Sunday, December 30, 2012

Review: Django Unchained


Django Unchained

Distributor: Weinstein Company
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writer(s): Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong graphic violence throughout, a vicious fight, language and some nudity.
Running Time: 165 min
Synopsis: With the help of his mentor, a slave-turned-bounty hunter sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner.

What Others Are Saying?

Rotten Tomatoes: T-Meter: 89% (Fresh), Top Critics: 79% (Rotten), Audience: 94% (Like It)
Metacritic: Critics: 81 out of 100, Users: 8.0 out of 10
MRQE Metric: 80 out of 100
My Review

Source Material: The Head of Quentin Tarantino and company.  

Entertaining Value:

  • Action Elements: This film isn't action pack, but it has it far share of action, and blood, and guts ect. Its a a quintessential guys movie, would Tarantino have any other way.  
  • Comedy Elements: This film inst a comedy by far, but it have a good amount of humorous lines. 
  • Dramatic Elements: This were the movie takes the cake mainly because Tarantino knows dialogue and how to make well written characters, now more than ever. He seem to even cast the perfect people as well. I hope to see some nomination out this film.
  • Sci-Fi / Fantasy Elements: This film is a period piece so the visual effect were in the form of fake blood and gun shots. 
Cinematic Value:
  • Acting and Dialogue: 9: Most of people who are fans of Quentin Tarantino film knows the man can damn right write good dialogue. Django Unchained is very much his handy work but a bit better. The words coming out the actors mouths fit the character to a tee, more then they did in his earlier work. Heck we started to see this evolution of his work a few years back with Inglourious Basterds. The actors themselves were also golden. I mean Oscar golden. 
  • Art Direction: 8: Got love the western backdrop meeting with the deep south. There was a good amount of locations most of them fitting the bill for the scene.
  • Cinematography: 8.5: With every Quentin Tarantino film there are those special camera choice that seem to end up in everyone of his film. That's not bad it just a signature, and I like it. I think its fun and brings a new perceptive to the scene.   
  • Direction: 9: I thought the pacing of the film was good. Like most of Tarantino's work the surprising turn around between "acts" was good as always. I personal like a movie every once in while break the mold and step out of it genre and try something new or even crazy.  
  • Editing: 8: I kind of glad Quentin Tarantino didn't break down in acts like he tends to do. I enjoined the story to unfold for itself.  
  • Screenplay: 10: I will say it again and again until it becomes untrue Quentin Tarantino makes damn good scripts with well developed characters and stories. What more can you ask for? I typically like Sci-fi movies but nothing comes close to well written movie. I like Sci-fi for the adventure and the fun aspect not necessarily the writing but Tarantino usually provides both fun and great writing.        
  • Sound and Music: 7: I always think the music choice in Tarantino films are weird but kind of work. The same would be true for this film.   
  • VFX: 7: The FX in this movie and most of Quentin Tarantino film can be done with prosthetic and fake blood, but making believable is hard part. Dose it really matter if it looks real, when a guy arm gets blown off and more blood then normal appears, I didn't think so.   
Overall: 8: Lets just say this will mostly go down as another cult classic like other Tarantino film tend to do, but it was a good movie. I enjoyed myself. I say to all the girlfriends give your man a shot. After you drag him into Les Miserables let him drag you into Django Unchained. I think it will be a win-win. Don't get me wrong Les Miserables was fantastic but Django Unchained might as well be up there with is, especially for the GUYS out there.         

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Review:The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey


The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Distributor: New Line Cinema
Director: Peter Jackson
Writer(s): Fran Walsh (screenplay), Philippa Boyens (screenplay), Peter Jackson (screenplay), and Guillermo del Toro (screenplay)
Starring: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, and many others Dwarves
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images.
Running Time: 169 min
Synopsis: A younger and more reluctant Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, sets out on a "unexpected journey" to the Lonely Mountain with a spirited group of Dwarves to reclaim a their stolen mountain home from a dragon named Smaug.

What Others Are Saying?

