Movie Review: The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

Happy valentines day, my friends. Hope you’re showing the love today. Whether for your significant other, your friends, your relatives, your pet, it doesn’t matter. Just show some love. Anyway, since it’s the day of lovey-dovey bullshit, let’s talk about a romance movie of sorts.

Ladies and gents… “The Adjustment Bureau”.

David Norris (Matt Damon) is a congressman in the state of New York. One day he meets professional dancer Elise (Emily Blunt) and starts falling in love with her. But their relationship gets halted at every turn by a mysterious organization hellbent on keeping them apart. So now David has to try to outsmart them and take control of his own destiny. And I thought the plot here was… fine. It has a damn good concept, and I did enjoy the chain of events along with some of the fairly unique world building they did throughout. It did however never fully grab me. It felt like they only really scraped the surface of the idea to try to appeal to the broadest audience possible. It’s like if “Dark City” was a bit bland. So overall, the plot here is fine, if a bit toothless.

The characters in this I found to be decently enjoyable. Matt Damon plays David Norris, a congressman with dreams of moving up in the political world, but can’t quite do that while dealing with this whole Elise situation. And we see him get some decent development throughout as he tries to figure out what the hell is going on. And Damon is great in the role. Emily Blunt plays Elise, the woman that Norris meets and falls in love with. She’s a tough, charming, and overall pretty interesting lady that I liked following a bit in the movie. And Blunt is great in the role. We also get supporting work from people like John Slattery, Anthony Mackie, Michael Kelly, Terence Stamp, and more, all doing well in their respective roles.

The score for this movie was composed by Thomas Newman, and it was fine. It was a bit bland, while still being decently enjoyable to listen to in the background of the film. I guess it worked well enough for the various scenes throughout the movie, even though it didn’t bring any real oomph to it.

Based on a short story by Philip K. Dick (why am I not surprised), this movie was written and directed by George Nolfi, who I think did a pretty good job. His direction gives the movie a decent bit of energy and helps it from feeling stale. Sure, the plot is a bit so-and-so, but the directing is still good enough to slightly elevate it.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 71% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 60/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,1/10.

While it has its fair share of flaws, “The Adjustment Bureau” is still a fairly enjoyable little romantic thriller. It has a fine plot, pretty good characters, great performances, fine music, and good directing. Though as previously mentioned, the plot didn’t really stick with me, and the music didn’t really bring anything for me. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Adjustment Bureau” is a 7,87/10. So while it is flawed, it’s still worth a rental.

My review of “The Adjustment Bureau” is now completed.

Nothing like stories of forbidden love.

Movie Review: Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

10 years. That is how long the Marvel Cinematic Universe has existed. Starting with 2008’s “Iron Man”, it has gone to become one of the biggest franchises in cinema. Say what you want about the movies themselves, but you can’t deny the impact this franchise has had on modern cinema. And now it’s time to talk about it’s latest outing. And it’s a big one.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Avengers: Infinity War”.

A powerful alien named Thanos (Josh Brolin) in on a quest to find all of the infinity stones so he can carry out a devastating plan. So the heroes of the Marvel universe have to team up to try and stop him. And that’s about as in-depth as I will go with the plot details in case anyone reading this hasn’t seen it yet (but want to). But what I can say is that there’s a lot of stuff going on throughout this plot, with several threads in various locations. I don’t envy any filmmaker who has to try and balance this many plot threads. But they really nailed it with this one. It’s a big, epic comic book plot that is surprisingly dark and emotionally charged while still giving us the fun superhero romp that we expect from these Marvel movies. It even made me tear up. Yeah, this is a good plot.

