Saturday, May 18, 2013

Review: Star Trek Into Darkness


Star Trek Into Darkness  

Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: J.J. Abrams
Writer(s):  Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, and Benedict Cumberbatch
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence.
Running Time: 132 min
Synopsis: After the crew of the Enterprise find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.

What Others Are Saying?

Rotten Tomatoes: T-Meter: 86% "Fresh", Top Critics: 80% "Fresh", Audience: 89% "Like It"
Metacritic: Critics: 73 out of 100, Users: 7.8 out of 10
MRQE Metric: 74 out of 100
My Review

Source Material: Characters based off of television show Star Trek The Original Series, created by Gene Roddenberry. 

Entertaining Value:

  • Action Elements: Oh Yeah....Boom, there was another explosion. If you like action film then this might be up your ally.     
  • Comedy Elements: The majority of the jokes in this film are place their for avid Star Trek fan. "Damn it Jim I'm a doctor, not a movie reviewer"    
  • Dramatic Elements: This film hints at it to a degree with the revenge tone of the film.     
  • Sci-Fi / Fantasy Elements: There was good 1,400 effect shots. With an action space movie what do you expect?    
Cinematic Value:
  • Acting and Dialogue: 7: The acting chops carried over from the first film but there is one guy that everyone will be talking about and that is Benedict Cumberbatch. I personally haven't seen an episode of Sherlock so I can't compare performances, but he did a great job in this film. I believe a major selling point for an actor is how well they can perform as a villain.              
  • Art Direction: 6: I personally don't like a shiney future. I'm more of a fan of a "lived" in future like that of Star Wars.  
  • Cinematography: 8: I think the camera choice allowed for the action to develop. I also like some of the camera transitions that brought the atmosphere that we "the viewer" was in space. Another thing I like was the flow of the film. I felt like I was walking along side the actors.  
  • Direction: 8: The film was very well paced for most part. I think there was some story flaws near the beginning that slowed it down a bit.           
  • Editing: 7: That flow I talked about earlier also was reflected in the editing, which was very nice.      
  • Screenplay: 7: The characters in Star Trek have a good 30 years of development, so fans of Star Trek are going to look for those quirks...When they see them or hear them in the case of a catch phrase, they will think, "That's Kirk I know and love" This film like its predecessor dose a great job of inserting those classic "Star Trek" elements. As far as the story goes I personally thing the events that happen near the beginning could have played out slightly different, because I felt it was a little on "beating around the bush" side. Basically I was thinking the entire time in my head, this should happen or will happen, or I will be mad.
  • Sound and Music: 7: I think the score was classic Star Trek and was very well done.       
  • VFX: 9: I willing to be this film is among the top film in visual effect category at the Oscars.      
Overall: 7.5: I feel overall this film was very exciting and entertaining, I think even more so for a Star Trek fan. I recommend it and it might very well be worth watching it a couple of times.          

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Review: The Great Gatsby


The Great Gatsby 

Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Writer(s):  Baz Luhrmann (screenplay), Craig Pearce (screenplay)
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joel Edgerton, Tobey Maguire,Carey Mulligan
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some violent images, sexual content, smoking, partying and brief language
Running Time: 143 min
Synopsis: A Midwestern war veteran finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbor.

What Others Are Saying?

Rotten Tomatoes: T-Meter: 47% "Fresh", Top Critics: 32% "Fresh", Audience: 84% "Like It"
Metacritic: Critics: 55 out of 100, Users: 8.0 out of 10
MRQE Metric: 58 out of 100
My Review

Source Material: Based from the book with the same name, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Entertaining Value:

