It seems that this is one of those movies hated by the critics, and I… MoreIt seems that this is one of those movies hated by the critics, and I really cannot understand why! It is a crime action movie with everything it needs, directed by David Ayer, written by Skip Woods and Ayer and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. This was one of his best roles, and he finally shows his acting skills! And they are not bad at all compared with the earlier movies he made.
The story of John "Breacher" Wharton (Arnold Schwarzenegger) was a rough one and too bloody at the moments, but the action of this leader of an elite team of DEA agents from the Special Ops Division was what audience expected from the team involved. And the members of the team were well casted James "Monster" Murray (Sam Worthington) and his wife Lizzy Murray (Mireille Enos), Joe "Grinder" Philips (Joe Manganiello), Julius "Sugar" Edmonds (Terrence Howard), Eddie "Neck" Jordan (Josh Holloway), Tom "Pyro" Roberts (Max Martini), Bryce "Tripod" McNeely (Kevin Vance), and "Smoke" Jennings (Mark Schlegel). Everything starts with a raid on a cartel warehouse, in which Smoke - one of the team members is killed, and the team steals $10 million of the cartel's money. But mysteriously the money disappears, and their superior Floyd Demel (Martin Donovan) finds out about it and suspends them for several months, during which they are investigated for the theft. Of course, with no concrete evidence of their participation they are reinstated... but one by one they were hunted by someone!
If you are up for an action movie which is more a mystery-thriller that actually offers Arnold Schwarzenegger and the cool ensemble a chance to act and not just shoot guns, try this one at night.
Realistically portrayed drama of the life in the disadvantaged suburbs… MoreRealistically portrayed drama of the life in the disadvantaged suburbs of America directed by George Tillman, Jr. and written by Michael Starrbury , can bring tears even without melodramatic elements in it. Presenting Skylan Brooks (Mister) and Ethan Dizon (Pete) in the title roles nd casting Anthony Mackie, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks and Jeffrey Wright, the director made simply perfect team. As a genre, I will classify this movie as a coming of age story of two inner city boys. They were left to fend for themselves over the summer after their mothers are taken away by the police for drug possession and prostitution.
The movie concentrates on the two boys who are forced to forage for food while dodging child protective services and the destructive scenarios of the Brooklyn projects. They are faced with more trouble than any child can be expected to bear, and the fragile but resourceful Mister nevertheless finds strength in an idea from a movie, that he can be an unstoppable force against seemingly unmovable obstacles if he believes in the success...
There are plenty of sad and disturbing moments in this movie, but all of them managed to become inspirational and uplifting, because the director offered a glimpse of hope in the continuously degrading American society, especially for the poor. The brotherhood of Mister and Pete was something to make note, as well as the answers on the entire question of morality when people are forced to making ends meet. The film exposes the lack of real role models for the children in the society where the only value is the almighty dollar, and the authority figures were presented as menacing instead of helpful at times.
If you are ready for a dark movie with its moments of humour and lots of charm, while enjoying the innocence and cuteness adjusting to difficult moments of life, please, check this one!
Everyone I knew was recommending this romantic drama directed by Josh… MoreEveryone I knew was recommending this romantic drama directed by Josh Boone, based on the novel of the same name by John Green. Lovely casting of stars Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, and Nat Wolff, with Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, and Willem Dafoe playing supporting roles, contributed to the popularity of this movie, I guess. Woodley plays Hazel Grace Lancaster, a sixteen-year-old cancer patient who is forced by her parents to attend a support group. She hates it, but in her second meeting she meets and falls in love with Augustus Waters, played by Ansel Elgort. The story is pretty straight forward, but I think the movie should be about 40 minutes shorter!
I enjoyed immensely Woodley's performance but to me the last part of the movie was really disappointing - it felt as well as the entire film was dragged as slow as possible - like Hazel's oxygen bottle. The critics and the audience do not share my opinion and this was a film with good reviews and also proved to be commercially successful. I enjoyed the humour and sarcasm and the very believable dialogues, but that was just enough for positive review. The rest was lacking! Teenagers didn't mind, though.
Very different American romantic drama directed by 74-year old Aussie… MoreVery different American romantic drama directed by 74-year old Aussie director Fred Schepisi brings a very odd mixture of characters. It brings the vast experience of a winning director, a mature view of life and immature approach and reactions to events from that life in the story, excellent acting, and it almost seems like a tribute for a profession which started all other professions - teaching! I am glad that was screened in the Gala Presentation section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, but this is not Schepisi's best work - far from it!
