Movie Review: Wind River (2017)

The frontier. A wild, unpredictable, and untameable part of our world. As beautiful as it is dangerous. Something that Taylor Sheridan seemingly likes to explore in his scripts.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Wind River”.

Set in the cold mountains and forests of Wyoming, we follow an FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) as she has to investigate the death of a young woman with the help of a local tracker (Jeremy Renner). So now we have our murder mystery that isn’t just a murder mystery. Yes, the investigation is a big focus of the movie, but the plot is also largely about the exploration of this place and the people who live there. Like with the two previous movies written by Taylor Sheridan (“Sicario”, “Hell or High Water”), it sets up one basic plot, and then gives it a few extra layers to explore certain themes. So what we get here is a deep, suspenseful, emotional, haunting, and just overall intriguing story.

The characters in this are all layered, interesting, and feel quite real. Jeremy Renner plays Cory Lambert, the tracker tasked with helping out in this investigation. He’s a skilled hunter with a tragic past that gets explored in a very interesting way through the movie. And Renner is fantastic in the role, playing the character with a very understated sadness and intensity, this is the best performance I’ve seen from him. Elizabeth Olsen plays FBI agent Jane Banner. She’s a bit of a fish out of water in this, as she’s not used to the cold, unforgiving frontier. This doesn’t make her useless, as she shows herself as quite capable through the movie. She’s tough, but she also does have a more vulnerable side, which gives her some layers (which is important to have out in the cold). And Olsen is really good in the role. Next we have Gil Birmingham as the father of the dead girl. While we don’t get too many details on him as a character, seeing him in pain and trying to cope with his daughter’s death is utterly heartbreaking and makes him an interesting enough character. And Birmingham is great in the role. Then we get some supporting performances from Graham Greene, Julia Jones, Martin Sensmeier, Hugh Dillon, Eric Lange, and more, all doing very well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, and if you’ve read any other reviews of mine where they’ve been the listed composers, you should suspect that I loved their score for this. It’s eerie, dark, emotional, and haunting, perfectly capturing the feel of the area, while also working very well for the murder mystery plot of the movie. I am slightly biased towards their music, but I do genuinely think their compositions for this movie are fantastic.

As I’ve not so subtly alluded to, this movie was written and directed by Taylor Sheridan. I already liked the other movies he’s written, so I was curious to see how he’d do at directing. And I have to say that I am quite impressed. His direction is manages to be sweeping and ambitious, while still tight and intimate with the characters/situations. He also manages to build a lot of suspense throughout, especially during the final act where that tension escalates to a whole new level. But none of it ever feels Hollywood-ized, which feels quite fresh in our modern world. And the cinematography by Ben Richardson is pretty great.

This movie has been quite well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 87% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 73/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,8/10.

“Wind River” is a fantastic little drama, and another great showcase for Taylor Sheridan’s writing. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, fantastic music, and great directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Wind River” is a 9,88/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Wind River” is now completed.

We’re going back to the wild frontier…

“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: Captain America: Civil War (2016)

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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…

 

We got another “Captain America: Civil War” Trailer

Good evening there, my friends. Once again it is time for me to talk about a new movie trailer that has come out. And for the second time it is a trailer for “Captain America: Civil War” that I am talking about. Oooo boy, this is a doozy. Let’s get into it.

Starting off, it is another dramatic and intense look at the movie. We get explosions and badassery and dramatic shots of Cap (Chris Evans) and everyone else. Okay, let’s talk about what I liked about this trailer.
I like that they are acknowledging that “Incredible Hulk” happened by having “Thunderbolt” Ross (William Hurt) in it because I am one of the few that actually liked that movie. I also love some of the drama that this movie seems to set up, a lot of it looks prety interesting and for a lack of a better word, dramatic. We also get some new shots of Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) which look badass, can’t wait to see what they’ll do with him in the movie. We also get a pretty good shot of Crossbones (Frank Grillo) punching someone’s fucking face really hard. Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) also gets a really cool shot.
*Sigh*. Now to the one thing about it that I didn’t like… and it’s something I’m gonna get major flak for. *Deep breath*. Here we go.
I don’t like that they showed Spider-Man (Tom Holland) in the trailer. I love the design they went with for the suit, but the fact that the studio sucked up to the masses and showed him in the trailer actually makes me a bit sad. Why couldn’t they wait with showing him until the movie came out? *Sniff*.