The characters in this are plentiful, and while I would’ve liked a bit more out of some of them, I understand why some were a little more sidelined, especially since the filmmakers had to get so many in there in general. Not gonna go through all that get development, but I will say that they’re handled very well. And those that doesn’t get as much here, they’re still cool and entertaining and well set up through the other movies. But let’s talk about Josh Brolin as Thanos. Holy shit, he is an awesome villain. Not only is he a big and intimidating new foe, but they actually give him layers and make him a compelling antagonist. You understand his motivation, even if you don’t necessarily agree with him. And that’s how some of the best villains work. And Brolin delivers a great performance. Sure, Thanos is a big CGI beast, but Brolin did the motion capture for it, and every little aspect of his performance shines through here. Now to just list a fuckload of actors here because they need to be mentioned, but I can’t go through ’em in detail (too many for that). Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Chadwick Boseman, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Chris Pratt, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Dave Bautista, Anthony Mackie, Letitia Wright, Tim Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Wong, Danai Gurira, Pom Klementieff, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Gwyneth Paltrow, Peter Dinklage, William Hurt, Terry Notary, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Michael James Shaw, Carrie Coon, Stan Lee, Winston Duke, Florence Kasumba, Kerry Condon, and so many more (some I don’t wanna spoil). Fuck, that’s a lot of actors. All doing well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Alan Silvestri, and it is stunning. A lot of big brass, some smaller and more emotional string pieces, and a few other things. It’s a score that perfectly complements the movie and fits each scene perfectly. It’s one of those scores that really added to the movie.

This movie was directed by Joe & Anthony Russo. And I have to say, well done, you two. Their directing here is big and sweeping (makes sense for a flick of this size), yet also tight and intimate, bringing good insight into the turmoil of the characters. And compared to the action scenes of their previous MCU outings, there’s not a lot of “Bourne” inspired shaky-cam here. It’s more locked down, giving us a better look at all the crazy shit that’s going on. Yes, there are a few shaky shots, but those make a bit of sense for their respective bits. But the action in general is shot relatively smoothly and it’s all quite badass. Heroes and villains tossing each other around and punching each other and shooting each other, and it’s all so much fun. It’s also surprisingly heavy-hitting, with every attack/hit feeling like there’s a lot of actual impact behind it. And at this point I don’t think I need to talk about the visual effects, they’re pretty much guaranteed to be extraordinary in these movies. And they are so here too. And Trent Opaloch’s cinematography is fantastic too, there are some truly breathtaking shots in this.

This movie just came out, but it has already been really well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 84% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 68/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 9,1/10 and is ranked #9 on the “Top 250” list.

“Avengers: Infinity War” is pretty much everything you could want from this type of movie. It has a really good plot, really good characters, great performances, fantastic music, and great directing/cinematography/visual effects. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Avengers: Infinity War” is a 9,73/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My final score for “Avengers: Infinity War” is now completed.

I honestly have no idea where they’ll go from here…

12 Films of Christmas (Part 7)

’twas the night before christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for that asshole mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes they would have presents and not an angry bear. It was the seventh part of this silly thing, so let’s get into it before our heads start aching.

A christmas. A time for family, fun, and friends. These are some of the central themes of “The Night Before”. Three friends (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie) decide to have one last hurrah before hanging up their crazy old christmas tradition for good. And we follow them as they sing karaoke, do drugs, drink alcohol, and go on crazy misadventures. And this is a fun movie. While it can feel a bit inconsistent at times, it’s a highly enjoyable movie with a good amount of funny humor throughout. Sure, a lot of it is the typical stoner/dick humor that one can expect from Seth Rogen movies. And while that can be hit and miss for some, I did laugh at it here. Not at every joke, but at most jokes. Some were chuckles, and some were gut-busting laughs. The three main actors all give good performances, and they have awesome chemistry with each other. All the other actors too are really funny. There’s also a surprisingly sweet message about friendship here that I did not expect at all. So while not perfect, this is a fun christmas movie that I do recommend.

What do you think about “The Night Before”? And what’s your favorite stoner movie? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments!
Have a good one.

“Avengers: Infinity War” trailer!!!

