Category Archives: MOVIES

2014 Movie Rundown

While it is too tedious to create an anticipated movie list for 2014, I thought it would be better to just skim through the 2014 movies and write my thoughts on it.

As we all know, January is the suckiest among all the movie months in the year, it’s studios saying, here is all the crap that didn’t make it last year so go, watch it and give us the money.

 

Robocop (February 12) – Not a huge Robocop fan as I was too young to know the original material. Will probably skip it because I am not interested in the material and the trailer didn’t convince me to go and see it.

 

Pompeii (February 21) – Kit Harrington half naked is probably a good sell since he’s almost always in at least 2 layers of clothing while roaming North but this looks like a history channel documentary of a civilization gone extinct.

 

300: Rise of An Empire (March 7) – I loved 300 but this isn’t anything interesting to me, especially knowing that the Persian Empire could have abolished slavery if they have taken over the entire western world (yes, the Greeks suck because they had slaves).

 

The Grand Budapest Hotel (March 7) – I know nothing about the film but I know Wes Andersen and that’s all the reason you need to see this movie.

 

Noah (March 28) – Not entirely sure if I want to see this because the trailer didn’t feel too Darren Aronofsky-ish. But if they produce a better trailer to lure me into the cinema, will probably see it because the cast and director are great.

 

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April 4) – Not a huge Captain America fan because I am not American and I didn’t live through war times. But the winter soldier plot is interesting enough that I might see this film.

 

Transcendence (April 17) – I am not sure about this film. I think Johnny Depp is essentially Captain Jack Sparrow in everything so it’s hard to watch it just because of him, but if he does another Secret Windor performance, maybe this is good enough to watch. Not sure if Nolan’s stamp would be enough for Pfisher to succeed, the trailer seems way too Nolan-y to think that this is not Nolan’s movie.

 

The Amazing Spiderman 2 (May 2) – Not entirely excited about this since the first one didn’t wow me. It also has a bad case of Spiderman 3 disease (way too many villains) but it’s a superhero movie so I’ll probably see it in a cinema.

 

Godzilla (May 16) – Didn’t know there was going to be a Godzilla movie this year but when I saw the trailer I was sold. That trailer was awesome!

 

X-Men: Days of Future Past (May 23) – Of course I’m going to see this one.

 

A Million Ways to Die in the West (May 30) – I’m a huge fan of Seth McFarlane and I am interested to know what else he can do. Love the cast, love the idea of a western comedy because cowboys telling jokes sound better to me than the Mexican stand offs they often have.

 

Edge of Tomorrow (June 6) – This feels a little bit like Oblivion to me which is why I’ll probably skip it.

 

The Fault in our Stars (June 6) – Love the book, love the writers, love the person playing the protagonist. This is one of my most anticipated movies for 2014 because I am pretty sure that it will make me cry.

 

How to Train Your Dragon 2 (June 13) – Wasn’t able to see the first one in movie theaters so I will see this. The flight sequences in the first one deserved to be seen in a big screen which I why I will give this a chance.

 

Transformers 4: Age of Extinction (June 27) – Marky Mark is not enough to save this movie (remember, he was also part of The Happening).

 

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (July 11) – Rise of the Planet of the Apes is one of the best movies of 2011 and you better believe that I will have tickets to this long before it gets release. Anytime Andy Serkis does motion capture is always a safe bet to see the movie. Can’t wait to see this one.

 

Jupiter Ascending (July 25) – While you might say the Wachowskis have made good movies, I can only say they made the Matrix (which was awesome) and their crappy sequels, so I’m not really all that looking forward to this movie. FYI, they produced V for Vendetta, they did not direct it so they shouldn’t get that much credit for it.

 

Guardians of the Galaxy (August 1) – I am obviously more of a DC fan but the premise of this is way to weird not to see it. The cast is great and it’s probably movie suicide for anyone not to see a Marvel movie at this point (as they all tie in together, except for X-Men and Spiderman, hahaha!)

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (August 8) – I want to see them on the big screen in a big budget film but for a film produced by Michael Bay and stars Megan Fox, this movie can just get off with Transformers 4 and just die.

 

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (August 22) – I do like both Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez but wasn’t a fan of the first one, will probably not see this second one either.

 

The Green Inferno (September 5) – Being an Eli Roth fan, will see this despite the type of movie that it is. Roth can certainly win people over with his psychoanalytic gore.

 

Resident Evil 6 (September 12) – On why they keep on making these movies, I don’t know. It’s probably Transformer’s version with zombies but who cares, people love the game, not the movies.

 

Gone Girl (October 3) – David Fincher’s new movie, I’m in.

 

Interstellar (November 7) – The teaser trailer sucked but it’s a Nolan film which means there is no way I am not seeing it.

 

Dumb and Dumber To ( November 14) – One of the best buddy movies ever made, I just hope Jim Carrey is funny in this one. I really miss his Ace Ventura moments.

 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (November 21) – Loved Catching Fire so I will see this through. The main thing I would like to point out is that I am glad they are splitting Mockingjay into 2 movies because the book was way off its pacing that I’m hoping the movie can resolve.

