Friday, May 31, 2013

Now You See Me

I had really high hopes for Now You See Me when I went to its midnight premiere. After seeing the  trailer, I was expecting an interesting story surrounding the concept of magic reinforced by a rather established cast of  actors and actresses. I left the theater feeling an overwhelming sense of disappointment. 
The movie follows an FBI team who are attempting to arrest a team of illusionists known as the 'Four Horsemen' who pull off bank heists during their big performances, giving the money back to audience members. 

This film failed to deliver on all levels. 
  One can pick apart almost every aspect of Now You See Me, but here are some of the most obvious and worse problems with this film: (Spoilers)
  • The Plot. One of THE most important aspects of a story and film. The plot in Now You See Me is flustered, choppy, and not fully explained. One is left wondering about the motives of certain characters and why they commit various actions. For example, millionaire Arthur Tressler (played by the talented Michael Caine) befriends the 'Four Horseman' for no apparent reason, then is shocked and appalled when the magicians end up stealing his money during their second performance. Tressler subsequently attempts to 'destroy' the magicians and is never seen again in the film. The FBI and police in the film are pitiful in their attempts to bring down the magicians. (The 'big' twist at the end may help explain why BUT even then it shouldn't matter.) Thaddeus Bradley (Freeman) is a character that could have been employed to enrich the plot but fell rather short (Although I found him to be the only interesting character in the film). I do not understand why the police would not force his cooperation and why he failed to take action when working for Tressler. I can keep going on but you get the picture. The plot had ALOT of flaws and holes rendering it hopeless. 
  • Character Development. This movie tried and failed to create any substantial relationships in the film. Every character fell short. Director Louis Leterrier threw FBI Agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) and Interpol agent Alma Vargas (Mélanie Laurent) together and expected a relationship to develop after a day or two. And somehow one did.. I cannot even begin to explain how annoying their dynamic was together on screen. There was barely any screen time for the characters who considered themselves the "Four Horsemen", therefore there was barely any development in their characters or complexion whatsoever. 
  • Acting. The only two actors I honestly enjoyed seeing in this film were Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman but even then their characters were highly flawed in the film. The mere presence of Freeman's voice wasn't even able to save Now You See Me.
    I found Mark Ruffalo's performance to be dull and I believe his role was wrongly casted. As for the actors that comprised the "Four Horseman", (Isla Fisher, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, and Dave Franco) they did not have enough screen time to provide depth for their characters thus leaving them blank and rather dull.
  • Style. Visually the film was lacking. There were too many moments that were disgustingly fake which brought down the supposed 'realistic' nature of the film. Some of the chase scenes and 'action' scenes were choppy and difficult to watch only because of the strain on the eye. 
These are only a few of the indisputable problems that immediately challenge this film. There are many others that I just do not have the time to get into. Despite all of the drawbacks of the film, there are some interesting turns but thats about it. The only thing that I really liked about the film was the couple references and scenes in Paris #Francophileproblems. 

When all the smoke clears, there really is no magic to this film whatsoever. 

Film Rating:


Monday, May 27, 2013

Hangover Part 3

I need to start this review by saying that no... I have not seen the first two Hangover movies. I hear they are super funny (depending on who you talk to) and that they will definitely conjure some good laughs. 
Despite not seeing the first two films in the film series, I was definitely able to understand the plot and characters just fine and therefore it is not obligatory to see the first two films to see The Hangover Part Three.
I may not be the best person to go to considering this is the only film that I have seen thus far in the series and this brand of comedy is not my favorite but, I will give a SHORT review of the Hangover Part 3 nonetheless. 
I'm just going to throw this out there now..This movie was not the most funny movie I have ever seen and there are a fair amount of problems with the plot design and originality. Overall the film seemed to be a desperate attempt for laughs and an obvious end to the series. I did not find the opening scene with the decapitation of the giraffe funny at all and the scenes with the boy "Carlos" were dry.  There are also plenty of "goofs" present in the film too, with the most obvious being when Pawn shop owner  Cassie (McCarthy) bites down on a lollipop in one scene, then pulls it out in the next scene being perfectly intact. 
There was plenty of good solid comedy in the Hangover Part Three that makes it worth seeing (if you enjoy mindless comedy). Ken Jeong's performance as the devious, sneaky, wily, quick, little and crazy Chow was GREAT. He gave the film a life force and was the source of ALOT of comedy.
 Zach Galifianakis also brings the laughs as the immature and nonsensical Alan. Watching him singing (or lip-syncing) Ave Maria at his father's funeral and crying like a baby after learning about the intervention was pure comedy.
(Playgirl ready..)
 Bradley Cooper appears as the voice of reason and as that one person in every group who ends up doing all the work. Overall I found his performance average (considering I just watched Silver Linings Playbook recently where his acting was stellar.)