Oh boy, this is a big one. A big trailer. Big fucking trailer. Huge tra- you get the point. Let’s get into it.

So here it is, the trailer for “Avengers: Infinity War”, the big epic climax of the MCU. Of course, the MCU will continue after it, but this is pretty much like a big finale for it all. Regardless of your opinion of the MCU, you can’t deny that they’ve created something huge with it. A giant web of interconnected stories that has become a cultural phenomenon. Alright, enough of that. What’s the story then? Well, Thanos (Josh Brolin) comes to earth to steal the Infinity Stones and fuck shit up. And the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and a whole bunch of other heroes have to stop him and his army. And I’m not gonna dawdle, holy fuck this looks epic! Big battles, people and creatures punching each other, Josh Brolin as Grimace’s evil cousin, the Guardians of the frickin’ Galaxy interacting with non-Guardians, and so much more! Holy fucking shit, there’s a lot of things going on in this trailer… and I am so god damn excited for this movie!!! “Avengers: Infinity War” is set to be released in late April/early May of 2018, the tenth anniversary of the MCU.

So what are your thoughts? Are you excited for “Infinity War”? And what’s your favorite MCU movie so far? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer!!!

Movie Review: Man on a Ledge (2012)

I am not very fond of heights. Sure, it could lead to a pretty awesome view or two, but overall I don’t see the purpose of being high up. Especially if shit gets fucked and you fall off that height. Just increases the chance of your death. So I’m gonna stay on the ground, thank you very much.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Man on a Ledge”.

Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) is a man on a ledge (hehe). And as people gather to witness this man’s apparent suicide attempt, police psychologist Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks) gets brought in to try to talk him down. All while a heist is happening in the building across the street. So now we have our plot. And I’m just gonna say it, the idea behind this movie is actually really good. However the execution on the other hand is not that great. While not the worst execution of a plot ever, it is still really bland and convoluted, not making a lot of sense. It also lacks the tension that so clearly could be achieved from this premise. And the twists throughout are… not great. They often add to the convoluted aspect of the plot that I mentioned earlier, not making too much sense. So overall the plot is… meh.

The characters here are meh… there’s no other way to put it. None of them are particularly interesting. At least I didn’t want to hit them for sucking (so that’s something). Sam Worthington as an actor is the very definition of hit and miss… more often miss than hit. But to give credit where it’s due, his performance here isn’t bad, it’s fine. One of the better performances I’ve seen from him. Elizabeth Banks plays the police psychologist brought in to talk Worthington off the ledge (presumably through the window, rather than off the ledge towards the street). And she’s fine in the role. Jamie Bell plays Worthington’s brother, and he was fine in the role. Genesis Rodriguez plays Jamie Bell’s girlfriend in this and she isn’t very good in the role. Sure, the material she’s given isn’t great, but her delivery isn’t very good either. Edward Burns plays a cop who is on this case, and he’s fine in the role. Anthony Mackie plays a cop who also happens to be an old friend of Worthington’s, and he’s good in the role. Titus Welliver plays another cop who’s a douchebag, and he’s fine in the role. We also get Ed Harris as a businessman that is important to the plot, and while he isn’t in the movie too much, he’s great… he’s Ed fucking Harris… presumably collecting a paycheck. So overall the acting here is… fine.

The score for the movie was composed by Henry Jackman and it was fine (using that word a lot in this review). I am usually a big fan of Jackman’s work, he’s composed a whole bunch of scores that I’ve liked. But the stuff he did here was generic action-thriller stuff that you won’t remember in an hour. It’s just there and it’s… fine.

This movie was directed by Asger Leth who did a fine job. And by fine I don’t mean like a fine wine, but just… fine. His directing here doesn’t build a lot of tension, and it doesn’t give us any awesome shots, but it’s also not offensively bad. It’s just fine, passable directing that works for a bland action-thriller like this. The action scenes too, they’re okay, nothing memorable, but nothing awful.

