Filmigos - Nice review! Hilarious stuff!
Here's a quick group movie review:
Mission: Impossible I, II, III, Ghost Protocol: 5.5/10
I watched the first two on Saturday and the second two on Sunday-I have some serious issues with this series and it's not because Tom Cruise produces or stars in the movies (I lifted my personal ban on Tom Cruise since I'm getting 3 months of free premium movie channels). My issue is with the absolute bastardization of the original concept of what the Impossible Missions Force was all about. In the original series, the IMF team NEVER killed anyone, we never saw the chain of command that made up the IMF agency and I for one could NEVER believe that Jim Phelps would turn against his own agency for the reasons played out in the first movie. It seems more like Ethan Hunt's character, who took over as a team leader after Phelps, is designed more on James Bond rather than an agent acting on the down low. The IMF team was designed to infiltrate, manipulate and extricate without anyone knowing they were being played by the agency. Aside from the cryptic messages from a higher up (same guy through the entire TV series) that always ended with "If any of your team is captured or killed, the secretary will disavow any knowledge..." and "This tape/recording will self destruct in 5 seconds", I didn't recognize this IMF. An IMF that, rather than work 100% covertly, left footprints of their handy work the size of the Grand Canyon! Phelps always picked his own team too, as did Daniel Briggs, his predecessor, who was in charge in season 1. I suppose this is akin to the situation where people say the movie wasn't anything like the book and didn't like the movie. I can relate. Totally!
And I was really disappointed with the music, especially in the first two movies. I saw in the end credits that Lalo Schifrin, composer of the music in the original series, was credited but aside from the very opening music from the first film, they changed the meter of the music from 5/4 to 4/4 and that's just plain lazy AND wrong. It also listed "The Plot" in the credits which was a piece of music they would use as the IMF team carried out difficult tasks. It was so much fun to listen to as it was played and arranged differently every single episode i.e. in one episode a studio orchestra would play it but in the next episode only a string base (solo) would play the melody. Well, I saw it credited but I don't recall hearing it in the first movie at all. Must have hit the cutting room floor. Thank goodness Michael Giacchino took over the music in the 3rd film and used "The Plot" at the opening of the movie (and later a couple times) and played the theme in the correct 5/4 time signature.
Overall, I am disappointed this was billed as "Mission: Impossible". The show relied more on watching and thinking whereas the movies pretty much hit you over the head. It should have been billed as "Ethan Hunt: Super Spy" rather than stomp on all that made the series great, including the always true, faithful and honorable Jim Phelps character. Show him retire and pass the torch, sure, but to besmirch his name? SHAMEFUL!!!! I wish Hollyweird would quit tearing down heroes.
And if anyone remembers the show but not the music- or anyone who would like to hear "The Plot", naturally, someone put a compilation of different ways it was played in the show on youtube. This is a tiny example though. You can probably catch the show on METV in the U.S.- they rerun it quite often.
ANTMAN - 7/10
The movie was entertaining but a bit predictable and campy (as it was intended, I think). Some have said better than Guardians of the Galaxy, but definitely not, IMO.
duffman- I've seen a half dozen or so interviews with Chris Kyle's widow. She said Bradley Cooper played her husband to a tee. What broke me up though was the real footage of the funeral procession at the end. How marvelous that people would stand along the highway and overpasses to pay tribute to our greatest American hero so far this century. Wish I could have been there.
Hi everyone! Here is my latest review of ANT-MAN
Chappie - 3/10
Dear God... I had high hopes for this film, as the concept seemed really promising, and you could have made so much from that. Instead, the script writers (namely the director Neill Blomkamp and his wife) totally failed, by not caring at all about the tiniest bit of plausibility. I found it really frustrating to watch - the characters just got themselves from one bad situation into the next, even worse situation, and the reasons were almost exclusively people doing unbelievably stupid things out of no believable motivation, or the script writers not understanding how technology works and not having consulted anyone that does, creating the highest amount of plot holes I have ever noticed in a movie so far. Every new turn the story took made me cringe in disbelief. It was just annoying.