 John Goodman was great playing his role as well. Not super funny but convincing as the film's main antagonist. 
(Where's Roseanne?)
The movie seemed like a good laugh and everything but the REAL reason I saw The Hangover Part Three was for ONE OF MY FAVORITE ACTRESSES EVER, (Drum role please?)
LOLLLL Such a gross and funny scene...
I wish her role was larger in this film..

Film Rating:


Its a short review but let me know what you think! I love feedback!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Great Gatsby

"Can't repeat the past? Why of course you can.."
I was so excited to see this movie because of my love for F. Scott Fitzgerald's literary classic of the same name. I left the theatre both loving this movie and slightly disappointed with a few aspects of the movie. LET'S DIVE INTO IT THEN SHALL WE?
Aspiring bond trader Nick Carraway (Maguire), moves next door to the super wealthy and mysterious Gatsby (DiCaprio), who throws incredibly lavish parties every weekend at his mansion in Long Island. Carraway eventually discovers that these enormous parties are merely attempts of luring his cousin Daisy (Mulligan) over, who is currently married to old money in the form of the cheating Tom Buchanan (Edgerton). Daisy and Gatsby were involved in a passionate relationship before World War I forced Gatsby to go abroad and serve his country.  (EXTREMELY BRIEF SYNOPSIS) 
LOL I couldn't resist.. Erm.. 

To begin with the positives, this film contained INCREDIBLE acting from everyone. Tobey Maguire tells the story of Gatsby as Nick Carraway with admiration, respect and nostalgia. His relationship with every character is fascinating to watch. Carey Mulligan brings to life the pain, confusion and love that exemplify Daisy Buchanan's character. Dasiy's pro-golfer friend Jordan Baker is portrayed perfectly by upcoming Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki. Joel Edgerton is the perfect actor to play as Tom Buchanan. He matched his shady personality with a unique love for both his mistress and his wife. Tom Buchanan's mistress Myrtle Wilson is played by the talented Isla Fisher who brings her own touch to Myrtle's iconic death. And last but certainly not least, Leonardo DiCaprio brought to life the true essence of the Great Gatsby, both the character and the story itself. DiCaprio's portrayal of Gatsby showcased his immense acting capabilities while driving home all of the themes present in Fitzgerald's classic. Every actor and actress brought their character alive in complete accordance with Fitzgerald's vision. 

Director Baz Luhrmann pays hommage to the novel by placing a large emphasis on symbols, imagery and the underlying themes of the story. Some of the more obvious symbols of The Great Gatsby are: Gatsby's car, THE GREEN LIGHT, The Eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg, The Valley of Ashes..etc. Luhrmann does an wonderful job of exhibiting the importance of each of these symbols and his emphasis on imagery is extreme (something I love). When Nick Carraway first goes to the Buchanan mansion to visit his cousin Daisy, he finds her in a stately roomed bathed in white, with white curtains fluttering from the wind and sunshine pouring in through the room's many extravagant windows. This imagery clearly reinforces Daisy's innocence and perfection through Carraway's eyes. One can easily find the overabundance of imagery at each one of Gatsby's lavish parties, where different colored dresses and fireworks fill the screen with a exuberant and magnificent environment that exemplify the sentiments of the rich during the Roaring Twenties. This emphasis on imagery is something that I simply love in literature but adore when it leaps off the page onto the big screen. 