 

Exodus (December 12) – Noah Part 2 starring Moses? Directed by Ridley Scott starring Christian Bale, I have to see a trailer but not too interested, it reminds me of the Ten Commandments (not in a good way).

 

The Hobbit: There and Back Again (December 17) – Again, an LOTR movie is worth watching because it just is (added to the fact that The Desolation of Smaug was great).

 

A lot of good movies but it seems to me like most movies are blockbusters now which make sense since they are the ones who make money. I am hoping to see more independent films but luckily I am from a country that’s not affected by theatrical releases so I’ll probably see them when I get a copy.

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Little Miss Sunshine (2006) Movie Review

littlemisssunshine_posterDon’t judge me for only seeing this movie now, but I have to say I regret not seeing it sooner. Before seeing this movie, all I knew about it was it was nominated for an Oscar and it had a yellow poster (which you know, means sunshine?). Other than that, none, I didn’t know the story or the cast or that it is so enthralling that it has probably become one of my favorite movies of all time.

 

The directorial debut film of Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (who also directed Ruby Sparks – see Paul Dano reference) written by Michael Arndt (who won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay), the film stars Toni Collette, Steve Carell (apparently before he was famous), Greg Kinnear (who is weird to watch as a dad because he reminds me of my dad), Paul Dano (who feels like he is in everything right now, not that it’s a bad thing), Alan Arkin (argo fuck yourselves), Abigail Breslin (before she grew up to be confused with Chloe Moretz) and two of the cast of Breaking Bad before they started shooting in New Mexico. The film follows basically a weekend on the lives of a dysfunctional family on a road trip from New Mexico to California to get to the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant.

 

What I liked most about this movie were the characters (which were acted brilliantly by the cast). The characters could have felt clichéd with the foul-mouthed grandfather, the angst-y teenager and the couple fighting over money and how to raise the children but they weren’t. They were soulful and heartfelt and felt like real people who are going through this crappy patch of their lives. The story that these people were given was basically road trip family style (of course without the explicit content), the milestones that the film takes gives you more depth into the movie, into the characters and into the lives of these people who you only know from watching a short span of their lives. The writing was also incredible, the dialogue and the pacing of this movie was spectacular. It got me laughing and tearing up all the same time. While I was watching this movie, I couldn’t help but feel like I was part of this family experiencing their experiences and doing exactly what they were doing. For example (and most hilariously), when they took Alan Arkin’s body out of the hospital, I think that that could have been a stupid part of the movie but I think it was the most memorable part of it. You feel like if I had been there, having went through what they had, and wanting to get something, just something, I would do it so that I can just get to where I needed to go. The acting was great of course but the stand out of me was Breslin who really can act. She had the optimism of a child all throughout the film but when she reveals that she does feel insecurities, it nearly broke my heart.

 

What I think the movie could have done better was to explore more on Toni Collette’s character. I just think that out of all the characters in the film, she was the only one without a life out of the family. I mean the dad had a 9-step plan thing, the granddad had his addiction (not saying it’s a good thing), Carrell was this genius, Dano literally had his whole life ahead of him and Breslin had Little Miss Sunshine. All of these was portrayed in the film as the character’s personality away from the family wherein the mom had nothing else to do but to support her family in their endeavours which seems to be a bit unfair. But that is such a small thing compared to the weight of character development in this movie in its entirety.

 

All in all, this movie leaves a lot to you after you have seen it. It gives you a lot to laugh about and a lot to think about, not only about a movie but also of how it generally represents your life. It’s a bittersweet taste of life; on how we are and how are connected through other people by our triumphs and our losses. I really enjoyed this film and it  just touched me so much that anyone who doesn’t at least like it is probably dead inside.

2013 Movie Wrap Up: A Year of Weird Movie Expectations – Disappointments, Surprises, and why it sucks to be a movie enthusiast in the Philippines

 2013 was a weird year for movies for me, why? Because the things that I thought were going to shine didn’t and the things that I didn’t think I would like, I loved. It was also not a great year for superhero movies but an amazing year for intellectual comedies and sequels. For example, Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 were a bit of a set back from the amazing success of The Avengers. Man of Steel and Elysium were just so-so and was not all magnificent (as they should be). I mean this was Man of Steel – a Snyder – Goyer film produced by Nolan himself and it felt untamed. I thought Nolan would provide the leash that Snyder and Goyer needed but this movie was way too indulgent in its action scenes that it erased the good story behind it. And Elysium – I had extremely great expectations for Blomkamp as Dystrict 9 is one of my favorite movies of all time but despite the amazing cinematography and shots of this movie, I think the message missed the mark. And to top it all off, the much anticipated bring back to form movie of Disney – Frozen, was in no way near the tear jerking story of last year’s Wreck It Ralph. Now I do not know if this is just hedging of expectations or what but somehow, these movies should have made 2013 better but they just simply didn’t.