This movie hasn’t been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 31% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 40/100. Roger Ebert gave it 2/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,6/10.

“Man on a Ledge” is an okay thriller. It has a meh plot, meh characters, okay performances, okay music, and okay directing. The main flaws with this movie is that nothing stands out in this movie… all of it is just passable. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Man on a Ledge” is a 6,12. While not great, it is maybe worth a rental.

My review of “Man on a Ledge” is now completed.

Meh…

Movie Review: Million Dollar Baby (2004)

Boxing. Two people standing in a small arena, trying to punch the shit out of each other. Yeah, I don’t understand the point of it. That said, I don’t know what the point of any sport’s existence is. Feel free to hate on me for not understanding the appeal/purpose of sports… I don’t care.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Million Dollar Baby”.

Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank) is a woman determined on becoming a great boxer, so she starts training at a gym owned by old and hardened boxing trainer Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood). And soon Frankie takes Maggie under his wing to help her become a great boxer. The story follows them as their relationship evolves while they also go through stuff. While the ideas presented at first glance are very basic and familiar from other boxing movies, the execution of said ideas is much better than a lot of other movies in the genre. Seeing their relationship evolve over the two hour runtime is quite fascinating and it makes for a really solid plot that actually delivers a few devastatingly emotional punches (pun intended) at the right times. So yeah, the plot here is pretty great.

The characters in this movie are all fleshed out and quite interesting. Hilary Swank is terrific as Maggie, perfectly playing this determined woman. She wsa believable in the role and I really cared about her. Clint Eastwood is great as Frankie, giving us the perfect blend of classic Eastwood gruffness and relatable vulnerability. Morgan Freeman (AKA god) plays an employee at Frankie’s gym (while also providing the movie’s narration) and he is absolutely terrific in the role. We also get a bunch of great supporting performances from people like Anthony Mackie, Jay Baruchel, Mike Colter, Brían F. O’Byrne, Michael Peña, and Margo Martindale. So this is a pretty stellar cast.

The score for the movie was composed by… Clint Eastwood? Really? *Does more research*. Yeah, Clint Eastwood composed the music for this movie… surprise. Jokes aside, he did a pretty great job with the music. It’s dramatic, it’s emotional, and it just fits the movie perfectly. Good job, Mr. Eastwood.

This movie was directed by Clint Eastwood and he did a great job. The shots look great and every shot is at the perfect length. Now, since this is a boxing movie we should talk about the boxing scenes. So how are the boxing scenes here? Yeah, they’re pretty great. They’re exciting, intense, and kind of brutal. It all feels quite realistic.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 91% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 86/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,1/10 and is ranked #202 on the “Top 250” list. The movie won 4 Oscar in the categories of Best picture, Best Actress (Swank), Best supporting actor (Freeman), and Best director. It was also nominated for an additional 3 Oscars in the categories of Best actor (Eastwood), Best adapted screenplay, and Best film editing. 

“Million Dollar Baby” is an absolutely fantastic sports-drama. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Punch*. My final score for “Million Dollar Baby” is a 9,88/10. Which of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Million Dollar Baby” is now completed.

Is this one of Eastwood’s best films? Hell yes.

Movie Review: Gangster Squad (2013)

ohotniki-na-gangsterov

Gangsters, not sure what to say about them. They do bad shit, I guess that’s all I can say for now. Moving on.

Ladies and gents… “Gangster Squad”.

Los Angeles, late 1940s. Crime is everywhere, and the town is more or less run by the biggest criminal of them all: Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn). This isn’t liked by those officers of the law who haven’t been corrupted yet. So police sergeant John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) forms a certain team that is willing to do whatever it takes to take Cohen down. And the plot in itself is… pretty good. The biggest problem with it is how it goes on for a while with a very straighforward story, but then opens a door leading to the theme of morals and such. They touch on that theme, but they don’t explore it. So it kind of bugged me a bit afterwards. At first it was basically just a gangster-based popcorn flick, but then it tried to be deep for two minutes and left the door open without using that little thing to it’s advantage to tell a compelling plot… so I have to take a little bit away from it. Don’t lightly touch upon a subject like that and then do nothing with it! (Advice for aspiring writers).