Luhrmann arguably goes overboard when it comes to the motion picture itself in regards to filming. There are certain aspects of his style that are not necessary for the film. I like the film's glossy appearance but the over-utilization of CGI and green screen were just a tad too prevalent in the film for my liking. They detracted from the nostalgic feeling of the Roaring Twenties when used in abundance. When Carraway and Gatsby are speeding from Long Island to the city in Gatsby's supercharged convertible, several of the back drops and background shots looked cheaply thrown in and unfitting for a film such as this. Several of the shots of Long Island itself and the Valley of Ashes reeked of CGI and did little to reinforce Fitzgerald's vision. Another very minor criticism I had was the soundtrack. Songs such as Lana De Rey's "Young and Beautiful" fit with the film PERFECTLY while some of the others  just did not exactly fit for me. They reinforce the timeless message of the story but there was just something about hearing Rap music in a movie taking place in the 1920s that just did not seem right..

Despite aspects of Luhrmann's style that seemed to go overboard, The Great Gatsby IS a pleasure to the eye the adequately brings Fitzgerald's classic story to life on the big screen. I highly recommend that you see this movie, you will not be disappointed.
"And so we beat on, boats against the current, born back ceaselessly into the past."

Film Rating:
Very Good


Please leave comments because I enjoy feedback!!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Iron Man 3

Let me just start by saying that this movie was literally 100% better than Iron Man 2. I only saw a few parts of that movie and really could not take it seriously..
Iron Man 3 begins with a scene from 1999 on New Years Eve with the rude, egotistical, snobbish, and brash Tony Stark that we have come to love. Most of the movies main characters are presented in this scene. Tony Stark is obnoxiously attempting to have a one-night stand with Dr. Maya Hanson, lovable bodyguard Happy Hogan is protecting his friend and employer Stark, and we are introduced to our antagonist Aldrich Killian in a weak and rather annoying state as he desperately tries to pitch his ideas to an absorbed Stark. 
This opening scene is immensely important in regards to the plot of the story, but I found the following couple scenes rather choppy and not the best transitions. Instead of going into a super in-depth analysis of each scene in the film, let me tell you what I enjoyed about the movie: (Spoilers)
  • The connection between this movie and the other Marvel films coming out currently is great. I loved all of the references to the battle that happened in New York during the Avengers and how the thoughts of that battle still haunt Stark.
  • The bodyguard and eventual head of security for Stark, Happy Hogan played by Jon Favreau, was a joy to see on camera. He was consistently comical and he reminded me of some of my bosses and old high school teachers. "WHERE IS YOUR I.D. BABA?" Haha..
  • The different stages of character development in Paltrow's Pepper and Downey's Stark. One sees their relationship tested and a love endure despite all tests. 
  • The young boy Harley not only brought a great deal of comedy in his exchanges with Stark, but a sense of innocence into the Iron Man film as well.
  • All of the action scenes were highly entertaining and to be expected when seeing a super hero movie.
  • The computer Jarvis is literally awesome and one of my favorite aspects of the Iron Man franchise... We really see the 'friendship' between Stark and Jarvis in this film. 
    There were, however, a few things that I did not like so much about the film. It is completely possible that this is just be, but I found the villain Aldrich Killian to be rather dull. He fit well into the movie and the fight scenes were entertaining but there was something about his motives AND powers that I did not enjoy. I found the true identity of the Mandarin to be rather silly but it worked out well for the movie's plot. This may have also be just me, but weren't the time frames at the end a little bizarre? Tony travelled from Tennessee to Miami, FL rather quickly in his car. The different parts of his suit and army of robots seemed to travel at unrealistic speeds BUT it does not bother me too much because it is a movie after all. Actually, while i'm thinking about it.. Why didn't stark just use his private army of Iron Men when his house was under attack and Pepper was threatened?

Why did Stark wait to use these? I would have just made them do all the work.. #lazyprobs
Slow down there Oprah.. (LOL I couldn't resist..)