 But on a better note, the sequels in 2013 were amazing, Kick Ass 2, Catching Fire, The Desolation of Smaug and Into Darkness were so good I still think about them very fondly until now. These movies are so good that I cannot wait until the next movie of the franchise is released. The independent films (well, the ones I was able to see, no thanks to their availability) I think were great. Drinking Buddies and The Spectacular Now were so awesome. I mean The Spectacular Now really wowed me to the point that it’s probably my favorite coming of age film (sorry Perks of Being a Wallflower, but a guy with an addiction is much easy to relate to than a guy who got abused). The World’s End and This is the End also proved that comedies can be smart and entertaining and be over the top (haven’t seen Anchorman 2, bohoo for me 😦 ). I mean Edgar Wright’s cornetto trilogy is just a unique blend of movie fan service in his own personal touch. And any Rogen – Goldberg written story could be hilarious because yeah, they made Superbad.

 So like any other year, there were great, good and bad movies (and it’s a good thing I’m cheap because that decreases my chance to watch horrible movies –I’m talking about you After Earth). 2013 wrapped up for me with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. This was extremely disappointing since a ton of critically acclaimed movies hit the cinemas in the last week of December with me not being able to see ANY of them AT ALL. This is the reason why I couldn’t make a top 10 movie list for the year because I feel like I am in no position to establish a great list for 2013. I feel like without seeing 12 years a Slave, Wolf of Wall Street or even Mud, I just can’t bring myself to say that I know what 2013 movies were the best.

 After the bad and the good of 2013 movies, I’m going to segue on a mini-rant on why I have not seen the Oscar buzzed movies for 2013. So if you live in the Philippines, the film festival occurs in the last week of December starting on Christmas day. This so called film festival launches a parade of stupid TV grade comedies that intend to drain the money from movie goers without providing any quality whatsoever. Needless to say, I did not participate in this festival and refuse to acknowledge the trash they put on screen to enrich the money hungry producers who take out the good movies to see just for this laughable thing they call a film festival. I know I can always not see these films but the it really angers me that they pull out the good movies to make way for this crap. And I know a lot of people will call me Hollywood-y and snobby because I prefer to watch other kinds of movies to movies made in my country but those people are missing the point. I plainly like good movies and refuse to watch garbage, whether or not these are made in anyone else’s country or mine is irrelevant. If the Manila Film Festival can dole out a movie that is at least decent (meaning there are not info-fucking-mercial / endorsements during the film, or cast an actor with actual acting abilities, or has any substance rather than playing out the other genders as amusing and not at all socially relevant,), I will go in line to see that movie. But sadly, movies with substance don’t get made pretty often here in the Philippines, and it is heartbreaking. I weep for Philippine cinema that peeked with Muro Ami and slowly died and decayed as we progressively accept a culture that portrays that girls in bikinis as entertainment that includes children as an audience.

My Top 10 Movie Anti-Heroes

And so the summer movie season underwhelmed us but the fall movies give us hope. And while I wait for the better movies to come out, I have been checking my blog for inspirations for what to write since I have been itching to write but cannot find anything interesting. And so with the stats, it looked like the most viewed page on my blog was the Top 10 Villains. On which I thought, hey, maybe I can make the opposite of that and make a Top 10 Heroes list. And I thought about it and grew tired of the idea which was weird because I know that it is a rich subject. But the more I thought about it, the more I understood, I hate heroes, they’re too shiny, too glorified, too perfect to be idolized. They are a manifestation of the ideal dream of perfection too unrealistic to relate to. In addition, they are boring as crap, and lastly, they technically have only one weakness, their hearts, pleh! I think that of all the superheroes I have read and seen, Spiderman is the only one I like. And that is because he opted to take on the responsibility of being a real hero and forget his real life rather than to get some ass. And so, my new idea to write something failed, but from the ashes of this stupid idea came a new one, I could write about anti-heroes; because apparently they are the interesting ones, and of course they are the ones worth watching.

Now, I have searched almost everywhere for the definition of an anti-hero and most of them are the same and did not make that much sense to me. Because to me, an anti-hero is a hero with his own sense of justice, although justice to them might be a bit skewed and this is because of something that damaged them. So to celebrate the awesome anti-heroes, the heroes worth celebrating because they would rather do it their way than fail (my kind of people), here’s my top 10 movie anti-heroes.

10. Wikus Van der Merwe (District 9)

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The guy who opened my mind to the concept of just because something or rather someone feels alien to you, doesn’t mean they are any different than you. The character arc of this guy was just so touching that when you see him at his lowest low, you forget that he aborted at least 20 prawn babies by burning them down.

 

 

 

9. Michael Corleone (Godfather Trilogy)

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 I may not be a huge fan of mafia movies but you can’t say anti-hero without mentioning Al Pacino in The Godfather movies. The most decent among the Corleone sons and he got shipped off to Italy because he was the casualty of the war. And when he gets back, he finds the truth in himself that being determined means you have to step into a few toes and you know, kill off some people.

 

 

 

 

8. Eric Draven (The Crow)

What? You say I look like The Joker?!

What? You say I look like The Joker?!

If you get the chance to seek revenge on people who brutally murdered you and your fiancée, wouldn’t you do it? I think his methods are tiny bit extreme when taking on revenge but you root for him the entire time because he is the hero (technically). His quest for revenge is the ultimate justice and you cannot argue the legitimacy of his actions.