The characters in the movie are not the most interesting, but they aren’t bad. Josh Brolin is awesome as John O’Mara, playing a real badass with a clear goal/agenda. Sean Penn as Mickey Cohen, he’s really good. Ryan Gosling plays a young cop who easily snaps and he’s good in the movie. We also get really good performances from people like Emma Stone, Robert Patrick, Michael Peña, Giovanni Ribisi, Anthony Mackie, and Nick Nolte. Yeah, the it’s a very well acted movie.

The score was composed by Steve Jablonsky, and I think he did a pretty good job here. Sure, the score is kind of generic and I probably won’t remember it anytime in the near future, but it was pretty good and it fit the movie pretty well. There were also a lot of older licensed tracks throughout the movie that were really good and actually fit very well in the scenes.

This movie was directed by Ruben Fleischer and this is where I am a bit split. Because the movie is very well directed with scenes flowing pretty well, but the problem is that there are some tonal inconsistencies throughout. But that’s also kind of the risk when you take a director primarily known for comedy and then put him on a serious movie. But to make up for it, this movie looks fucking gorgeous, with some really good cinematography and a bit of stylish editing. This of course makes for some pretty cool and tense action scenes. Speaking of action, this movie is really fucking violent. I didn’t mind it too much, but I can tell that some people will have some problems with it.

This movie has not been too well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 31% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 40/10. Roger Ebert gave the movie 2/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,7/10.

“Gangster Squad” is an entertaining movie that wasted some of the potential that it had. The plot is okay, the characters are okay, the acting is great, the music is okay, and the directing/cinematography is terrific. Though it is bogged down by some narrative flaws, characters not being that interesting, and also some tonal inconsistencies. Time for my final score. *Bang*. My final score for “Gangster Squad” is a 7,99/10. So it’s far from from perfect, but it’s definitely worth a rental.
Rent it

My review of “Gangster Squad” is now completed.

This feels like what would happen if Zack Snyder would’ve directed “The Untouchables”.

 

Movie Review: Captain America: Civil War (2016)

civilwar

While I am typically a guy who likes to play nice and not antagonize anyone I still feel like I have to gloat over the fact that I got to see this movie one week before the people in the US(C)A. BAHAHAHAHA!!! I win, rednecks!!!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Captain America: Civil War”.

After everything that happened by the end of “Age of Ultron”, “The Winter Soldier” and “The Avengers” (also because of something that happened early in this film), the team has been presented with something. This certain something is a sort of contract that will be signed by the U.N. (and “hopefully” by the heroes) that would prevent from taking on superhero jobs on their own. They would basically be under the control of governments and would only be used if deemed necessary. This creates a bit of a divide between the teammates with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) being very positive to this, thinking it’s a great idea because of all the damage they have done. But on the other end of the spectrum we have Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) who’s all like “Hell no, that’s a bad idea”. And while this political (and evnetually physical) confrontation goes on, there are also some more personal problems going on for Cap when his old friend Bucky (Sebastian Stan) is seemingly framed for committing one of the biggest acts of terrorism in recent (MCU) history. So there are a bunch of stories going on, even a good amount more than I mentioned, but most of them are so small that I don’t deem the worthy of a mention. With so many stories at play, with so many characters being part of it, one would assume that it would just turn out messy and pretty terrible. But guys… you can’t believe how happy I am to say that it all turned out pretty well. And by pretty well I mean FUCKING AWESOME! There are a lot of things at play here, yes, but none of it feels shoehorned in but instead works perfectly. In lesser hands this plot would not have worked AT ALL, but thanks to the directors at hand and the writers we got a surprisingly dramatic and well written story that both entertained and intrigued me from start to finish. It’s both an action movie and a bit of a tought provoking political drama where you see both sides of the argument to a level of understanding they both come from. Yeah… it was a pretty great story in both idea and execution.

