This is a really good localized crime drama situated in Brooklyn. But… MoreThis is a really good localized crime drama situated in Brooklyn. But it's not just Brooklyn. It's one single bar and a small strip of a neighborhood. I really liked they decided to keep the setting small. You get a great feel for how these characters live in the short time you see them outside the focal point of the film through quick cuts and assumed interaction.
Tom Hardy is absolutely great. He's a very strong actor with a very strong look. No blinking at all. A real hard ass. As for the late James Gandolfini, he plays the classic failed gangster who had to succumb to a bigger threat. Now, he's struggling to get his name back to the level it once was. Noomi Rapace does a good job here, too. The aloof love interest and convenient neighbor.
This movie had good pacing, a great script and really didn't have much clutter. The entire time, you've got this feeling the character Hardy plays has something hidden underneath his exterior, but you can't quite put your thumb on it. The film certainly does it's best to try and give it away subtly, but you won't notice. Don't blink.
Caradog James (what a name) gives us a debut worthy of one of the best… MoreCaradog James (what a name) gives us a debut worthy of one of the best CGI science fiction flicks since anything involving Tom Cruise. The Machine might not be as in depth or as long as something you'd be accustomed to with a Cruise film, but there is plenty on the surface with just enough digging up the top soil to find a good product.
Former James Bond villain Toby Stephens is the genius engineer who along with an American scientist of the same intellect, breed the first conscious AI program. It's actually a pretty violent beginning for the machine, who is played expertly by Caity Lotz. She needs the CGI and audio dub to really make her robot self come to life, but it's seamless.
As for the rest of the cast, many of the no-names act their part with a bit of a Total Recall, Blade Runner bad guy in Denis Lawson, who was in Star Wars as one of the pilots in the X-Wings I found out!
It gets a tad heavy on the emotional stuff, but that's mainly because this film is trying to find an even balance between a new world order, action, and emotion production all in one with robots.
If the movie could have expanded into more of the real world, you're probably looking at a fully fleshed out mega movie. Instead, we're left with a pretty satisfying independent feel that plays it somewhat safe with a harrowing ending.
All hands on deck for Tom Hardy in this single location flick. His… MoreAll hands on deck for Tom Hardy in this single location flick. His character is stuck in a car on the way to London from the north trying to sort out his life while simultaneously fix a job at work he's left in the heat of the moment. Hardy is a great actor. Through his performance you get a good idea about who his character is outside the car in every day normal activity. You actually become compelled to stick around to see how he handles the mistakes he is trying to correct over just a hands-free device in an SUV. Now, the movie is not so much a suspense and mystery because of the material, but for the plot director Steven Knight lays out. Not for everyone, but I can respect the effort.
What's real and what's not? Pretty bone chilling with an ending that… MoreWhat's real and what's not? Pretty bone chilling with an ending that only opens up the door for future dread. It's a smidgen hard to follow with all the jumping back and forth between timelines from when they were kids to present day, but the jist of it is the mirror plays tricks on them to protect itself from harm while simultaneously corrupting whoever is in its radius.
Karen Gillan does a wonderful job hellbent on revenge against the mirror's possession in the present based off what happened to their parents because of the mirror in the past. Brenton Thwaites was admiral, but his acting was not the highlight amongst Sackhoff, Cochrane and Gillan. I even thought the kids did a job well done.
It's an intense experience that is light on the gore but heavy on the impending doom that for once is inescapable. Surely there will be sequels. Bring on the illusion.
I will preface by saying I never read the book. Now, based off that… MoreI will preface by saying I never read the book. Now, based off that statement and the PG-13 rating and some of the acting talent in the film, especially the older actors, this movie was stale and frustrating acting wise as much as it was tame and predictable plot wise. This was clearly a movie that needed only a PG rating, but for some reason, they opted for PG-13 mostly because of the "fight" scenes. I'm not too big a fan of child actors in general, but when it feels like there's someone off camera giving them cues on when to speak or when a line is theirs compared to letting it flow freely just bothers me. Too much.
I remember when this film came out people praised Asa Butterfield's performance. So what if the kid can cry on cue? None of his delivery convinced me. None of the other children are worth mentioning. Harrison Ford, for a children's movie, did not convince me as the "evil" colonel with alternative motives. Nobody else really deserves a mention.
As for the science fiction premise...The effects and CGI were well done. A Harry Potter in space kind of feeling with the different groups represented by different animals playing a game (like Quiddich) for clan superiority. Where as HP thoroughly convinced you there was a greater threat alongside its games and side missions, unfortunately this movie put the overall problem of the plot second hand. The resolution was weak, predictable and felt rushed and cut off with the credits rolled.
Surely just another case where the book is better than the movie
You can count on one hand missing two fingers the number of people… MoreYou can count on one hand missing two fingers the number of people capable of playing Hercules on the silver screen. One of them is too old now and the other can't act. In steps the Rock who is both young and fully capable of pulling off a character he quotes he was born to play.
I think what this movie has going for it outside of Johnson's personality and imposing figure are the supporting cast around him. McShane, Sewell, Berdal, Hennie and Ritchie all have a different skill and characteristic to bring to the group. As for Hurt and the brief look at Fiennes, both are adequate.
The plot is pretty easy to follow, even with the twists and turns. The focus is more on the mortal side of Hercules than the fantasy he could bring to the table, which also works in favor. It keeps the movie grounded. For me, the action sequences and heroic feats of Hercules didn't quite give me the "Hell yea!" moment I was waiting for to be like, "this rocked." For a big summer blockbuster, especially with Brett Ratner behind the camera and such a bankable star in Dwayne Johnson in front of it, the whole movie coasted at a nice easy pace from beginning to end.
Another hearty welcome back to the big screen for some of the greatest… MoreAnother hearty welcome back to the big screen for some of the greatest action stars of our time. The third time around, Stallone is joined not only by the originals from the first film and the tag-alongs from the second film, but all the above PLUS some new young blood and old dogs. The best addition by far was Antonio Banderas. Easily the goofiest of the bunch. There was a nice nod at the beginning of the film with Wesley Snipes and where he's been the past few years. The answer is both applicable in the film and real life, which should give you a nice chuckle. Harrison Ford seemed like he stopped by to help in the midst of filming. The best acting in this movie (and there isn't too much of it) is done when the old talent is on screen. Unfortunately, the worst is from the new crew, and if the idea is to keep this franchise going with new actors every few years with a new rising talent of young action heroes, this is not the crop to do it with. I won't get into each actor specifically, but nobody stole any scenes with their acting ability, and frustratingly, the fight and action sequences were too clogged with CGI and green screen and jump cuts to make much sense.
What made the first film decent was it was a new concept. What made the second even better was giving the fans what they wanted with quick, tight scenes and snappy dialogue. What the third feels like is maybe we gave everyone just a bit too much all at once with so many new faces to introduce and wonder if they are a one-time deal or continuing on with the franchise. And Mel Gibson. He just didn't quite nail down if he was a hard bad guy with evil motives, a goofy jokester having a good time being a bad guy, or a cross between the two. He was all over the place, and we didn't even get to see the relationship between his character and Stallone's unfold in any past sequences before it was too late.
Overall, grabbing a few friends to hit the theaters and catch this flick with loud noises and abrasive action (without any blood none-the-less) isn't the worst thing to do on a Friday night.