Rotten Tomatoes: T-Meter: 65% (Fresh), Top Critics: 42% (Rotten), Audience: 81% (Like It)
Metacritic: Critics: 58 out of 100, Users: 8.5 out of 10
MRQE Metric: 64 out of 100
My Review

Source Material: Adapted from the book titled "The Hobbit" written by J. R. R. Tolkien

Entertaining Value:

  • Action Elements: This film was jammed packed with action. Sadly the critic didn't like the added action sequence, the majority of them seem to agree it slowed the film down, unsaid of making it more exciting like action suppose to do. There was only one add scene that I questioned only because it remind me of Rockem Sockem Robots, but even then it was still a fun an entertaining moment in the film.
  • Comedy Elements: This film is an adventure, and a fun one. In any fantasy story who doesn't love a fun bunch of Dwarves. Personally I think Dwarves are funny
  • Dramatic Elements: This movie didn't hit a large array of emotions like The Lord of the Rings but it showcased a good amount of them, enough to make it feel little more than a fun adventure.
  • Sci-Fi / Fantasy Elements: This film takes place in Middle-Earth, so not having fantasy elements in the film is like not having sugar in ice cream.
Cinematic Value:
  • Acting and Dialogue: 8: The actor they got to play the younger Bilbo was great. He not only matches the nuances of Ian Holm but Bilbo as a character himself. I saw Bilbo not an actor punting up his best efforts to play Bilbo. I enjoyed the cameos from the old cast from Lord of the Rings. I like it when film series keep their worlds tight buy casting the same actors.
  • Art Direction: 9: Peter Jackson and his team at WETA make some awesome stuff that is equally beautiful while at the same time believable. i understand a good part of this was due to the beautiful landscape of New Zealand
  • Cinematography: 7: I personally can't wait to see this film again but this time in 48fps. I know a lot of people say it weakens the VFX and at times it detracting but the film was made that way so I attend to see it in that format. I will make a judgment call then, so for now I will say it looked good.
  • Direction: 8: I think the movies actually flowed well. Yes it’s a long movie but it didn't really feel that long, maybe it’s because I was have a great time. Compared to Lord of the Rings this film is more uplifting and fun. I hate to say this but The Lord of the Rings can become a bit boring sometimes. What I'm trying to say is you would have more luck getting a child to watch the entire movie without getting bored than you would with The Lord of the Rings.
  • Editing: 7: I don't think my eyes are as a tuned to editing as everything else or there wasn't anything god awful wrong with the editing.
  • Screenplay: 9: From the amount of "The Hobbit" I have "read" [I listen to a good chunk on audio books] I was impress with how closely the film and book were related. Some parts of the movie were even verbatim. Let's just say those parts warmed my heart. I also like the add parts to connect the cannon that Peter Jackson created with The Lord of the Rings. This aspect even bleeds into the filmmaking itself, including the music and camera work. Now I know a lot of critics are putting out negative feedback saying things among the line, "This film is draw out and should have been one, 2-2½ film and not three." Personally I can't play the "what if" game, so I won't. This whole time I have been saying this film was very fun and entertaining; the story didn't detract from that.
  • Sound and Music: 7: The score was awesome. It was nice hearing melodies from Lord of the Rings. It was another element that grounds this movie in Middle Earth Peter Jackson has made.
  • VFX: 8: It worked; there wasn't a time in the film I said that's fake and bad VFX. I believe Peter Jackson has improved since Lord of the Rings.
Overall: 8: I personally enjoyed the film and I can honestly recommend it to pretty much anyone, even a family of five. I believe the money spent at a movie theater on this film is very well spent. I think the critics are out of touch with the audience on this one. It might not be a critically acclaimed film like Lord of the Rings but it was a good movie and I'm bold enough to say great.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Review: Prometheus


Title: Prometheus
Distributor: Scott Free Productions
Director:Ridley Scott
Writer(s):Jon Spaihts, Damon Lindelof
Staring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender,Charlize Theron,Idris Elba,Guy Pearce, Logan Marshall-Green,Sean Harris, and Rafe Spall
MPAA Rating: Rated R for sci-fi violence including some intense images, and brief language.
Running Time: 124 min
Synopsis: A team of scientists journey through the universe on the spaceship "Prometheus" on a voyage to investigate Alien life forms. The team of scientists becomes stranded on an Alien world, and as they struggle to survive it becomes clear that the horrors they experience are not just a threat to themselves, but to all of mankind.