 

 

 

 

7. Lester Burnham (American Beauty)

KevinSpaceyInAmericanBeautyDriveThruScene

Of why we are on the side of the father who wants to bang his friend’s daughter, we will never know. Or probably because we see the kinship of loserdom in him and we want him to succeed because his wife is crazy and his daughter is disconnected and we just want this guy to find some kind of happiness in the world because there is such a thing.

 

 

 

6. Leon (Leon the Professional)

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This guy kills people for a living but has a moral code (no women and children), that’s a good definition of an anti-hero right there. Plus, he takes care of an orphaned Natalie Portman and says no to pedophilia, come on, he’s the complete package. Lastly, he’s got cute quirks like drinking milk which makes him so endearing. I mean he becomes the lesser evil when you see Gary Oldman crazy as shit in this movie.

 

 

 

5. Jules Winnfield (Pulp Fiction)

jules-winnfield-mobile-wallpaperI never laughed so hard from a Samuel L. Jackson performance with the least enjoyable burger meal you could possibly have. His lines, his mantra, his wallet, all so unique to the fact that he is a hitman with spirituality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Tyler Durden (Fight Club)

I'm a girl so this is the picture. Hahaha!

I’m a girl so this is the picture. Hahaha!

You plan to blow up buildings to reestablish a new world order, free from capitalism and the people that rule it all. AND you founded fight club, no one is cooler than Tyler Durden. With his soap making skills and his charms with the ladies (or just Marla) he definitely had a good sentiment in mind but through extreme methods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. V (V for Vendetta)

I am Hugo Weaving behind the mask.

I am Hugo Weaving behind the mask.

Blowing up parliament will definitely send the message that the government should be afraid of its people and not the other way around. And despite him falling in love with a bald Natalie Portman (yes, that for me is a weakness) he still is a bad ass because he transformed Evey to someone who is willing to make a decision that will change the world.

 

 

 

 

 

2. Rorschach (Watchmen)

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Never compromise, not even in the face of Armageddon. I think that is the ultimate anti-hero mantra. The most admirable trait of any anti-hero in my opinion is their unbiased justice, they do not make exceptions in any case and they use their heads and not their hearts in finding the truth and in seeking justice.

 

 

 

 

 

1. Batman (The Dark Knight Trilogy)

Batman-the-dark-knight-8602254-967-1450

And of course, Batman is the ultimate anti-hero, because despite not killing people, he still lives in his own moral code which no one can break. He is insane in a lot of ways, which is why I love Bale as Batman because you know, Paul Bateman, but anyway, as Batman himself said, anyone who dresses up like a bat clearly has issues. But again, Batman may be intelligent and rich but his greatest asset is his sense of justice, his sense of morality and his vow to make sure that injustice will never be unpunished.

So there is it, my top 10 anti-heroes that kicks every heroes butt. Yes, including Superman. Han Solo is probably my 11th and did not quite make the list because money making isn’t really a hero type of thing (and yes, he did help the rebellion but not until his ass was on the line and there’s a girl he wants to.. uummm. date?) And I know, when I saw a gazillion lists for this post, I saw Taxi Driver and a lot of spaghetti westerns and they are not included in the list, why? Because I have not seen every movie made and I tend to shy away from movies that’s not in my era. So anyway, that is it. Hope you like this one. For any suggestions on my next post or just any questions in general, just send me a message or comment.

Elysium – Spoilers and Thoughts

I love Blomkamp, I really do, his work just seems so thoughtful to me that I really love it. You know that one movie that embeds a director in your head forever, for example Nolan with Memento, that’s what District 9 was for Blomkamp. But when I saw Elysium, I felt a little sad because I had mixed feelings about this movie. I don’t know if it was the long wait or that I was tired when I saw it but I left the movie thinking Blomkamp could have done better. Don’t get me wrong, he did good but it wasn’t as amazing as I thought it should be. And to clarify, I didn’t have ridiculous expectations for the movie; I just thought that it would be a lot better than just being decent.

 

Warning, if you did not read the title, this sentiment is not without spoilers so tread likely (Breaking Bad reference, hahaha!)

 

Characters and character development in this movie were not as defined as they should be, especially Max. Max’s character arc was supposed to be I’m selfish to I’m selfless but it just felt like “hey, I’m an ass who is trying to stay alive to hey, I care about the ENTIRE HUMAN RACE, fine, you can kill me”. Oh yeah, spoilers, he died in the end. I just didn’t feel that he went through enough crap trying to save himself and then suddenly saw that glimmer of hope that is in his hands, or rather head, and decided, I’m now ok to sacrifice my life for the betterment of the rest of humanity. I just didn’t feel that there was enough transition for his character to be where he finally ended up being.

 

Next, Jodie Foster’s character was weird (together with her lip movements that sounded dubbed, or maybe she was a heartless robot? I don’t know) because she tries to feel powerful beyond everyone and yet she feels disconnected to both earth and Elysium. She doesn’t feel like she belongs anywhere, not only because of her accent but her being distinguished feels detached rather than powerful.