So what did you think of the new “Civil War” trailer? Overall I personally liked it except for the whole Spidey thing. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Have a good one.

Movie Review: Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

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As the Marvel cinematic universe moves on, they have to figure out what the hell they should do next. Of course they can always look back on the comics/graphic novels for inspiration, but they need to know which ones to go by. And with that said, IN YOUR FACE, AMERICA! Sorry, I wanted to be a jerk about the fact that we got the movie before you.

Ladies and gents… “Avengers: Age of Ultron”.

So in this movie we see how Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) tries to start up a new peacekeeping program to help keep the world safe. But that seems to go to shit as the program takes a robotic body and turns on it’s creator. So now it is up to Iron Man, Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) to go out and stop the villainous robot Ultron (James Spader). And with that we get a deep story filled with action, drama, emotion and a lot of narrative strengths. This is a movie with a constantly moving story that never feels dull or boring at any point. I loved it!

At this point we are all familiar with the main players of the movie and we know they are amazingly awesome, so in this part of the “characters/acting” segment we will focus more on the newcomers. First up, James Spader as Ultron… holy shit! If the phrase “perfect casting” could ever be put on something it could be put right here. Spader is fantastic as this 8ft tall robot. Not only does he deliver his lines perfectly, but his voice is just fantastic for Ultron. It is deep, smooth and villainous. I also felt like there was a bit of a Raymond Reddington vibe going on (Sidenote: For those of you who don’t know, Reddington is Spader’s character in the TV-show “The Blacklist”). And it was just great. Next up is Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver. I had my doubts, not because of Johnson, I now he is a really good actor, I just doubted if this Quicksilver could be awesome. And he was awesome, frankly great. He had funny lines and a cool personality which I felt like Johnson captured perfectly. Finally we have Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Sidenote: Johnson and Olsen played husband and wife in 2014’s “Godzilla” and here they play siblings… weird). And she was great, playing her with a lot of confidence and power. She was great. Overall I think all actors were great and the writing for them was also great.

The score for the movie was done by Brian Tyler and by this point we know he is great. He has done the music for most modern Marvel movies (4 M’s in a row, damn). The score is just as large, epic and amazing as it has been for the past however many years Brian Tyler has been along for the ride. And for those of you who wonder, the song “I’ve got no strings” is actually in this movie.

This movie was really well-directed. The shots looked great and nothing lingered for too long. And the action scenes in this movie were amazing, some of the best any superhero movie has ever seen. They were fast, flowing, energetic and badass. And the visual effects were spectacular! Everything looked great, especially Ultron, he looked so real! And the writing in the movie was also really great. Not only were there a lot of funny lines like you would expect but there were some genuinely deep and dramatic lines in there that really worked for the movie. And there was also one moment in the movie that I have to admit (Don’t worry, no spoilers on my blog) that made me almost tear up, well done Marvel.

As this movie hasn’t been out that long in the world (not at all in the U.S.) there aren’t that many things to go by. But so far I can mention that Rotten Tomatoes it has an 80% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 72/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,6/10. Reminder: All scores that I present here are always what I find at the time of the review, scores on sites may alter afterwards.

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” is another badass addition to the MCU with a great plot, great characters/acting, a great score, amazing action and visual effects. Time for my final score. *Ahem* My final score for “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is a 9,87/10. This is a great movie that of course gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

Review of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is now completed.

If you wonder about my thoughts on the first “Avengers”, I liked it. But I think this is the superior movie.

Movie Review : Godzilla (2014)

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Monster movies…they are…usually a hit-or-miss type of movie. It’s kind of like Russian Roulette, if you understand how I mean. Either it clicks and survives, or it will go bang and die. That is what happened back in 1998 when Roland Emmerich tried his hands at making his own “Godzilla” movie. The revolver went bang. But 16 years later we get a new “Godzilla” movie. And how is it? Will it be as shit as its 1998 counterpart or will it be the “Godzilla” movie we have all been waiting for? Let’s find out.