What Others Are Saying?

Rotten Tomatoes: T-Meter: 74% (Fresh), Top Critics: 73% (Fresh), Audience: 75% (Like It)
Metacritic: Critics: 64 out of 100, Users:6.8 out of 10
MRQE Metric: 69 out of 100
My Review

Source Material:  Original work written by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof, set in the "Alien" franchise universe.

Entertaining Value:
  • Action Elements: This film was fairly action pack but not overly exciting.  
  • Comedy Elements: A few good one-liner, this film fit the horror sci-fi genre. 
  • Dramatic Elements: Very little, if any.
  • Sci-Fi / Fantasy Elements: Very beautiful.     
Cinematic Value:
  • Acting and Dialogue: 7: Hands down the strongest performance is Michael Fassbender as David the "Prometheus"  android. A character that was build to be visually human but in the inside he's nothing more a robot, therefore lacks a soul and can't understand human emotions. Add in pride and a directive programmed by a master with alternative motives, then the mission at hand, and you got yourself a home brewed complex human machine. His portrayal was brilliant. As far as the other charters go they were average at best. But that may be because they were basically written to die, meaning little to know importance for them to be in the movie, but we can discus that latter on. Personally Guy Pearce should have been used more, or maybe even cast as a different character. I feel his talent wasn't utilized very good. The lead female was good, but not strong of a character as Sigourney Weaver in the original Alien film. I kind of would like to see some of actor that were potential candidates for this film over the actors in the film. Actors like,James Franco or Ben Foster.            
  • Art Direction: 8: The creature design has the same awe but gross awesomeness that the original Alien films. When a filmmaker brings the same craftsmen back from a previous film of his to over see his new project, the results is good. 
  • Cinematography: 7:Personally it was pretty good. I was gladden to see this film was film with Red camera. I m a big fan of digital filmmaking. Don't get me wrong 35mm film is great but some of the digital stuff out now days, primarily Red camera, looks damn good.    
  • Direction: 6: I felt the film seem a bit rushed. There seem to be lit no character development. Like I said before I felt that the majority of the character were written in just to be killed off.    
  • Editing: 6: Personally it was to much like a summer action flick, therefore attributing to its fast pace. 
  • Screenplay: 6: The story I felt was weak. I felt the biggest let down was character development. I feel that there was a whole ship filled with a hand full of crewman with personal motives to why they were there. Once the audience found out why character "A" was there he or she was killed off. I understand you need a good amount of pointless characters to kill of in horror move, but dose every character need to be such character? I also think that part of the reason this film struggles with good writing is because of its identity crisis. It was intend to to be a film set before "Alien" as "prequel" while at the same time be a stand alone film with its own mythology, separated from the mythology created in the Alien franchise. I see this film as more or less as an "Expanded Universe" with origin ties. The redeeming factors of the story was the H.P Lovecraft themes of the film, and the search for ones self and what we truly believe in. Those two aspects of the film reeled me back in, every time back character development cast me out.           
  • Sound and Music: 6: The music didn't really do its job.
  • VFX: 9: The film made a cool looking future that actually looked beautifier in every way. This is one of the strongest attributes of this film if not the strongest.     
Overall: 7: This film was personally enjoyable, mainly on the fact I enjoy a decent sic-fi film. There is a great deal of flaws with this film critical. I can't fully recommend to everyone but overall it was decent to say the least.     

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Review: The Avengers


Title: The Avengers
Distributor: Marvel Studios, Paramount Pictures
Director: Joss Whedon
Writer(s): Joss Whedon (screenplay), Zak Penn (story)
Staring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, and Samuel L. Jackson
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, and a mild drug reference.
Running Time: 142 min
Synopsis: Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. brings together a team of super humans to form The Avengers to help save the Earth from Loki and his army.

What Others Are Saying?