  • Action Elements: If you take in account of the atmosphere of the "Roaring 20's" then this film is an action film all the way. This film dose a good job leading us through the life of an adventures "playboy" of the 1920's.    
  • Comedy Elements: This film continues down the road of the 1920's when it come to the comedy in the film, therefore it exemplifies the light heartness of that era.  
  • Dramatic Elements: This is where the film shine brightest. I like how well the film portrayed the themes and motifs from the book.    
  • Sci-Fi / Fantasy Elements: The film plays with some fantasy elements but only in an artistic way. This film is more or less a dramatic comedy.   
Cinematic Value:
  • Acting and Dialogue: 7:  Leonardo DiCaprio recreated Gatsby. I personally like his portrayal. The other actors did a great job as well, except maybe Tobey Maguire. I'm only saying that because he always seem a bit awkward, or even "out of place" in all this roles. So in general Tobey Maguire is already a hard sell. The dialogue is rememberable and quotable.Which I think come from good script writing.          
  • Art Direction: 8: I feel like Baz Luhrmann film's always have good art direction. To me his film are a cross of beautiful and trippy, not psychedelic, but colorful. That might be attributed to the cinematography style he uses in his films. I really love the costumes in this film, I know that's a different department, but bravo. 
  • Cinematography: 7: The cinematography style in this film must be trademark by Baz Luhrmann's "DoP" because as I was watching this film It reminded me of his other films like Moulin Rouge or even Romeo + Juliet. That's not a bad thing, its in my opinion a good thing, make it more distinguished.            
  • Direction: 6: I felt like this film was to much like roller coaster in its fast, then to slow, up then down..ect.         
  • Editing: 6: The editing in this film is weird like most of Baz Luhrmann's films.     
  • Screenplay: 7: I thought the character developmental in this film was fantastic as far as that goes. For the adaption part, I sit on the fence. I barley remember reading the book in high school, which was long enough time ago to forget a good chunk of the story. From what I have heard it is a solid representation of the book.                     
  • Sound and Music: 2: Now for the worst part of the film in my opinion. Everything about the 1920's atmosphere was represented in away that was copacetic, except for music. Who in there right mind decided to mix 1920's music with modern rap. The music was actually a detraction because it didn't fit the atmosphere. Maybe the filmmakers were trying to make the connection that irresponsible party attitude of the "Roaring 20's" is a refection of today. I also noticed that sometimes they would use "rap music" to highlight the black culture having a good time, which I felt was very stereotypical if not border line racist. I don't know what they were trying to achieve with music, all I know is it was BAD.        
  • VFX: 7: The visual effect accompanied the art direction and cinematography very well .    
Overall: 6.5: Strip away the Baz Luhrmann style and this film dose even worse. I feel this film is good for a one time go at the movie theater for the matinee prices, or just waiting and renting it. I think this film is also more enjoyable with a group over watching be yourself.           

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Review: Iron Man 3


Iron Man 3 

Distributor: Marvel Studios, Paramount Pictures
Director: Shane Black
Writer(s): Drew Pearce (screenplay), Shane Black (screenplay)
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief suggestive content.
Running Time: 130 min
Synopsis: When Tony Stark's world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution.

What Others Are Saying?

Rotten Tomatoes: T-Meter: 79% "Fresh", Top Critics: 70% "Fresh", Audience: 83% "Like It"
Metacritic: Critics: 62 out of 100, Users: 6.5 out of 10
MRQE Metric: 69 out of 100
My Review

Source Material: Based of comic book character with the same name, thank you Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.  

Entertaining Value:

  • Action Elements: There is always one thing you can count on during the summer movie season and that is action. Iron Man 3 is chalk full of action.    
  • Comedy Elements: Let's take a shot for every "smart-ass" remark Tony Stark says, and see who gets drunk first. Most of the comedy in this film is in the form of one-liners, or campy slap-stick from Irom Man suits. 
  • Dramatic Elements: Personally I thing this area failed the most. The revenge theme the film was striving for could have been better. In my opinion I think "death" works better than "in the hospital dying" in a revenge scenario.   
  • Sci-Fi / Fantasy Elements: I think some of the Stark-tech in this film was a bit on the lacking side.  
Cinematic Value:
  • Acting and Dialogue: 6.5: Overall the acting was solid. Just look at the cast. I think Terrence Howard has more personality and was a better James "Rhodey" Rhodes but Don Cheadle makes a better "War Machine" but that's not why the score in this category is on the low side. Over doing it on the campy dialogue is what was disappointing to me. I feel this film was trying to focus on a serious themes and conditions like that of post traumatic stress disorder, which Tony Stark showcase through out the film, but then they watered it down with comedy.       
  • Art Direction: 7: The different suit designs were cool.  
  • Cinematography: 7: I sometimes have trouble with action films because the framing is wonky and shaky, therefore the action develops to fast...Iron Man 3 is NOT one of those film.      
  • Direction: 6: Full epicness wasn't achieved. I felt that most of the "epic moment" of the film were turned into humors ones. Besides that the pacing and action seem well choreographed.      
  • Editing: 7: I feel in some parts there was going to be a big reveal like, the under ground hall of suits, but then it cuts to something else. That just might be attributed to my personal expectation of what was going to happen.     
  • Screenplay: 6: Things that angered me: The villains were misrepresented, the person who defeats the villain wasn't Iron Man, not enough time devoted to "Iron Man" aka Tony in suit, to many suit failures...ect.               
  • Sound and Music: 7: The sound track was decent.    
  • VFX: 7: Soild ILM work...even though most of it seem to be a suit fest, especially near the end.    
Overall: 6.5: This film is somewhere between being awesomeness and disappointment, or maybe its just my nerd rage flaring up and it was better than what it seem. I enjoyed the film overall but parts of the film agitated my Iron Man nerd-isms.