Just one example for the plot holes/unbelievable decisions (minor spoiler ahead in this paragraph): Deon creates a true AI and his boss doesn't let him test it, so, of course, he steals a broken police robot and the (only!) usb key that grants access to every police robot, and takes them home to install the AI onto the robot. Aside the fact that he was able to do so in bright daylight without anyone from corporate security noticing, WTF? Why going illegal when you can just go to the nearest IT research facility, show them you created a true AI, and get a f***ing nobel price? Of course that would have made a boring story, but come on - at least try to make it convincing. And the whole film is just covered in plot holes of this caliber, plus tons of incredibly bad luck ex machina.
Okay, enough of the rant - I still give three points, because the cgi and the actor's performances, especially Sharlto Copley as Chappie, are great and made the characters as believable as they could be given the script. The big robot baby is really adorable at times, and the development of his character and his relations to the other characters is probably the best thing in this movie. This sadly wasn't enough though to make the movie enjoyable for me. I payed only 99 cents for the movie on Amazon, but I almost regret even paying those.
Iron Man 3 - 7/10 - Solid fun film, with VFX top shelf stuff.
OK, so I know it's not a current movie, but I'm a busy Dad and I get behind on my movie's. Anyway, I liked the movie, story was OK, it had a start, middle and end. The concept of the Mandarin was fun, (let's hope his VFX team were not using Hitfilm for those propaganda vids). The VFX however in this film just was truly a pleasure to watch. From the basics of a cell phone holo display to a fall on hot glow arm reconstruction, or bad guy breathing fire. Not forgetting the visuals of the iron man suit itself.
Mission Impossible Rogue Nation: 9/10 Here is my review using Hitfilm!
Mission Impossible (5): Rogue Nation: 7/10
Not as good as the fourth one in my opinion. It was still pretty fun, and had some great comedy, but the headline stunts fell a little flat. For all the fuss about the "bit with the plane", it didn't actually have any tension I think, due to it's position in the plot. Contrast this with the Burj Khalifa stuff in 4, or even the wire-dangly bit in 1, and it comes off worse despite the stunt itself being possibly more insane/difficult than either. Does still have some excellent moments and great action scenes.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E: 8/10
I haven't seen the original series, so I can't compare it with that, but I really liked this. Granted, any spy flick set in the 60s (or 70s, or 80s) is off to a good start with me, but this had some real flair and fun to it. My only criticism would be the performance from Armie Hammer, which was a bit wooden in places (I get that his character was supposed to be a Russian no-nonsense, reticient, dead-inside stereotype, but it didn't work for me).
You may notice that I've been watching films with my 2-and-a-half year old.
Surprisingly fun. Good to look at, energetic without being obnoxious, witty characters and a location which should really be used more in films (and has never looked better than in Fast 5).
Probably could have done without the sub-plot focusing on the human characters. I mean, who cares about them?
Yared definitely liked it, because of the "funny birds".
This is an interesting one. My son was transfixed throughout, while I thought it was utter garbage. Obviously different target audiences, but Rio was very much aimed at kids but I could still appreciate it as being a generally well-made movie.
Home, on the other hand, is cynical throughout. It's messages are undermined by the weird casting of Rihanna and the shoe-horning of a million of her awful songs into the picture, none of which fit tonally. The whole thing had a tragic feeling of a fifty year old movie exec trying to be cool.
Character design was deeply uninspired, too. It's a shame, as the short film/extended trailer thing I saw a year-or-so back was great.
That said, Yared loved it. So what do I know?
Big Hero 6 9/10
Gosh, this was amazing. Utterly beautiful to look at, great characters, great story - feels like a proper classic. Yared was too young to watch this one but I'll be introducing it to him in a couple of years.