 

Lastly, I really liked Spider’s character but his motivations are extremely far off. To put this into perspective, he was a mercenary after power ( I assume) as exhibited by him sending people to Elysium for a large fee and also you know, his gunmen. But he wants to take Elysium down, why? Because he wants equality? That doesn’t make sense. Why would a guy interested in money give out charity and want equality. He just seems misplaced. Also, I thought that people from Elysium were idiots for hiring Krueger rather than Spider. If they hired Spider as their earth pawn, then no one can ever disturb Elysium. For one, no one will have the shuttles to get there as Spider has control over it. Second, no technology can be used against them because the mind behind taking down Elysium would be Spider himself. Lastly, if Spider was sitting in a butt load of money, he wouldn’t be interested in sending people to Elysium for a lousy fee to just get deported.

 

There were some hidden meanings that led to confusion. This obviously pertains to the setting. The language and the demeanor of people were peculiar. How? It’s understandable that people from Elysium are detached from earth because that’s how it is today but the way that their leaders behave was particularly weird. For example, it took Krueger’s team only a few hand grenades to effectively crush the most powerful place in Elysium. Why? Because they apparently have robots to watch you tan yourself but no robots to watch over the most powerful people on Elysium. Also, they buy these robots made on earth and for what? Nothing? Well not to guard the mainframe which can damage the entire system. On why that is, I don’t understand. I would like to think that this is because people in Elysium have a false sense of infallibility. They think that no one can touch them therefore no one can ever threaten their status and their habitat for that matter.  This can be true especially with Jodie Foster. I mean she thought she was in charge but then killed by a crazy soldier which makes sense but still disconnected.

 

Also, in a place where people are greedy, of course they had to be or else they would stay on earth, why has it that no one has staged a coup other than Jodie Foster. It was obvious that people who had the power called the shots but why is it that no one attempted to grab it before. I mean was it only Jodie Foster who thought of it and the hacker himself never thought, hey I can reset the system of Elysium, why not make myself richer by becoming president to ensure my wealth?

 

The message gets muddled. I’m all about cautionary tales (or in this case, a story of what is actually happening) but if you want to send a message make it clear. This story felt to me like it’s about immigration but it’s really about healthcare (with the obvious nods on the medbay); but why? Is earth only inhabited by the sickly? Isn’t there anyone going hungry on earth that’s why they are going sick? Or are all of earth’s diseases just congenital or gunshot wounds. People can eat but can’t walk, is that this dystopic future? Because if it is, then they should be happier than they are. In a place where there is no hunger and no war and all you need to worry about is disease, then that’s a pretty good place to be. That can even be considered a little bit of paradise. But the director obviously aimed to show disparity, he made it so clear with just the habitat, but in the story, he only made it about healthcare and it is obvious that the disparity between humans in his world is beyond just healthcare. It is partially about healthcare but not ultimately just healthcare. I just feel that the message could have been clearer and more concise like people are dying of disease because the resources are depleted, there is no food and there is no medication; people are killing off one another to survive due to desperation. I mean in this world, it is more likely to kill someone else and not get caught as compared to migrating to Elysium and not get caught. The reality of the message is just so watered down that it is hard to take a hold of.

 

Was it just me or do you feel the same way about Elysium? If anyone can tell me where the thought went wrong please do, because I really want to like this movie more than I did. These things may not be so apparent in the movie but they did bother me when I was trying to make sense of the movie.

Elysium Movie Review (No Spoilers)

elysium-firstposter-full2

I know this is a late review but I just saw Elysium last Wednesday because it sucks to live in Manila. But anyway, for those of you who follow my blog, you know that this is one of my most anticipated movie of the year. Why? Because of Neill Blomkamp rocks and District 9 is awesome, that should suffice. So for those who still have Elysium showing on theatres and have not seen it, this is my review of Neill Blomkamp’s follow up to District 9.

 

Starring Matt Damon, Alice Braga, Jodie Foster and Sharlto Copley , Elysium is set in the dystopic future 2154 where earth is already a crap hole where poor people live to die. And those who have the money and power built themselves a shiny space station called Elysium just within earth’s orbit to live forever free from disease and the eye sore of earth’s predicament. The story follows a guy named Max who was orphaned at a young age who dreamed to go to Elysium someday.

 

The direction, cinematography and the effects were awesome. And I mean awesome! Despite the use of shaky cam, Blomkamp’s style is definitely unique. He uses the camera with his own touch of genius and it is amazing. I mean the shots of Elysium and of earth on the movie were spectacular, some shots you even think Kubrick. But I think my favorite part of the director’s genius was his effects because the robots were wow. I was just amazed on how he visualized the robots’ movements and how they were so life like. To me, these felt like non-abiding Asimov robots, think District 9 prawns but way better. The thing that let me down a little bit (maybe more than a little) was the story, because towards the end, the story did not feel seamless. It felt a little disconnected which was weird because I know Blomkamp understands story and character well (based on District 9). Also, the character developments were not as deep as you would want them to be. At the end of it, I was left with a few questions about the plot of this movie that I have yet to find the answers. But do not worry; I will post them on a separate review.

