James Gunn's wholly original, action-packed, inventive and immensely… MoreJames Gunn's wholly original, action-packed, inventive and immensely entertaining blockbuster space adventure, which has magnificent visual effects and is generously embellished with laughter and downright fun. It concerns a quirky group of misfits who band together to save the galaxy from the evil alien Korath, well-played by Djimon Hounsou and Ronan, nicely played by Lee Pace who both want an powerful orb and will stop at nothing to get it. The group includes a self-proclained legendary "outlaw" who calls himself Star-Lord, played by Chris Pratt in an amazing charismatic breakout performance who was kidnapped from Earth when he was a 11 year old kid, but now possess the orb the villains seek, Gamora, played superbly by Zoe Saldana a green-skinned female alien who was adducted by the villainous Thanos and trained to be a living weapon along with her sister Nebula, Drax the Destroyer, played compellingly by professor wrestler David Bautista a powerful warrior who is out for vengeance after his family was murdered by Rona, a Kree alien madman in league with Thanos, and two wonderfully animated CGI thugs, beginning with the scene-stealing, gun-toting Rocket Raccoon, voiced terrifically by Bradley Cooper who is a bounty hunter and a mercenary with a bad attitude due to the fact he's a product of genetic experiments by some unknown madman, and then there is Rocket Raccoon's faithful muscle Groot, voiced by Vin Diesel who is a sentient, tree-like creature that can stretch to incredible limits, he only saids one sentence " I am Groot." An exceeding well-crafted motion picture with astute direction by James Gunn who gives his visually stunning film enough thrills, laughs and supercharged action sequences for two movies. Solid supporting performances by Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio Del Toro, and Sean Gunn. Another winner for Marvel Studios who has delivered the biggest crowd-pleasing film of the year. Highly Recommended.
A sharp, funny highly entertaining homage to the 1950s monster… MoreA sharp, funny highly entertaining homage to the 1950s monster B-movies, smartly written with fine direction by Ron Underwood. Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward deliver superlative down-to-earth performances as two amiable handymen from Perfection, a small isolated desert town in Nevada who discover that their town is about to be attacked by giant subterranean carnivorous mutant worms with snake-tongues, that borrow through the earth and suck their prey under to their doom, after finding half-eaten victims from these huge predators. But instead of waiting for the authorities, they team-up with a survivalist couple, wonderfully played by Michael Gross and country singing star Reba McEntire, to do battle and defend the town against these monstrous invaders. Solid suspense throughout with outstanding special effects. A rollicking good time! Highly Recommended.
Matt Reeves' engrossing, tremendously poignant sequel is vastly… MoreMatt Reeves' engrossing, tremendously poignant sequel is vastly superior to the original 2011 blockbuster hit sci-fi film "Rise of the Planet of the Apes." It takes place in a post-apocalyptic near future, a decade after the events of original film where a deadly super-virus was released and has wiped out most of humanity. A race of intelligent apes who are led by Caesar, a genetically evolved and hyper-intelligent chimpanzee, who is magnificently played by British character actor and motion capture expert Andy Serkis, who is renown for his amazing motion capture performances as Gollum in the "Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" films, as Caesar in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," and as Kong in Sir Peter Jackson's 2005 remake of "King Kong." The Apes has taken over and are the world's dominant species, Caesar and his kind live in the Redwood forest near to what remains of the city of San Francisco which is now a ruin, they encounter a small band of good humans who need their help and want to live in peace with the apes, but the their peace is about to be shattered by small colony of war-mongering human survivors who have an irrational hatred for the apes and now threaten there existence with their large arsenal of firearms. All will lead to the final an unforgettable showdown and battle between Humanity and the Apes. Astute direction by Matt Reeves, with solid supporting performances by Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Kirk Acevedo, Toby Kebbell, Judy Greer, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Karin Konoval. Visually stunning thanks to the striking cinematography by Michael Seresin, with an haunting score by Michael Giacchio. The film is a technical triumph with dazzling CGI visual effects and jaw-dropping action sequences. A true epic in every sense of the word! Highly Recommended.
