A supremely different and exceptional post-apocalyptic thriller that… MoreA supremely different and exceptional post-apocalyptic thriller that takes place entirely on a train. It combines a few common themes we've seen from movies like The Hunger Games and 'leveling up' from the lower class progressing through each cart to the upper class. There's also just enough action to make Snowpiercer a viable entertainment flick. Pure science fiction. A failed global warming experiment has the remaining survivors of planet earth trapped on a train.
Chris Evans does a great job as the stoic and flawed leader who doesn't want to be a leader. I won't get too deep into the supporting cast, but they managed to book a handful of great stars to compliment Evans. This movie could have been entirely different and campy if they didn't have the talent players like Tilda Swinton and John Hurt and Octavia Spencer added.
The only downside might have been the need for Evans to pretty much spell out toward the end his whole back story instead of actually seeing it with pictures. There was a lot of dialogue that kept this movie from staying at a steady pace, but at two hours long, it felt already a tad over timed. A pretty good twist and some excellent visuals will definitely keep you glued to the screen.
Where Seth McFarlane hit at every corner with 'Ted", he certainly… MoreWhere Seth McFarlane hit at every corner with 'Ted", he certainly missed a few turns with this one. The entire time I had 'Family Guy in real life but in the West where everyone speaks normally cause it's not really IN the West but no one cares' kind of attitude while watching this. Ted at least made you feel like it was an actual movie separate from his Family Guy shenanigans. The cast is wonderful and there are some "ah ha" moments with cameos, but overall, everyone is underused with weirdly light dialogue for everyone except McFarlane.
Right from the top, if you are not a fan of Wes Anderson, first of all… MoreRight from the top, if you are not a fan of Wes Anderson, first of all shame on you. There is just the right amount of sly dark humor, witty dialogue and and actual thoughtful story will a bit of intrigue and mystery to keep your attention. The plethora of actors involved is also pretty great. Sure it's a movie where the main focus is on Ralph Fiennes and his lobby boy played terrifically by an unknown, but there's a hint of a few regulars Anderson has used before and more than just a cameo from many others to really keep the story interesting. Eccentric and conspicuous all the same, the Grand Budapest seemed like a wonderful fairytale for a fairytale.
Certainly we are not here to watch the next 'Godfather', but Neighbors… MoreCertainly we are not here to watch the next 'Godfather', but Neighbors in my opinion barely reaches the average bar for repugnant and overly gaudy films that have done it better in the past. It's actually one of the films Seth Rogen is in I would rather see more of Rose Byrne and Zac Efron. Considering Rogen is one of the writers, I can understand he likes saving most of the good material for him, but Byrne, Efron and even Dave Franco offer a lot more as a cast than Rogen does individually. Maybe that's just the feeling I had while watching it, but it felt like Rogen wanted to make this a one-man band when he should have used the entire cast more effectively.
There were certain parts I could tell were improvised, much like Rogen and his crew like to do and just pick the best lines to use in the films. There were also certain parts that felt like a Saturday Night Live sketch that definitely didn't work. At all. Now there were definitely parts that deserved recognition for first time on screen accomplishments, at least that I've seen.
Certainly a case the trailer revealed too much of the movie before I saw it and just didn't quite live up to the hype.
Quite a paradigm shift for Jude Law in this safe-cracking caper flick.… MoreQuite a paradigm shift for Jude Law in this safe-cracking caper flick. Really, it's not even that. This is strictly a profile movie of one man's journey on how he tries to cope in the world after 12 years in prison. The opening scene should tell you everything you need to know about the route Dom Hemingway is heading down. Very provocative and racy dialogue along with some incredibly outrageous party scenes. Law clearly took this role for the sole purpose of yelling at the top of his lungs 90% of the time. He's visibly living vicariously as an actor through this role he's clearly having fun in doing. You don't quite know where he's going, what he's doing, or what the point is, but it's still a decent enough ride to sit through.
For slasher films, it is quite inventive. It holds a decent script,… MoreFor slasher films, it is quite inventive. It holds a decent script, better than average gore and action with just enough humor to keep it enjoyable more than being grossed out. In fact, I actually thought it was less gory and bloody than I expected, which I was fine with. The ONLY actor worth mentioning for the terrific job she did was Sharni Vinson. This Australian really offered the only reprieve amongst her fellow actors in this flick. She really deserves aplomb. The reason behind all the killing comes through as pretty obvious half way through the film, but the ride to get to the end is pretty entertaining to say the least.