Overall, this film is a must see if you enjoy superhero movies, action movies, or are looking for a good movie to see this summer. The action will keep you entertained while some of the jokes will have you laughing hysterically. Stark is filled with wonderful one-liners, but one of my favorites has to be Stark's reaction to Harley's story about his father leaving, "Dads leave sometimes, you don't have to be a pussy about it."I can't wait to see Iron Man again in the next avengers movie!

Film Rating:
Very Good


Star Trek Into Darkness

Before I can even start this review on the new Star Trek movie, I would just like to begin by saying that  I have never watched an episode of Star Trek in my life and I just saw the first Star Trek film by director J.J. Abrams the other day. I guess you can say that I am kinda new to the series even though I have a general understanding of the show's plot, BUT ANYWAY... I DIGRESS.

Into Darkness immediately exposes audiences to an adrenaline-rushing scene where alien natives are chasing Captain Kirk and McCoy out from their temple and into a thick vegetation as an enormous volcano is on the verge of exploding. To save the native species, Spock goes into the volcano with the hopes of containing the eruption of the volcano with some kind of futuristic gadget-thingy.. As Spock is slowly lowered down from his transport into the volcano, the ship receives damage and Spock's cord is cut leaving him stranded in the center of the exploding volcano. As Spock is preparing his gadget thingy, magma is erupting around him as the countdown for the explosion nears the end. As precious time swiftly ticks away, Kirk makes decision to reveal his ship to the natives (something which breaks protocol) and save his friend from imbedding death. Spock is thus saved in the nick of time, and his gadget successfully saves the natives from utter annihilation as well. 

Thank you Benedict Cumberbatch, OH I mean Kahn..
Kahn is the ultimate villain of this movie and the character who makes this second installment in J.J. Abrams' series agruably better than the first. Kahn is a immensely intelligent and seemingly one step ahead of everyone else throughout the entire movie.. Even when he is captured (DA DA DUN). 
What is with villains getting captured and placed in clear cells lately?
Kahn plans a terrorist attack in London, attacks the Federation's Headquarters (killing Rear Admiral Pike), attacking a large party of Klingons single-handedly, and taking control of the enormous USS Vengeance while seemingly aiding Kirk and his crew. (To name only a few..) Benedict Cumberbatch plays this super villain brilliantly, for Kahn shows very little emotion as he kills all who oppose him and his plans. I was relatively unfamiliar with Cumberbatch until seeing this movie, but after seeing his amazing performance I am MORE than convinced that he will do a wonderful job voicing the famed Dragon Smaug in the upcoming Hobbit movie. (OMG I CANT WAIT).

Although the character Kahn is the main difference between this movie and the first, there are a ton of other aspects in this film that make it incredible to view. I have a short list here that does not contain too many spoilers:
  • The ceaseless and consistent action.
  • The unknown mysteries that keep audiences members on the edges of theirs seats.
  • The parallel between the beginning of the movie, with Spock about to die AND the end where Captain Kirk almost dies. 
  • Touching moments where Kirk and Spock reveal their love and admiration for each other. 
  • Growing relationships between characters. 
  • Immense Character development. Kirk with his attitude and Spock with his emotions.
  • Plenty of intense moments.
I found myself having a few questions though about various events of the movie. Why would Kirk and Spock trust Kahn in the first place? What happened to the Klingons after about 30 of their soldiers died (Aka. War?) WHY DOES SCOTTY YELL AT HIS ASSISTANT FOR ALWAYS SITTING DOWN? WHY CAN'T HE SIT? 

Film Rating:
Very Good


Please leave your thoughts below! I enjoy feedback!

Friday, May 17, 2013

First Post!!

So I wasn't sure if I really wanted to go through with this Blog, but then I thought, EH WHY NOT. I love movies so now it's time to express my opinions on various movies for everyone to see! Please feel free to comment on any review I make. I love hearing feedback and the opinions of others (For the most part). HA jk. I hope you enjoy the Blog!! (FAIR WARNING: There are some actresses that I'm obsessed with like Rebel Wilson, Melissa McCarthy...etc. You will be seeing alot about them. Just so you know.)