Allen & Albert Hughes's engrossing, stylish thriller which is based… MoreAllen & Albert Hughes's engrossing, stylish thriller which is based upon the acclaimed graphic novel by Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell. In Victorian England a clairvoyant police inspector from Scotland Yard named Frederick George Abberine, played brilliantly by Johnny Depp is determined to capture the infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper despite a growing sense that there is a massive cover-up to protect him. Astute direction by Allen & Albert Hughes, with impressive supporting performances by Heather Graham, Robbie Coltrane, the late Ian Richardson, Jason Fleming, Katrin Cartlidge, Susan Lynch, Paul Rys, Lesley Sharp, and Ian Holm in a regal turn as Sir William Gull. The production design by Martin Childs is magnificent and the period recreation is flawless. A majestic score by Trevor Jones, with exquisitely cinematography by Peter Deming. A well-crafted and intelligent motion picture. Highly Recommended.
Doug Liman's clever and ambitious sci-fi epic is a big and spectacular… MoreDoug Liman's clever and ambitious sci-fi epic is a big and spectacular motion picture, which takes place in the near-future and concerns a military officer, Major William Cage, played superbly and with solid conviction by Tom Cruise, who is forced onto the front lines of a gritty beach battlefield during an invasion against a super deadly alien force, he is killed and immediately relives the same day over and over again, he must somehow find his way out of this time loop nightmare, but a fellow compatriot, a female soldier named Rita Vrataski, well played by Emily Blunt see this ability not as a curse but as mankind's last hope to defeat the murderous aliens. She and Cage become a fighting team and together they engage in the same battle again, and again until they discover their extraterrestrial enemy's secrets. Astute direction by Doug Liman, with terrific supporting performances by Brendan Gleeson, Bill Paxton, Jonas Armstrong, Tony Way, and Kick Gurry. The film is dramatically intense and technically impressive, with striking visual effects and frenetic and magnificent battle sequences. It's cutting edge fun all the way! Highly Recommended.
Clint Eastwood's engaging and highly entertaining big-screen… MoreClint Eastwood's engaging and highly entertaining big-screen adaptation of the long-running Tony Award winning Broadway hit musical which chronicles the rise and fall and finally the redemption of the four young guys from New Jersey who will become the legendary pop group 'The Four Seasons.' Mr. Eastwood, the 84-year old Jazz loving Hollywood icon has delivered another well-crafted and exceptionally acted motion picture with a superlative hand-picked cast. John Lloyd Young brilliantly reprises his Tony Award winning Broadway role as the falsetto dynamo Frankie Valli, the frontman of 'The Four Seasons' in a true star-making turn. There are sensational supporting performances by Vincent Piazza, Steve Schirrpa, Lou Volpe, Kathrine Narducci, and Johnny Cannizzaro. Special kudos to Christopher Walken's compelling turn as the soft-hearted gangster Gyp DeCarlo. Meticulous direction by Clint Eastwood, with terrific cinematography by Tom Stern and a flawless production design by James J. Murakami. The film also features fine stage numbers that included old classics like "Sherry", "Big Girls Don't Cry", and "Walk Like a Man" preformed superbly by John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Vincent Piazza and Micheal Lomenda as 'The Four Seasons.' One of the this year's finest motion pictures, and a rewarding cinematic experience. Highly Recommended.