I think we can all agree that we know how great the main cast are in their respective roles considering we’ve seen ’em all so many times. I will jsut say however though that they are running on all cylinders here and have never been better. So let’s talk about the newever ones who haven’t really had interplay with the old characters. Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) had a seamless transition from solo to team player and was as hilarious (if not even more so) than in his own movie. Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) was a pretty good character who got a good introduction into the universe, with Boseman giving a great performance as him. But guys… the best has been (pretty much) saved for last… Tom Holland as Spider-Man. Mother of god, he is absolutely amazing! I am honestly not lying when saying that I think he might be the best Spider-Man/Peter Parker ever put to screen. He is funny, he is geeky, he is clever… HE’S SPIDER-MAN!!! I also wanna say that even though the main villain (not revealing who it is in case ya don’t know) isn’t that great, he still works for the story, at least I thought so by the end of it all. Yeah… we got a pretty great ensemble here. Oh yeah, we also got Mustach- I mean William Hurt back, making “The Incredible Hulk” canon again.

Like in the previous “Cap” film, the music was composed by Henry Jackman (No relation to Wolverine, I swear). And it was really good. The big, orchestral pieces for the big action scenes were there (and were great). The smaller, more dramatic tunes were there (and were great). And then there were other tracks I can’t pinpoint what they could be called (but was still great).

Like with “The Winter Soldier”, this movie was directed by Joe and Anthony Russo. And once again they did a fantastic job directing it. Shots look great and they seem to have perfect control over the entire situation. The action is just like in “Winter Soldier” really great, with there being a lot of gritty and honestly, brutal, CQC fights. Sure, there is a bit of cmaera shake in there, but I see this more as Paul Greengrass shake rather than Rob Cohen *Deep sigh* shake. And that big airport fight that has been teased in trailers and otehr types of advertisements? Yeah, I loved it and think it is one of the absolute best action scenes in any superhero movie EVER. It’s tense, exciting, badass and even funny. Seriously, there is some pretty hilarious stuff in that fight. And I mean GENUINELY hilarious, not “That was shit, let’s laugh at it” hilarious. Speaking of which, for such a dramatic movie there is a surprising amount of humor… all of it actually landing very well for me. Plenty of snappy/funny dialogue, gags and overall lines that are all just great. Also, stay in your seats, people… there are two things after the film’s finished; one mid-credits and one after-credits scene.

Keep in mind that these scores may alter a lot considering it hasn’t come out everywhere yet, this is just as it is right now (as of this review). On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 94% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 81/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,7/10 and is ranked #86 on the “Top 250” list.

“Captain America: Civil War” is the latest MCU movie and I honestly might think it’s one of the absolute best. Like… Top 2 or 3 best. IT has a really great story, great characters/acting, great music, great directing, great action and great humor. Time for my final score. UNDEROOS!!! *Spider-Man tosses envelope to Markus*. My final score for “Captain America: Civil War” is a 9,90/10. It does get the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Captain America: Civil War” is now completed.

I can’t take my mind off of how great this Spider-Man was…

 

Movie Review: Captain America – The Winter Soldier (2014)

The-Winter-Soldier-Wallpaper-55

I have noticed in recent years how Marvel is really stepping up their game when it comes to their movies. Not only are they making a whole bunch of them, but people also seem to really love them. I am a guy who really likes a good Marvel movie. You might remember that I did a review of “Guardians of the Galaxy” around september of 2014 and gave it a really good score. But that isn’t the only Marvel movie I like a lot, I love a bunch other ones as well such as “Iron Man” and “The incredible Hulk”. And those are only some of the Marvel/Disney studio movies, there are also the Sony/Fox movies. But that isn’t relevant in this case. Today we are taking a look at the 2014 film set within Marvel’s “Phase 2”. So what did I think of it? Let’s find out!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”.