Rotten Tomatoes: T-Meter: 93% (Fresh), Top Critics: 86% (Fresh), Audience: 96% (Like It)
Metacritic: Critics: 69 out of 100, Users:8.9 out of 10
MRQE Metric: 77 out of 100
My Review

Source Material:  Based on the comic book characters created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Entertaining Value:
  • Action Elements: This movie is action packed it was a shame I had to get up so many tines to deal with a toothache. I also damn my balder. 
  • Comedy Elements: I personally was laughing quite a bit. There are a lot of one-liners written perfect for each character. 
  • Dramatic Elements: Very weak in this department of cinema. 
  • Sci-Fi / Fantasy Elements: Its a comic book movie that combines: Aliens, "Gods," Super Soldiers, and Superheros all in one movie.    
Cinematic Value:
  • Acting and Dialogue: 8.5: The performance ere solid. This cast is filled with a great pantheon of good actors. Some more notable actors are  Robert Downey Jr,  Mark Ruffalo, and  Tom Hiddleston. I personally think these guys performed the best.  Robert Downey Jr charisma never failing,  Mark Ruffalo filling big, and  Tom Hiddleston convincing bad guy.         
  • Art Direction: 8: With comic book movies today, I believe its the art director job to capture the vision of the old school (70's and 80's comic style) and modernized (today's style) to new school, without looking dorky or fake. I think this was was done very well in this movie.  
  • Cinematography: 7.5: It was good but personally I think some of action sequence were a bit to chaotic. 
  • Direction: 8: I felt the film started off a bit on the slow side but it pick up pace fairly quickly. The ending was a minor let down but I didn't read the book before hand so I don't know whats to come.  
  • Editing: 8: If there is one "nerd' director that would be Joss Whedon. He is actually know more for writing great sci-fi television series. I like his writing style on this film and how that detail was carry out in the direction.  
  • Screenplay: 9: The story was solid. I like the homage to original avenger's comic. What sold me the most on this movie was character dialogue. This how I see the dialogue between Joss Whedon and his staff:  Joss, "Lets give this line to said character cause it will be funny" everyone else in the room, "No that won't work" Joss, "you want to bet - Hey Robert can you try this line for me, its for kicks" Robert, "Sounds good...says line." everyone else, "this guy knows his stuff maybe" I shared this example because there are so many good line in this movie written perfectly for each character.      
  • Sound and Music: 7: Typical summer blockbuster music. 
  • VFX: 8: There was cool tech from S.H.I.E.D and Tony Stark. The Hulk looked best he's ever had. So over all the visual effects were good.   
Overall: 8.5: This film was very enjoyable. Entertainment Value of this film is perfect. So if you are type of person who likes films only on how entertaining they are, then The Avengers is a perfect movie for you. With that being said the cinematic value isn't to bad either, not necessarily Oscar worthy but over all it was fun. I recommend seeing this one in the theater and bring a buddy cause this film was loads of fun.     

Monday, March 26, 2012

Review: The Hunger Games


Title: The Hunger Games
Distributor: Color Force
Director: Gary Ross
Writer(s): Gary Ross (screenplay), Suzanne Collins (screenplay)
Staring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense violent thematic material and disturbing images - all involving teens.
Running Time: 142 min
Synopsis: Set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister's place for the latest match.

What Others Are Saying?

Rotten Tomatoes: T-Meter: 85% (Fresh), Top Critics: 80% (Fresh), Audience: 88% (Like It)
Metacritic: Critics: 67 out of 100, Users:7.5 out of 10
MRQE Metric: 73 out of 100
My Review

Source Material:  Based on the book with the same name written by Suzanne Collins .