Robert Stromberg's entertaining dark fantasy is a retelling of… MoreRobert Stromberg's entertaining dark fantasy is a retelling of "Sleeping Beauty." which focuses on the iconic villainess Maleficent, played magnificently by Angelina Jolie in a wickedly game performance. Maleficent was a young fairly princess who was betrayed by a young human male whom she loved. She becomes bitter and vindictive and years later she curses his newborn daughter, Aurora with an irrevocable evil spell. The young Aurora, played nicely by Elle Fanning will be caught in the middle of a feuding war between Maleficent and her former love now King, whom she hates. Good direction by visual effects artist Robert Stromberg, in his feature debut. There are solid supporting performances by Sharlto Copley, Lesley Manville, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, Sam Riley, and Brenton Thwaites. But it's Angelina Jolie who dominates this motion picture with her deliciously malevolent turn, with her ink-black horns, marble white complexion, and high cheek bones she is the character of Maleficent come to life. Superlative production values in art direction, visual effects and costume design. My only complaint is the reliance on a little to much CGI visual effects in some of the action sequences which is sometimes distracting, otherwise it is well worth a look. Highly Recommended. SPECIAL NOTE: This review marks my 500th review on Flixster!
Bryan Singer's extraordinary spectacle is a superhero epic that brings… MoreBryan Singer's extraordinary spectacle is a superhero epic that brings the beloved X-Men franchise back to brilliant form. The films opens in a dark, post apocalyptic world of the near future where mutants and their human sympathizers are all prisoners in a sort of dentation center in New York City's Central Park. Also in this time the few remaining free Mutants are being hunted down by Sentinels, a race of murderous, unstoppable robots created to exterminate all mutants. Professor Charles Xavier along with his former-foe-now ally Magneto played to perfection by Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen join forces, they have the powerful telepath Kitty Pryde, nicely played by Ellen Page transport the consciousness of the Wolverine, played with great gusto and a witty sarcastic humor by Hugh Jackman back to 1973, in an desperate attempt to stop the blue skinned shape-shifting mutant Raven/Mystique, superbly played by Jennifer Lawrence from assassinating Dr. Bolivar Trask, the genius mastermind creator of the Sentinels, he is played by Peter Dinkage in a truly impressive performance. If the Wolverine can stop Raven from killing Dr.Trask the program for the Sentinel maybe cancelled and the future saved. But first Wolverine must enlisted the help of both the young Professor Xavier, played marvelously by James McAvoy and the young Magneto, played flawlessly by Michael Fassbender who is now a prisoner in a special cell a hundred floors below the Pentagon. Needless to say breaking Magneto out from his high-security Pentagon prison is not going to be easy, so Wolverine and Hank McCoy/Beast, wonderfully played by Nicholas Hoult get some special help from a new silver-haired mutant who moves so fast that he is invisible, his named is Quicksilver, played terrifically by Evan Peters in a short but unforgettable scene-stealing performance, his show-stopping scene in the Pentagon prison is a highlight of this amazing film. Once they free Magneto the race is on to stop Raven, and prevent Dr.Trask's Sentinel weapons program to go online which will result in the destruction of both the mutant's and mankind's future. Astute direction by Bryan Singer who gives us a fully satisfying and spectacularly entertaining film. Magnificent visual effects and truly jaw-dropping action sequences, with a clever and cerebral script by Simon Kinberg, Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn. One of the great event films of 2014. A masterpiece. Highly Recommended.
Marc Wedd's entertaining and highly enjoyable sequel to the first… MoreMarc Wedd's entertaining and highly enjoyable sequel to the first Spider-Man reboot film that does not have the level of sophistication and excellence that Marvel's superior superhero epic "Captain American: Winter Soldier" has, but it is well-crafted and fun popcorn diversion. This time out Peter Parker, played superbly by Andrew Garfield begins to have trouble with his double life, as his sexy girlfriend Gwen Stacy played wonderfully by Emma Stone is tired of it and breaks up with Parker. But Parker has something bigger to worry about two new super-villains threaten the city. The powerful Electro with his pale blue skin and prominent veins, he radiates and shoots deadly electric current from his body, he is well played by Jamie Foxx, and Parker's childhood friend Harry Osborn, played chillingly by Dane DeHaan who will transform into the evil Green Goblin. One of the best things in the film is the relationship between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy who's relationship is both moving and complex, and Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone make it real with their genuine chemistry. Gripping action sequences with epic battles with dazzling visual effects make this film come alive. Astute direction by Marc Webb who directed the first Spider-Man reboot, and makes the sequel far better than the first film. Highly Recommended.