. Meryl Streep, while a fantastic actress, really felt to me as if she was intentionally hamming up her singing voice for the sake of “Why am I in this Disney movie?” If you like musicals, you can probably watch it and enjoy it. Its something to turn your brain off to as not much thought is needed to watch, much less enjoy this movie. I just didn’t care for it in the end.

Foxcatcher

Definitely worth a watch, if you’re into true stories. Involving wrestler Mark Schultz, (not the stylized wrestling one sees on tv, the sport that is performed at the olympics). It details Mark and his brother, David’s story of meeting with Team Foxcatcher coach, Jon du Pont and working with du Pont, while trying to get into the next olympics and just after. Steve Carrell as John du Pont is chilling, between the effects make up and his performance, makes it scary. As you see a man who wants to be a coach for wrestling, while not knowing very much about it, go from attaining his dream, to fear of losing it. With great performances by Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum, this movie is worth the watch.

A Walk Among The Tombstones

Adapting from the book of the same name by Lawrence Block, tells the tale of private investigator Matthew Scudder (Liam Neeson), as he uncovers the truth behind the kidnapping and death of a drug dealer’s wife. It’s a good movie, a nice crime drama to watch. Neeson does good work being the investigator, with a good blend of action and drama. Worth a rent or Netflix watch. Interesting choice for music in the credits, a cover of Sound Garden’s Black Hole Sun. Although not the best cover, but I get what they were going for with a soft piano tune.

with that I’ll wrap this up for now, stay tuned for tomorrow. I’ll post the second half tomorrow

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.