The story background is happening at Croyden, a wealthy prep school in Maine that hires teachers for their advanced courses who are accomplished professionals. Jack Marcus is supposedly one of those - a writer and poet who teach the advanced writing class. He loves who he does, he is good in it, challenging and inspiring his students. Describing how good writing creates an image, like Haiku or John Updyke's descriptions, his students understand the significance of the words. But, despite being a published author, he hasn't written or published anything for years, and gets a writer's block when he tries to write. The school literary magazine, which is his pride and joy, is going to be axed for budgetary reasons, and this alcoholic, who arrives late to work and is on the verge of being fired, decides to fight. It is not easy fighting back when school hears that he has been banned from the local restaurant because of his drunken behaviour and his adult son from his marriage becomes estranged because of Jack's drinking and irresponsibility... Jack still does it, with a very unlikely partner!
I think that we would all have difficulty finding a romantic drama these days with such less sympathetic characters as Jack Marcus (Clive Owen) and Dina Delsanto (Juliette Binoche). Old fashioned directing felt very comfortable but the odd thing here was the screenplay. At the end felt like few life moments put together for some eulogy not a carefully edited artistic creation - mainly because of the very unconventionally structured screenplay. It seems that t the end I enjoyed it, but my thoughts are that this could be an outstanding film if the screenplay was different.
Another 2013 Canadian gem, a psychological thriller directed by Denis… MoreAnother 2013 Canadian gem, a psychological thriller directed by Denis Villeneuve. The screenplay was very loosely adapted by Javier Gullón from José Saramago's 2002 novel The Double, and it was an interesting approach to the story. I have some objections to details but, they were nothing major. Jake Gyllenhaal has two characters, which he did professionally enough, as well as his co-stars Mélanie Laurent, Isabella Rossellini, Sarah Gadon, Stephen R. Hart, and Jane Moffat. This film was screened in the Special Presentation section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, and earned five Canadian Screen Awards; Best Director for Villeneuve, as well as a Canadian Screen Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role and Best Picture. Rules in Canada!
Very good cinematography by Nicholas Bolduc starts from the first moments when we are confronted with a man (Jake Gyllenhaal) attending underground club erotic show and later switching to a gorgeous shot of a pregnant young woman sits on a bed, alone. Mystery starts from that moment and suspense last to the last shot!
The movie starts with an opening line "Chaos is order yet undeciphered" which is from the José Saramago's novel The Double. It is interesting that according to Slate, the Enemy is "a parable about what it's like to live under a totalitarian state without knowing it." Important issue for the United States and the neighbours are catching fast on it, as well! Enemy suggests that this tendency to create totalitarian regimes is part of human nature (ask Obama, Bush, Clinton...), that it comes from within us. Director Villeneuve said, "Sometimes you have compulsions that you can't control coming from the subconscious ... they are the dictator inside ourselves."
I admit that I never watched one episode of Dr.Who because I always… MoreI admit that I never watched one episode of Dr.Who because I always thought that they were simply not good enough. I say that after watching An Adventure in Space and Time, this amazingly refreshing British television drama produced to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the science fiction series, I will revisit the first episodes of Doctor Who. To make a movie which tells the story of the show's creation with emphasis on the actor William Hartnell who portrayed the First Doctor, was challenging if you have in mind that there are many people like me who never watched it, and others who never heard of it (yes, billions in China have no idea who Dr.Who was) . One of the best things was that the screenplay was written by the Doctor Who and Sherlock writer Mark Gatiss, which gives us insider's story! I really have to say that I simply loved the movie! And the casting was really something... David Bradley, Jessica Raine, Sacha Dhawan, Lesley Manville and Brian Cox were real stars shinning the brightest possible way under the secure leadership of the director Terry McDonough. Real enjoyment to watch.
I was pleased to learn as much as possible about 1966, and William Hartnell (David Bradley) as an actor and person. And everything starts with the end, where he insults a stagehand who calls him to the set, where the delay caused by his absence is noticed. Hartnell enters in costume, ready to film his last moments as the First Doctor and stands in front of the TARDIS console!
If you want to see how a piece of history was made, with excellent actors, insider's screenplay and directing which was safe and secure to please the crowds, please, do not miss this one. Smooth, emotional, engaging and full with nostalgia and love.