Monsters and monserettes…”Godzilla”!

Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) works at a nuclear plant in Japan. He lives in Japan with his wife Sandra (Juliette Binoche) and his son Ford (CJ Adams). One day when he goes to work they get some unusual readings. His wife goes down with a team of science-y people to take a closer look. Suddenly there is a bit of an earthquake (which it had been earllier as well). But Joe doesn’t really think it are earthquakes mentioning that earthquakes are “random” and these were not. But something goes wrong and a toxic gas thing leaks out, almost even chasing Sandra and her team. Before she and her team arrive at the big heavy metal door, the gas almost reaches the door and Joe has to close it…with his wife still inside that tunnel. Then after he had closed it on time…she arrives at the door. Her suit can’t keep her from the gas and she will die. And she does. Joe of course cries about it. Then the entire plant crumbles together. Sure, Joe gets out…but his wife fucking died in front of him…ON HIS BIRTHDAY! His son, with the rest of his class gets away from school since a nuclear plant crumbling together will cause a new Chernobyl-ish.
Cut to 15 years later. Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is coming home to his family (Elizabeth Olsen & Carson Bolde) after serving in the army. But his happiness doesn’t last too long since he gets a phone call regarding his dad Joe getting his ass arrested for going somewhere he should not have. So of course Ford goes to Japan to help bail his poor old man out of jail. After that situation they go and do the same thing again because…why not? And of course they get captured, but this time taken to a military base. Where the people there tries to kill off a…thing in a cocoon. But they only wake it up and will come to KILL US ALL. And it feasts on radiation. So the story is very well set up. And it goes on and it never gets me bored. Something is always going on! Even if it’s something as small/simple as two people talking to eachother, this movie makes that interesting. Maybe it’s because Ken Watanabe does a good amount of talking in this movie…who knows. The only complaint I have with the plot was that there was not enough Godzilla. When Godzilla had any story stuff in the movie it was very interesting and entertaining, but it was not enough. But still, very good story.

The characters…they are very good for a monster movie. Ususally when I watch a monster movie I don’t give a shit about the characters. Seriously. But here I actually kinda felt for them…especially Godzilla. Call me a fanboy if you want, I don’t give a shit. But if we count away Godzilla for a second…major prasie to Bryan Fucking Cranston as Joe Brody…so much emotion and just good ol’ great acting coming from his way. Too bad he doesn’t get nearly enough screen time. He was fantastic in it. The only character complaint I have is for teh character of Ford. They could have fleshed him out a little more. Otherwise, good characters and fantastic acting in this movie. And Godzilla is the best character no matter what all people consider “characters”.

The music is just…perfect. The score by Alexandre Desplat is just fucking magnificent! It is perfectly orchestrated and just fits the movie so damn well! It just shows how epic everything is! Not kidding, just listen if you watch the movie.

This movie looks…fucking amazing. It is so well filmed. This movie looks beautiful. Not just in its CGI, but how it is filmed. Gareth Edward knows what the hell he does behind a camera! Also, if you look closely/pay attention, you will notice many easter eggs that refer to old “Godzilla” movies. This movie is full of them. Go look for ’em. Here is a clue for ya…glass cage with a type of bug.

Reception for “Godzilla” was overall pretty good. Rotten Tomatoes holds the rating of 73% on it and have certified it fresh. Metacritic has given it a 61/100 score. And no Roger Ebert thing (since he passed away over a year ago).
imdb.com currently holds the rating of 7,9 on the movie.

So I have given some fairly good opinions on different aspects. Here is my score: 9,76/10. This movie is worth watching on the cinema…and the 3D isn’t actually that bad. Also, when this movie comes out on DVD/Blu-Ray, it is a must buy for not only monster film fans, but also people who just like movies. This movie gets the “Seal of Approval”.Image

 

Review of “Godzilla” is now done. And for once I reviewed something that just came out.

Oh no, they say he’s got to go, Go Go Godzilla!