Entertaining Value:
  • Action Elements: This movie had some really good action. It wasn't necessarily "action pack" but it kept you entertained.
  • Comedy Elements: I don't won't to ruin it for anyone but there is two or three actor that makes there scene funny to watch, even though this film not mean to be a comedy.
  • Dramatic Elements: The drama come in two forms, slight love story and psychological turmoil to kill another human.  
  • Sci-Fi / Fantasy Elements: The Sci-Fi elements are there because the film take place in the future. But this future seems lived in or dated and at times retro.  
Cinematic Value:
  • Acting and Dialogue: 8: The performance are solid. Jennifer Lawrence was very good. I sold on her as an actress, so far, X-men: First Class now The Hunger Games. There were some actor I wish I could mention but it will ruin it a tad bit, but they were awesome like usual.    
  • Art Direction: 8: Personally I really like how the "world" or future world was more or less retro 80's meets aristocratic fashion. I also like the portrayal of social class or "districts" in the fashion and art. 
  • Cinematography: 7: Overall it was well done, there was some issues was shake cam here and there. 
  • Direction: 7: I felt the film started off a bit on the slow side but it pick up pace fairly quickly. The ending was a minor let down but I didn't read the book before hand so I don't know whats to come.  
  • Editing: 7.5: Personally I say kudos cause with a "fight to the death" type of film death is spelled with a capital "D" meaning lots of blood and guts. This film did tastefully enough to keep PG-13 rating but still keep that edge.   
  • Screenplay: 8: I really like the post apocalyptic, fight to the death for entertainment sub-genre concept over other  post apocalyptic genres. I thought the love story aspect of the film were on the week side but again I didn't read the books. This could have be one of the detail that were cut in the adaption phase. 
  • Sound and Music: 7.5: The music worked for the film but did pop as much as I wanted to.
  • VFX: 8: I already said I liked the "style" of this film. Well the VFX had a major helping hand in that process I assume. It was future but lived in. It was a future that seem not to distant from now.   
Overall: 7.5: I can say I enjoy this movie and honestly it was worth the money spent on it. One of my friends who read the books said that one of closest adaptions he saw in long while, so that's a plus. He said some of the casting where spot on. You may look at my rating and see it as on the low side, but I'm comparing it to the other major young adult fiction adapted books. I would have to rank them cinematically this way 1. Lord of the Rings 2. Harry Potter 3. The Hunger Games 4. Narnia 5 Every Other Movie That Fits The Category...100. Twilight      

Post Apocalyptic, Fight to the Death for Entertainment Sub-Genre Rant

Before I give my formal review on The Hunger Games, I want to make something clear. Movies or any other form of storytelling is always going to be based off a story already told. There is actually a word for this, is called an archetype. With that being said, guess what, The Hunger Games, and Battle Royal are built upon the same archetypes, therefore both movies will have similar themes, motifs and symbolic undertones. It happens to be that both movies are built on the roman ideal of entertainment known as “gladiators” For those of you who don’t know a gladiator was usually a slave or prisoner who was given the opportunity to fight to the death for their freedom. These gladiators would fight in coliseum as a specter sport. Take the “fight to the death” style of sport and mix it with reality television and what do you get, the plot of numerous movies today, let’s name a few. Besides, The Hunger Games, and Battle Royal, there is at least three films I can name right off the top of my head: The Condeemned (2007), Death Race (2008), and Gamer (2009). I know some of these maybe a stretch like Gamer because of mind control factor, but the fight to the death for entertainment theme is still there. I guess my main point here is that I kind of tired of hearing “This movie is exactly like that movie” Can anyone tell me what the difference between this list of movies are: Avatar, Dance with Wolves, The Last Samurai, Dune, Lawrence of Arabia, Fernguly, and Pocahontas.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Best of 2011 Sorted By Genre

This List is based on the movies that I saw last year, as you can see at the bottom there a good amount of movies I need to see to make a better, "Best of 2011 Sorted By Genre" 

Action: Transformers: Dark of the Moon 
Animation: Rango 
Comic Book: X-Men: First Class 
Comedy: 50/50 
Drama: The Help 
Epic/ Historical: The Conspirator 
Fantasy: Hugo 
Musical: The Muppets 
Sci-Fi: Super 8 
Sports: Moneyball 

Horrible Mentions: Captain America: The First Avenger, Drive, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Source Code, Thor, Warrior 

Movies I Haven’t Seen Yet: The Adventures of Tintin, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Like Crazy, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Tree of Life, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, War Horse