This movie as you may know is the sequel to 2011’s “Captain America: The First Avenger” but also follows 2012’s “The Avengers” (Sidenote: If you want me to review those two movies, you just tell me). We see Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) living in our modern times. But one day the organization S.H.I.E.L.D (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforment and Logistic Division) whom he works for starts chasing him down. And at the same time he has to keep his eye out for this mysterious new threat “The Winter Soldier” (Not saying who it is if you don’t actually know sice the twist is kinda cool, also roll credits). I am not going to say more about this plot because it is filled with twist after twist after twist… and it works. The Plot of this movie is excellent with some really clever writing and really cool twists like I mentioned earlier. Rarely have I seen a superhero movie with a plot this clever, suspenseful and politically aware. I loved seeing it unfold.

The characters in this movie are all great. They really showed that these people are more than characters, they are really people. Steve Rogers/Captain America is a surprisingly relatable character with some great dialogue and is portrayed excellently by Chris Evans. Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) is a really well-written, badass and infinitely sexy character. She really worked and I liked how she was portrayed in this movie. She has gone from sexy badass to sexy badass person. And yes, Johansson portrayes her perfectly. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is also really great. The biggest reason I liked him in previous movies is becuase of Samuel L. Jackson’s charisma and talent. But here he actually gets some depth to the character and he actually gets some stuff to do. Do I even have to mention that Jackson’s performance is good? I mean, come on… it’s Samuel L. Jackson. But by far, my favorite character in this movie has to be the one of Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie). Not only did he provide some great comic relief, but he was also pretty deep and you could really believe him as a character. Plus, I love his wingsuit… it’s badass. It was also nice seeing Robert Redford in this movie. His character was really good and fit the movie. The performance was of course great since you know, it is Robert Redford.

The score by Henry Jackman reminds me a lot of two things. Firstly there are tracks which are typical superhero movie songs. Not bad ones at all, but you recognize the style… big and epic. Then we have the tracks which reminds me of the “Metal Gear Solid” games. I don’t know why they do that, but I don’t mind! Which is fitting considering that this movie (never mentioned it before which I actually should’ve… oops) is not only a badass action movie, but also a sort of spy-espionage-thriller. But I don’t mind getting a little “Metal Gear” in my Marvel. It just hightens it. But the soundtrack was great.

This movie is very well-directed. The shots are great and the camera work in general is great. I also have ot mention that the action in this movie is pretty fucking great. Not only is there pretty minimal CGI within the action, but you can also notice a lot of great stunt work and close quarters combat in this movie. Sure there is a bit of shaky-cam in this movie, but it doesn’t ruin it. It gives the movie a pretty stylish feeling, kind of like the “Bourne” trilogy which likes this movie happens to be an action franchise with some espionage stuff in it. I also found the political things in this movie really intriguing and really gave the movie an edge over most superhero movies. Another thing I liked about this movie gives off the feeling of Captain America actually being able to die. This movie puts the characters in peril and makes it so much more suspenseful… they might die. And that makes the action so much better since you know they really are in danger. Good job, writers!

This movie was really well-received when it came out. It has an 89% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes. On Metacritic it has a score of 70/100. And on imdb it has a 7,8/10.

“Captain America: The Winter Solder” got a great plot with some great twists, great characters, great music, political intrigue, spy-thriller elements and some of the best action in recent years from a Hollywood movie. So now it is time for my final score. *Gets thrown envelope* Woaw, thanks Cap! My final score for “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is a 9,76/10 which as you should know by know gets it (say it with me)… the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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Review of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is completed.

Since this movie was so good I am really curious to see how the Russo brothers handles “Captain America: Civil War”.