 

The acting for sure was superb. We all know Matt Damon can kick ass (he already did this as Jason Bourne), but he really captured the essence of desperation through trying times. You really felt his struggle to stay alive which was at all cost in this movie. Alice Braga of whom I was never really fond off because I hated I Am Legend, was really good in this movie. I really liked her for this role. Jodie Foster was a little weird, she was bitchy for sure but I never felt that she was as powerful as she thought she was (or maybe this was because people from Elysium had a false sense of infallibility, or at least that’s my theory). And of course, everyone was raving about Sharlto Copley in this movie but I have to say, he was better as Wikus. Not that he did not do a great job, he was an asshole, he was creepy, he was menacing but I felt that his power was still an exterior. Although I did wince a lot when he was on screen because I thought he was going to crush someone’s skull at any given moment. But from the cast, I was really impressed with Wagner Moura, he isn’t that well known because I looked him up because I never saw him before but he was good in the movie. Despite my questionable outlook on his character, I think he was the hope that the movie needed and he played being heroic well despite being a thug, which was weird.

 

Despite not being super wowed by Elysium which I thought I would be, I have to rate it as a MUST SEE. If you like action thrillers with great cinematography told Blomkamp style, this is a reason to go to the cinema this weekend. The action was still awesome, the cinematography was breathtaking and the robots were awesome.

Kick Ass 2 Movie Review (No Spoilers)

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As part of my top 5 most anticipated movies of the year, I couldn’t wait to see Kick Ass 2. And after watching it, I must say it didn’t disappoint. Because after an underwhelming summer season (not that all the movies sucked, more like some of the movies I expected to be awesome  weren’t as awesome as they should be) Kick Ass redeemed 2013 movies to a level almost near to Star Trek Into Darkness in my books.

 

Written and directed by Jeff Wadlow with the original cast (Chloe Moretz, Aaron Taylor Johnson, Christopher Mintz Plasse) gotten older and the addition of Jim Carrey, Kick Ass 2 is the story of what happens next after a normal citizen became a masked vigilante accidentally killing a mob boss with a psychotic son.

Kick Ass 2 picked up where Kick Ass left off (SPOILER ALERT!), so Big Daddy is dead, McLovin’s daddy is dead, Kick Ass and Hit Girl are still superheroes and Red Mist (or the Motherfucker) is out for revenge. Hit Girl has to deal with high school and being normal. Kick Ass who feels so vindicated and important having been the first superhero to be noticed has to face the choice of remaining to be a superhero to be someone or leaving it all behind to just be noone. And Red Mist being so pissed off at Kick Ass for killing his father that he chooses to use all of this money, to find Kick Ass and make him pay (in the funniest way possible, not funny haha alright, the funny holy crap what’s he doing kind of funny).

 

Despite being directed by a new director, I think Kick Ass 2 maintained the essence of the franchise. The laugh out loud, absurdly violent, could happen but really couldn’t in cool real life action. The story was a off course typical of a superhero sequel movie, not that it needed to be so original but knowing the predictability of this movie didn’t take any of the “oh shit” moments. The pacing was well handled because there were high school crap in between where Hit Girl had to mask (weird that it was the other way around) that she was the coolest thing since frozen yogurt and try to become normal. The slower parts definitely felt like a good build up to what’s about to happen because any time there was a high school scene, you know that a Motherfucker scene would come and that makes it all worth it. The one issue I had with the direction was the shaky cam. It was dizzying as all hell, it really takes away from the value of the good ass action sequence, it really sucked. But good thing not all action scenes were shaky cam so I am thankful for that.

 

The cast was awesome! Have to say never noticed how hot Kick Ass was in the first one but in this one, woo! He was definitely hot in a nerd look with the abs that can melt butter. Chloe was still good as Hit Girl, although she didn’t have as many ass kicking moments in this one compared to the first, she was still good at what she does. Although she did do this fake smile thing that annoyed the crap out of me during the movie. Not saying she didn’t act well, just saying she smiled in this weird slow moa la Joker style which was weird. Jim Carrey was also good in the movie, he captured the square but crazy kind of guy you know is out there. It’s very unfortunate that he pulled away support for this movie because he really was good in it despite being on it for only a while. The supporting cast was also good and acted well, didn’t really find them as a throw away to the quirky team of superheroes. But despite all of the good things the cast did, for me, McLovin hands down really did this one for me, every time he was on screen I was literally laughing my ass off. I was kind of embarrassed but didn’t care during the movie because I was snickering even when the scene was over. He just portrays comedic absurdity really well that I really wish he would do more movies.

 

In the end for the love of all things that are funny, don’t believe the stupid ratings you see on film critic sites, those people have sticks so far up their  aholes that they cannot distinguish good timing from stupid spoof movies. Absurdity, violence and McLovin? This movie definitely delivered what it promised and despite the use of shaky cam, it is still a MUST SEE NOW. If you liked the first movie, you will definitely love this one. And if you are a fan of good movies, I urge you to watch this one, this is one of the movies that really made me go, that was so good I’ll have to watch it again, which I have to say only happened to me twice this year (the first being Star Trek Into Darkness). I cannot stress enough that this movie will make you laugh, make you cry and make you wonder how is it all possible. It’s definitely one of my favorite films in 2013.