I heard about this film from a friend who went to the European… MoreI heard about this film from a friend who went to the European premiere at the Copenhagen International Documentary Festival where the sold-out screening was held at the 650 seat Bremen Teater. This is very engaging documentary film which follows the world's best bodybuilders as they train and compete for the coveted Mr. Olympia title. I was never a great fan of this type of activity, but having a front row seat to find out about the lives of the top seven bodybuilders in the sport, including Phil Heath, Kai Greene, Branch Warren and Dennis Wolf, was simply, amazing! And, when you have a guy like Mickey Rourke to narrate the film is always pleasant! I enjoyed the appearances by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno and Jay Cutler, as well
It seems that Generation Iron had the biggest documentary opening of 2013, and held position as the #1 documentary in the US at the box office for three straight weeks after its September 20 release. No wonder. The director Vlad Yudin made everything to bring us the reality show "circus" feel to the documentary screen and it kept going with no major flows, of course, if you like reality shows!
It was educational regarding the competitors themselves, their struggles, thoughts... but never went into details of the diet or any of the competitor's workout regimens. Well, maybe this is the product of the times. Nobody is interested in depth anymore. It is entertainment, and entertains really good!
Finally I saw the reboot of Godzilla film franchise... my friends were… MoreFinally I saw the reboot of Godzilla film franchise... my friends were excited to see it, but I waited. For a reason! I am not a great fan of this type of movies. This American science fiction monster blockbuster directed by Gareth Edwards retells the origins of Godzilla in contemporary times as a "terrifying force of nature", but after 40 minutes I was terrified only by the fact how am I going to survive almost another hour and a half! It was unimpressive in those 40 minutes trying to duild up a shaky story around thet stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn, and Bryan Cranston. I am not sure what was the screenwriter Max Borenstein thinking it will look like, but even with the contributions from David Callaham, David S. Goyer, Drew Pearce, and Frank Darabont, did not do well. Directing was on the same level! But if you ask me why did I gave a positive review, I have to say that the special effects, the monsters, and the action in the last two thirds were impressive.
The setting of the film is in the present day, fifteen years after the unearthing of two strange chrysalises in a mine in the Philippines. From the pods two giant radiation-eating creatures, known as "MUTOs", started their destructive trail from Japan, Hawaii to the western United States. Our hero, though, is the third monster to awake, and much larger, more destructive "Godzilla", whose existence has been kept secret by the U.S. government since 1954.
If you like monster movies, this one is one of the better ones... if you do not - stay at home and do not rent it!
This is very well made Spanish-American co-production directed by… MoreThis is very well made Spanish-American co-production directed by Emilio Aragon about a man (Robert Duvall) and his grandson (Jeremy Irvine). Written by Bill Wittliff, it will please you, or disappoint you - depends what were you expecting. I expected nothing, and I got a warm family action drama which has every possible cliché packed in it. And I had to enjoy it, because those clichés were simply adorable!
The story of Red Bovie, a old guy who is forced to abandon his ranch and land in Texas, but is refusing to become complacent in his old age was something I really liked. Even when he discovers that he has a grandson, nothing stops him. He hops in his Cadillac, and hightails it to Mexico. They begin a journey with a frenzied stop in a Mexican town where they meet Patty, who sees in them the hope for a better life. Along the way, there are plenty of shady men to keep the adventure going!
Robert Duvall is the centre of the movie with his amazing ability to attract with acting skills even in his old age. Every moment is simply filled with him, even when he is not on screen, and I can only thank Emilio Aragón for letting that happen! Enjoyable, entertaining, exceptional acting!
This fantasy film directed by Robert Stromberg from a screenplay by… MoreThis fantasy film directed by Robert Stromberg from a screenplay by Linda Woolverton, was something I could really enjoy, mainly due to the amazing acting of the star Starring Angelina Jolie as the Disney villainess character! If you watched Walt Disney's 1959 animated film Sleeping Beauty,, this is almost a live-action re-imagining but portrays the story from the unusual perspective of the antagonist, Maleficent. Direction was satisfying and the stars like Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville were so outshined by Jolie that almost blended with the background. Enjoyable 97 minutes, though. There were $180 million spent, but with the return of $754.3 million, they were obviously used wisely!
The story is narrated by an elderly narrator, and from the first minute you will simply adore Maleficent, a very strong and powerful faerie living in the Moors, a magical realm bordering a human kingdom. Lovely start of the story where she, as a young girl, falls in love with a human peasant boy named Stefan. His ambition to become king is so strong, that, as they grow older, Stefan stops seeing Maleficent and concentrates all his strength to have the crown. An opportunity arises when Maleficent defeats the current king in battle during his attempts to invade the Moors...
A story which hides love in the most unexpected hearts, and showing emptiness in the hearts we should expect fulfilled with love. Dreamy, emotional and dark , but amazingly entertaining!