Coming with me, dead or alive. We only get it once in the film, but… MoreComing with me, dead or alive. We only get it once in the film, but at least that was delivered effectively. Unfortunately, most of the story outside the effects, CGI and gadgetry doesn't quite live up to the billing of what the original did. Not that the original was a great movie to begin with...it was cutting edge for its time. Jose Padilha had to pull a few tricks out to make this newer version feel updated. A bunch of the in-helmet vision and gun play was pretty cool. A real video game-esq feel. As for Joel Kinnaman...did a decent job. No real range needed of emotion, but when he needed to show anger, frustration and/or the occasional cracked smile, his face did all the work. Gary Oldman had a much larger role than I was expecting and Michael Keaton was a below average baddie, but the biggest question mark was the inclusion of Samuel L. Jackson. Total fluff. Pretty unnecessary, too.
There are other movies out there (Dredd, The Raid) that have taken super cop to an extreme and have really put out excellent products. For Robocop? He comes in third place.
Almost seven years between the two. When 300 came out in theaters I… MoreAlmost seven years between the two. When 300 came out in theaters I remember that moment Gerard Butler kicked the messenger in the chest down the well and the ripples it had on the Internet. Unfortunately, there isn't that moment in Rise of an Empire that will stick with viewers, but certainly Eva Green's gothic performance should. Seeing her do 'Penny Dreadful' on the TV side has just added to her mystique. Sin City 2 seems like another role right down her alley. As for Sullivan Stapleton, he doesn't quite command presence on camera like Butler did in the first, but this style of movie has always been more about the physique and showmanship than the dialogue. That's what made the first better than this prequel/sequel. Butler was better in all aspects.
The gore and blood was gratuitous and super CGI'ed. It made me think of Blade when Stephen Dorf has his arm cut off in the fight with Blade near the end and it regenerates with that gloopy effect. Some of the kills were pretty sweet though, and there were plenty to go around with the amount of people on screen. The style of combat on ships was a difference slice to see, but the slow motion style the first movie nailed, especially in that one scene with Butler tearing through a mini army himself, was not quite nailed in this film. Certainly check it out, but just know even though it may seem bigger and bolder than the first film, it's certainly 300 light.
The alpha predator. The big kahuna. Godzilla lives once again in yet… MoreThe alpha predator. The big kahuna. Godzilla lives once again in yet another remake on the silver screen. THIS time around, we have a pretty good cast led by Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). Most of the dialogue is left for Cranston at in the first 30 minutes, because let's face it, with a movie that's supposed to be centered around this monster you don't need much talking. In fact, I'd say Gareth Edwards didn't focus ENOUGH on Godzilla throughout the film. The whole time I'm thinking, man, that's really cool digital footage they have created for this beast, but we don't get much in the way of a satisfying background about him. What you're waiting for the entire movie is the monster vs monster action, and I like how Edwards teases you a few times before finally seeing them fight on screen. The ending is a tad disappointing in the fact the human storyline pretty much becomes useless. If I have to compare this to a recent monster flick, Pacific Rim is the first to come to mind, and I must say I enjoyed my time in the theater when I was watching that rather than this. Expect the sequels in the coming years, but the delivery of Godzilla in this reboot is spot on. The execution for the rest of the film? Can't live up to its size.
Uh oh. Where have you been Tony Jaa? I swear I heard something about… MoreUh oh. Where have you been Tony Jaa? I swear I heard something about his withdraw from society and time away from the movie business, but this might be one of those times he should have stayed hidden. From what I remember about the first film, there were a few good fight scenes, decent editing and sub par acting. When you take nearly all those things and throw them out the door and add horrible dialogue, acting and cinematography on top of that, you have a disaster. A laughable disaster. It was so obvious in some of the fight scenes how slow and calculated certain punches were. RZA is awful, but he must feel like he needs to add his stamp on any martial arts flick as the bad guy. Perhaps he is just having fun in this funny movie. And the main story being about an elephant's kidnapping? There just wasn't anything substantial in this film.