The Wolverine Movie Review (Spoilers)

As I have said, there were some loose ends in The Wolverine that bothers me and this is the time to put it out there.

As I mentioned in my spoiler free review, the 3rd act of this movie was a bit detached from the entire movie because it was so comic-y, kind of like the 3rd act in Iron Man III. To add to that, Viper didn’t do much and I could’ve done without her. I mean the master Yashida could’ve orchestrated the entire thing without needing Viper and just having the ninja guy fetch Mariko AND Wolverine with no problem. I mean if the Black Clan of ninjas have been protecting him all along, why the hell did they need the Viper. I didn’t find her at all interesting; the old guy could’ve been the villain all along without this chick spraying poison over guys’ faces. Some would say it’s to build the adamantium suit and to that, they never said a thing how qualified to do that in the first place. In the first place, Yashida seems to be on the edge of life saving technology even without the Viper’s help so she was just there so we can get a sexy villain who can change her skin without taking her clothes off.

Next on this rant, if you can call it that, was how much adamantium can he get from Wolverine, really? The suit was already built, along with 2 flaming swords, why take Wolverine’s claws. And at the beginning, they said what they needed from Wolverine was his immortality, I would love to get the explanation on how they planned to do this. In the course of the movie, they were able to hamper Wolverine’s powers to regenerate and nothing else. To transfer it to someone else which was supposed to be their goal, they had no ability to do, so I call bullshit. In addition to that, what did the little metal bugs do? And yeah, they suppressed Wolverine’s ability to heal, but how? No explanation was attempted to clear this whatsoever. I mean do they suck the life out of Wolverine then give it to the next person? So they store energy, are they made of adamantium? Nothing, they had no story about this and it sucks.

Whatever happened to Mariko’s supposed fiancé? After he got thrown off the balcony and supposedly lived, what next? For a guy who’s got yakuza connections and a government to back him up, this guy just backed the fuck down? I mean with the possibility of his good name getting slandered to the press, he made no move to shut Wolverine up in the hopes that his image won’t get tarnished.

If Mariko was so conservative, why sleep with Wolverine after 2 days (is it 2 days?) of just casually knowing him. I don’t know if it’s an Asian thing but if you are conservative enough to follow your father’s wishes on who to marry, I think it follows that you understand the concept of no pre-marital sex. Also, she said she was a master of knives? In no way did she illustrate this other than directly stabbing her grandfather in the throat but no knife throwing was made whatsoever. Also in the end, she became this business woman with swagger which doesn’t make sense because throughout the movie she really made it clear that she was a damsel in distress. Although I have to be clear about her, I did like the actress, I just wasn’t convinced about her character.

And I think that’s about it. If you read the spoiler without seeing the movie, I still feel that you need to see it. I mean these things can be overlooked when you see the good things about the film. And yes, these things bother me when I saw it but The Wolverine is still a good movie despite this.

The Wolverine Movie Review (No Spoilers)

thewolverine3dposterI was never a big fan of Wolverine, in fact, within the X-Men universe, he is one of the characters I really despise. Maybe it’s just his popularity or the fact that he sulked for an entire movie in X-Men I or maybe I have the same problem with him as I do with vampires, they live forever. But despite not being a fan of Wolverine, or Hugh Jackman, or the director of this film, I found myself buying a movie ticket because my boyfriend is a big fan and I needed to suck it up for him as he did for me in Pacific Rim.

The Wolverine stars Hugh Jackman as the iconic Wolverine directed by James Mangold whose repertoire is the weirdest set for a director I have probably seen. This is the 2nd attempted reboot of the Wolverine origin story (but it kind of isn’t an origin story because he has already been the Wolverine for some time before this which is at least 3 movies) as we try to forget the fucked up 1st attempt that is Wolverine Origins. Movie starts where X-Men: The Last Stand ended where Logan had just killed the love of his life in order to save humanity (that includes mutants). He’s become a loner, which is not new because he’s always been like that. But to grant the wishes of an old dying friend, he travels to Japan to say goodbye and his story begins.

First of all, don’t believe the trailer, from what I have learned from Man of Steel, the trailers now are in no way the same tone of the movie. Not saying that the trailer was awesome and the movie sucked, just saying that the trailer in some way undercut what the movie is. Secondly, as I have already mentioned, this isn’t really so much of an origin story than just a plain old stand-alone Wolverine movie.

 The direction and story was good (well, up until they went into the 3rd act which was a bit baffling or way too comic-y). The story and the plot was a great Wolverine story, you know that he’s haunted by the past, that he doesn’t give a fuck, that he just wants to be left alone but given the chance to kick some ass he will, you know, what we all know Wolverine to be. The cinematography was also good and I appreciate that they didn’t go to extravagant what the fuck it’s cool Japan to shoot the scenes (ala Lord of the Rings), they kept the locations simple enough that it makes sense and focused more on what Wolverine would do rather than shove beautiful sceneries down your throat. And the action scenes were amazing. I mean despite the effing dizzying shaky cam on the first big action scene of this movie, the action was awesome (and that is coming from someone who is not a big fan of action). They weren’t so big but the stunt work was so cool. I think it was a very thoughtful touch that you can really see the actors fly through the air and move around without it looking so much like choreography.