In particular I loved the concept of a society in which the concepts of (fictional) superheroes and science are entirely normalised and celebrated, rather than considered nichey, nerdy things. The film is about geeks taking over the world, which I can totally get on board with.
Lesbian Vampire Killers 7/10
Ok ok so shoot me the title was on BBC Iplayer and was enough for a look, and to my surprise this was a Jame Corbon movie and actually not half bad, if not mildly titilating (see what I did there!), anyway our younger forum members should please leave this topic now, or continue to snigger at the title.
Apart from the comedy and the simply superb vampire leads (wink) it was acutally nicely put together and had some great VFX moments that I could tottally see being done in Hitfilm.
Plus I am pretty saw there was some Scooby Do gags.
Mad Max: Fury Road: 4/10
I spent all day Saturday watching Mad Max and the 2 subsequent sequels with Mel Gibson. I was stoked for Fury Road but it was a BIG letdown. The plot line was convoluted at best. Fight your way out of a "city" to be chased across the outback and then realize you need to go back because the city is undefended.....BUT.....to get back to the undefended city you have to fight your way back through the ones that were just chasing you?!?!?! All this because the green place you were looking for is now non-existent.
Add to that the new Max. I can get on board with changing an actor to play a character but I don't think Tom Hardy was all that great. In fact, if I closed my eyes and listened to the way he talked, as Max, I might be confused as he sounded more like Michael Keaton's "I'm Batman".
Then there's the bad timing of speeding up of action sequences. It wasn't done much since the first Mad Max but at least in the first movie they only sped up little short clips that didn't affect the overall viewing experience i.e in the first chase scene in Fury Road- they sped the entire scene up. I thought there was something wrong with playback from my DVR and that maybe it had started playing a Keystone Cops or Charlie Chaplin movie. That's how bad it was. The characters flailing around like cartoon characters. There were also several places during action sequences where they sped things up- noticeably- and it just didn't look good.
And did I miss something along the line? Max kept having flashbacks of a girl, memories that were plaguing him but it's unclear to me, anyway, as to who she was. Was she supposed to be a girl that made it to Sydney in Beyond Thunderdome? Your guess is as good as mine. No resolution.
Very disappointing. This review from the guy that likes just about everything.
Insurgent (from the Divergent series): 10/10
I loved everything about this movie. The character development was excellent and the longer the movie went on, the more I wished it wouldn't end. Yeah- that good.
The special effects complimented the situations in the story and were outstanding to boot. I sure hope there's more to come!
The only thing I didn't like- which has no bearing on the meat of the story itself- was the music during the end credits. It sounded like someone put on their favorite mix tape and let it run. lol
Cop Land (1997): 7/10
Well this is confusing. A Stallone film that is, objectively speaking, good. Don't get me wrong I love his usual daft one-dimensional action movies, and that's what I expected here, but it was actually good. Actually fairly absorbing and dramatic. Doesn't make enough use of De Niro though.
Kung Fo Panda 6/10
Didn't see this the first time around, but had some train time to kill and BBC Iplayer let me watch it so hey, here we are post the movie. Not bad, story, bit predictable but ok. Would I watch again, nope not a repeate watcher this one.
Lost River: 6/10
Not only is this a weird story that I'm not sure was all that coherent at times but it's also the only thing I've seen Matt Smith in since his stint as The Doctor.....and he played a real psychotic character at that. Looks like this one was filmed in Detroit, a perfect setting for the type of "lost river" story told here.
The Invasion: 9/10
An interesting psychological thriller that keeps you guessing. Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig star in this new twist on an old concept replete with strange music and not a lot of need for special effects....although what they had wasn't bad.
Fast and Furious 7 : 8/10
The Martian: 9/10
Instant sci-fi classic.
An excellent, engrossing story, based on what I'm told is also a really good book. The author went to considerable lengths to make it as accurate as possible, scientifically speaking, and this carries through to the film - you can actually believe the storyline (the least believable part, sadly, is NASA getting the sustained funding boost it'd need to pull this off...).