Movie Review: Pain & Gain (2013)

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Let’s face it, the works of Michael Bay are not mastepieces. “Transformers”, good popcorn material. “Bad Boys”, second verse, same as the first. “Armageddon”, cheesy 90’s fun. “Pearl Harbor”…we don’t talk about “Pearl Harbor”. But he hasn’t done too much bigger-ish things in the last couple of years except for shitty “Transformers” sequels. But then this came into being…”Pain & Gain”, a phrase that is actually kind of true. But after watching it, what did this guy right here think about it? Let’s find out.

Bad boys and bad girls…”Pain & Gain”.

Miami, 1995. Bodybuilder Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) is doing some workout on a billboard. Then he runs away because…cops (cue the song “Bad Boys”). Then after a while of running, he gets hit by a car. Then we get a flashback to 1994 about what got him into this mess. He used to work at a gym with Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie). At the gym he meets his new co-worker and friend Paul Doyle (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson). These three guys are not happy with their lives, they wanna make more money. So they hatch up a neat plan. A plan that involves kidnapping the biggest douchebag in town who is also rich as fuck (Tony Shalhoub). And they manage that even though they are arguing all the time. They kidnap him, get their money and new lives. Victor Kershaw A.K.A the douchebag gets beaten up and now lives in a crappy house. The other guys live their new lives, trying to adapt to that lifestyle. Honestly, the story didn’t thrill me at all. Not saying it was bad, it just didn’t work out all too well. A lot of times they glorify the use of drugs, alcohol and violence. This movie seriously makes that shit look like a good idea…even more than “Wolf of Wall Street”. But some parts are fairly entertaining, mainly the parts featuring The Rock. Can’t put my finger on why, I just think that. One thing that would have made this movie a little better would have been if they would have made it a little shorter considering a few scenes were boring and unnecessary. It is two hours and ten minutes long…it would have worked out better being like one hour fifty minutes. Otherwise, decent enough story. And oh yeah, this is based on a true story…even though it doesn’t seem like it. And this true story is just something that I read after watching this and felt Michael Bay just glorified it…and that is not cool.

The characters were as in any other Michael Bay movie…I did not give a shit about them. I only cared because I like the actors. Like I previously stated: the only one I kinda liked was The Rock as this ex-convict turned christian. He gave me this sense that he didn’t want everything that went wrong to go wrong…and actually feel sorry about it. I did also like Ed Harris’ character in the movie even though he was…insignificant. He really had not purpose in this movie. Also, every female character in this movie was as in every Michael Bay movie…just there for fan service…nothing else. The only female standing out was Rebel Wilson…and she didn’t even have that much of an important role. So yeah, the characters were meh.

On the musical aspect I kinda liked it actually. Most of the soundtrack is composed by the great Steve Jablonsky (Gears of War franchise among other things). His score was subtle (unlike most of the movie) and almsot a little chilling. Then there were a few licensed songs. Most notably Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise”…in a version that sounds like it was a cover of it. And I did not like that too much since I am a fan of the original song.

This movie features several recurring tropes we often see in his movies. Like girls for fan service only, overuse of slow motion, some pyrotechnics and heavy focus on different colors. And while these troped bug me a little…I have to admit, Michael Bay knows how to make a good looking movie, and he proves it right here.

The reception for “Pain & Gain” has been very mixed. Rotten Tomatoes curently holds a ranking of 49% on it. Metacritic gave this a 45/100. There is no Roger Ebert review for this movie…which is fully understandable since it came out circa a week after he sadly passed away. imdb.com has the score of 6,5/10 for this movie.

So based on what I have said about this movie on the story and all other stuff I am giving this movie the score of 6,11/10. And I recommend you to rent it if you want to see it. This is not a bad movie, but it is far from buyable. Like I said, if you wanna see it…rent it…or stream it on netflix if it exists on there.

It was Painful to watch it. But I Gained a new review. (Get it?).

Bye-bye.