The acting was for the most part great. I mean no one can see any other Wolverine except Hugh Jackman and he really kicked ass a Wolverine. I mean the guy is in his 40s but he’s built like whoa, I mean, really, you can imagine he is a brick wall with claws that no one can get pass. Rila Fukushima as a supporting character was amazing. She had the bad ass thing down! Her action scenes were awesome! For me, seeing her kick ass in the movie was one of the things I looked forward to. The girl who played Mariko and Master Yashida were also good but of course shadowed by Jackman’s portrayal all the way. The viper girl, I didn’t really care for, in fact I wish she wasn’t in the movie.

I do have a lot of questions after seeing this movie as there were some loo se ends that they did not care to elaborate. But the bottom line for this movie is that if you are a Wolverine fan, go get your butt in theater and see it. For non-Wolverine fans, it is a good movie, you will definitely get your money’s worth. It is definitely a MUST SEE.  Please do stay for the credits as it will blow your mind (trust me, a few minutes of clip, will top the almost 2 hours you spent with Wolverine).

I will be posting a spoiler review right after this for those who want to know what I didn’t like in the movie. Hope you liked this review and I would love to hear the comments of those who love Wolverine (both in comic books and movies).

Pan’s Labyrinth Movie Review

pans_labyrinth5I was never a big fan of Guillermo del Torro’s work (ie Blade II or Hellboy I) but when I saw Pan’s Labyrinth, I immediately became enchanted with what he could create. And with the underwhelming taste that Pacific Rim has left me, I feel like it’s a good time to review this movie so we will not lose interest in del Torro’s magic.

 

Set in Spain after the civil war (or during maybe due to the resistance? Not sure, because this is a Mexican film but being the stupid history person I am, I don’t know what era this is in Spain or what the war was about, I just know that there was a resistance during the setting of the film), a girl finds herself being dragged by her pregnant mother to a military camp to stay with her stepfather; although this is not just about that, this movie has so much more to offer to the viewer that in the end, you will find yourself so connected to them that you feel their journey after this film.

 

As I said, this movie is not just about Pan’s Labyrinth, it is so much more than that. I guess the title came from where all these events were happening which is Pan’s Labyrinth. (But I do find the title a bit confusing as none of her tasks involved the actual going through the labyrinth itself. I think the title should have been The Faun’s Tasks rather Pan’s Labyrinth but I guess that’s a bit of a knit pick from the awesome drama history fantasy this is.) The central story is about Ofelia trying to go back to the underworld where she used to be a princess. She meets a faun who asks her to do 3 tasks before the full moon so that we could go through the portal and back to her real world. This plot of the movie was incredible and provided a good platform for the other stories to cling on to. I tend to think that this movie is about 3 women trying to find freedom in their own ways, Ofelia (the girl), Mercedes (the housekeeper) and Carmen (Ofelia’s mother). It’s hard to get into the details without spoiling it for you so just think that it’s awesome like that.

 

The story, the direction, the cinematography, the effects, the pacing; everything was so well done from del Torro that I instantly became a fan despite hating Hellboy I (yes, I didn’t like Hellboy, but I definitely think Hellboy II was a giant leap forward). It was just awesome, the world he created, the people who were in it, the stories they had to tell, it was incredible. He did this film with a love for both storytelling and cinema combined that it just touches your heart. However, on the other side of the drama and wonder were the little violences that could run Tarantino for his money, they were brutal, horrific and bloody. Some of the predicaments and costumes felt a little bit like Alice in Wonderland with a Mexican twist (a really really good meaningful Mexican twist) that at times you compare it to the story.

 

The cast was amazing. Ivana Baquero who plays Ofelia the main character was awesome, she had the right amount of wonder, smarts and innocence in the film. Despite standing for minutes after something shocking where you scream at the TV for her to run away and she doesn’t, she still pulls of the struggle between growth and innocence in that you really want her to come out of this alive. The girl who plays Mercedes was also great in the movie, you feel her sense of power and purpose throughout the film that you want her to succeed despite not knowing what it really is she is fighting for. Captain Vidal was also so scary in the film which makes him so effective as the antagonist to the film. He had so much menacing moments that you feel that you want him dead, but you also feel the human in him trying to express what he wants so you can redeem him (although just a bit of course). The faun was an odd character in this one because of course, he is not human, and in addition, I never knew until the end which side he was playing. But he provided an interesting point of doubt of what is real and what isn’t in the movie.

 

Everything about this movie is a magical. I think this is a movie not a lot of people has seen because it is a foreign film and reading subtitles in a movie sucks, but believe me, it’s worth it (that is coming from a person who refuses to watch anime as I hate reading subtitles). So I have to say, Pan’s Labyrinth is a MUST SEE NOW.