Dramatic, good performance from Matt Damon, and the supporting cast weren't bad either. Avoided some of the tropes and cliches, although there was one "anything could go wrong" line, with the inevitable follow up. Some call it predictable, but this film is all about the journey, and that is well told.
It's visually stunning, too.
Sorry, I won't get into specific movie reviews in this discussion but will say that the process of learning Hitfilm has almost ruined the pleasure I once had watching any show.
Last night I found myself counting the seconds between camera shots and examining all the special effects for flaws when I should have just been relaxing and enjoying the show Legends.
Where I would once have rated a show on acting or plot, I now have to add the more technical aspects of film-making to the mix. I just hope I don't start moaning to the point that my wife has to shush me after every scene.
Farscraper - LOL- That happened to me too. You'll get past it eventually. You just have to learn to curb the analytical side of yourself until the second viewing or just make mental notes if you're only watching something once. I always watch something twice before making my mind up if I love it, hate it or somewhere in between. The first time I turn off the analytics, allow myself to get drawn in (if the movie can do that) and the second time I turn on the analytics and take a more calculated approach. I save the second time for rewinds too. Sometimes it's tough not to rewind the first time especially if an effect is extremely impressive. But don't worry, when first getting into effects and editing and all the other trappings of production I'm sure a lot of people go through a phase of "it's ruining my movie enjoyment".
Well, I had to wonder when I read the discussions about fireballs and how RodyPolis.com was going to save us from endless repetition of the same old effects with his Kickstarter.
I mean, I used to think it was all real! As a noob, it's like finding out the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus or Optimus Prime doesn't exist.
Now I feel that becoming super proficient at special effects will bring the same disillusionment to someone like me in the future. How will I explain my betrayal to the human psyche?
Jurassic World: 4/10
I have to admit, I was hoping for better. The story was weak, predictable and didn't make me like any of the characters all that much. The dinosaur whisperer was an odd addition to the mix. Other than that, the story was pretty much routine for a Jurassic Park excuse me- World/dinosaur movie.
Back to the Future I, II & III: 10/10
It's been a very long time since I've seen this trilogy. Despite the obvious green screening (a sign of the times in which it was filmed) I think this series has all the elements that make movies great: i.e. story, characters, plot twists, humor- the whole ball of wax. Okay, I admit I got caught up in the October 21st hype and then Directv ran all three movies on 'On Demand' so I demanded and voila.
Farscraper - "How will I explain my betrayal to the human psyche?" Suspend disbelief? And what do you mean the Easter Bunny, Santa and Optimus Prime don't exist? Don't make me call you an agnostic! ;^)
The 6th Sense: 09/10
At the end of 1999, ABC news had a year end special on their radio network doing a year in review show. They came back from a commercial break and the announcer just blurted out the ending of "The 6th Sense" with no warning. The movie had been released in August and was heading for pay-per-view by January which is where and when I planned on seeing it 'cause I couldn't get to the theater. So, embittered with the knowledge I did not seek, I put off seeing "The 6th Sense" out of spite and there were too many commercials to hold my interest for 3 hours when it hit the cable network channels. Due to a recent free HBO preview weekend, I was able to catch an uninterrupted version and I think it gave me a unique perspective that I didn't think I would appreciate. Even though I knew nothing of the plotline and how we got to the ending, I started picking up on things fairly quickly i.e. Cole's nose and cheeks were always red in Malcoms presence or Malcom and Cole's mom never directly interact when Cole comes home from school or Malcom and Cole never physically touch (I like to think I would have picked up on THAT anyway) and a whole bunch of other tells I don't have time to note. Despite knowing the ending, I enjoyed this one more than I thought I would. I like most of M. Night Shyamalan's stuff and this was no exception.
About Time - 9/10Now, I ain't no soppy film watcher, but I do tend to find films that pack a sentimental punch really resonate with me. I was so pleasantly surprised with About Time - I was expecting a 'Time Traveller's Wife' situation, especially as both were about time travel and both had Rachel McAdams in them. But I was really sold on this one. A simple concept, no need for any effects for time travel because all they had to do was stand in a cupboard and clench their fists. If you're interested in the practical application of time travel to the linear progression of someone's life, then this film will really speak to you - it shows the unimportance of some decisions and the life altering consequences of others. Would recommend for sure, if you want to watch a simply scripted and structured movie with some touching scenes and great acting. Plus, it's set in Britain - what more could you want?
Except for Iron Man, Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy this pre Civil War review of all things Marvel was a big disappointment. First time through with separation of films everything is entertaining enough but a rewatch over a week just...
Look, most of them aren't very good. Sloppy writing all over the place, all the damn foreshadowing is getting in the way of what the current movie is about, there's a shocking lack of originality in terms of staging action climaxes, most of these characters are idiots and not only is Tony Stark a total dick, the end of Iron Man 3 means his suiting up at all in Avengers is, um, basically out of character now.
Winter Soldier can be a 9/10, Iron Man and Guardians can be an 8. Vap: First Avenger gets a 7.5 because, Bucky. (We'll come back to Bucky) Everything else is a 5 or 6--based soley on production values as I was honestly bored for most of them, and would have slept through the ends of several films if the wife hadn't woken me up.
Iron Man 3 is basically unwatchable and can be a 3. That scene where remote-controlled armor grabs people as JARVIS talks about how the suit is functioning past capacity is the exact moment the MCU Iron Man character jumps the shark. I don't know if it's the really poor VFX intercut with spectacular stunt footage, or the way the scene lacks in build (JARVIS says once the task is beyond the suit's power, but never brings it up again. Imagine that scene with actual updates about power levels draining and things in danger of rupturing over torque). Perhaps I don't like the gag where the suit is then smashed by a truck. (Or, after a hypothetical build of damage, have JARVIS announce piwer at zero and have the suit fall apart mid salute.). As you've noticed, I dislike that scene immensely. ;-)
I do know Iron Man 3's character growth in Iron Man 3 is wiped clean in Avengers: Holiday Weekend of Ultron.
Ant-Man is not included in this list as I haven't rewatched it yet.
That said, I am really looking forward to Civil War--I'm team Cap all the way (I cannot understand Team Tony). Part of what makes the Cap movies so strong is that strong theme of mutual salvation between Steve and Bucky. Steve breaks his orders for the first time to save Bucky, Steve makes it clear he is going to save Bucky in Winter Soldier, and Civil War appears to be largely driven by Steve protecting Bucky. With Bucky they made it clear from the start Bucky had love and respect for skinny Steve, and Steve has nothing less for Bucky. Plus Steve still has a good "do what's right" morality--but he is naive and doesn't think about the consequences. Steve's loyalties and the consequences are a great hook for Civil War.
The Boy Next Door: 6/10
This was what I expected but watching it a second time through actually changed my opinion more toward the critical. Here's the reason for me-
This movie has shades of Hitchcock's Rear Window with Jimmy Stewart. One of the points of Rear Window was to film and confine the entire story through the eyes of the protagonist and his view through the window of his small New York city apartment; Disturbia confines our protagonist by modern means......an ankle bracelet keeping him under house arrest that he earns after a few brushes with the law culminating into punching a teacher.....he had his reasons.
By comparison, TBND had a slow build to the climax. Jaylo did a fine job acting but there were parts of the story that could have been written better or maybe even presented better. I never got that "Oooooo, get out of there" urge like Grace Kelly provoked in Rear Window. Something was flat with the presentation in TBND and it was totally predictable- almost text book regarding the antagonist. I guessed a couple of the surprises before hand.....never a good sign to me 'cause I'm pretty dense when it comes to watching a movie for the first time.
Disturbia had a great amount of ebb and flow between intense scenes and lighter scenes for comic relief. The antagonist has the right amount of creep factor and the acting was great. There were a few surprises that kept me guessing where it was going and a great musical score that could make you jump at the right moment....so turn the volume up and have some fun with this one!
@triem23 - I actually really like Iron Man 3, unlike pretty much everyone I know. Things that annoy others I find quite amusing - the whole film has a 1980s unhinged comedy-action angle which is a lot of fun, but seems to have annoyed everyone else (eg the suit hitting the truck).
At the time, all the millions of Iron Man automated suits did seem like a jump the shark moment, as it seemed to make Stark himself superfluous, but they actually end up playing nicely into the events and themes of Age of Ultron - ie, Stark's ambition and AI getting out of control.
That said, Stark blowing up all the suits then suddenly being back in action in Ultron is indeed utterly bizarre.
You're spot on about the climaxes of most Marvel movies being rather poor - that's a precedent set by Iron Man and continued through most of the films, other than Captain Americas, Avengers, Guardians and (maybe) Ant-Man. Over-reliance on CG Big Bads and the heroes being inside suits means that you often have a total disconnect - especially because what the films get most right is character.
The plotting in Marvel films is all over the place, but they've done a great job establishing the core characters. That's the specific reason why Civil War could be a big success - it's the most character-centric plotline they've had for a long while. It's the payoff of all the character building so far.
Oh, and watched Pixar's Brave for the first time with Yared. 7/10. Great fun, loved the character design, and I liked that it was actually quite small scale.
Weird trees, though.
Olympus Down 5/10 : Ok not a great score, and yes I was watching this only becuase my 1yr son was in my arms with a cold but I did watch it. So action a plenty, and watchable but plot and story was a bit far fetched and the bad guys just didn't really seem that well evil.
However, some nice VFX shots and so not all was lost.
Would I watch again : No.
@Andy001z I can't work out whether you're talking about Olympus Has Fallen or White House Down, or making a subtle comment on how they are actually the same film really. I can't even work out if it matters. As it works on many levels, I'm giving your review a 10/10.
I Spit on Your Grave: 1/10
I know this one is a few years old already but I was curious. Well, you know what curiosity did to the cat, right? Yeah- well, this movie pretty much went over the top to prove a point that I'm not sure I understand....that being the glorification of vigilantism. Started out like a typical horror movie- girl goes to cabin in the woods alone to do some writing. Sure- that happens every day. Soon she finds herself surrounded by 5 local guys (one the local sheriff) who proceed to abuse and rape her. She seeks revenge by killing them off one by one. It wasn't so much the weak story line or the subject matter that made me give it a 1- it was the over the top graphic nature of the torture and it's realistic portrayal. You may ask, "Isn't that what you clamor for all the time, SK? Realism?" I would reply, "Yes." But when realistic effects cause one to turn their eyes away from the screen the purpose of the movie has just been defeated......to be watched. I had to turn away in several scenes and I'm not usually squirmy about gore in a horror movie. I expect it to be that way- that's what a horror movie can do. The extent of gratuitous violence in this movie is what appears to have been the only goal/focus for this movie- that being to shock. I don't want to go into shock while watching a movie of any kind! lol So I guess that good ol' curiosity killed me. I DVRed parts 2 and 3......I think I'll just delete them.
Now, how do you unwatch a movie?!?!?!
Zootropolis (aka Zootopia) 10/10
Loved every minute of this. Turned out it was slightly too intense and scary for my son, but otherwise it was a great cinema experience. Aside from the deftly handled themes, great animation, superb characters and great genre observations, it also has probably the most exhilarating visual design I've seen in a movie for quite some time.
The arrival at the city in particular was amazing. Great concepts. It's the kind of the awe-inspiring, innovative location that I want from something like a Star Wars film.
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