Movie Review: Lone Survivor (2013)

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*Ron Perlman voice activated*. War… war never changes. *Ron Perlman voice deactivated*. That was fun. Now, onto the review!

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Lone Survivor”.

A group of American soldiers (Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch, Taylor Kitsch) get sent on a mission in Afghanistan to take out a Taliban leader. And soon they find themselves pinned down in an intense battle with the Taliban. And the plot here, while simple in idea and execution is very intense and exciting. I was on the edge of my seat for most of the runtime and it was overall very tense. What I also appreciate is that they show how grey this entire situation is. It’s not just like “‘murica good, Afghans bad”. The Americans ar shown pondering a difficult decision where one option is a big dick move, and the other is not really a dick move. It also shows how there are both good and bad people among the Afghan people (Civilians and Taliban). So there’s a surprising amount of nuance to the plot here, which I appreciated a lot.

The characters in this movie are all somewhat interesting and they have good chemistry with each other. However, I never truly cared about them when things started happening to them. Mark Wahlberg is great, Ben foster is great, Emile Hirsch is great, Taylor Kitsch is great, Eric Bana is great… all the actors in the movie did a great job.

The score for the movie was composed by rock band Explosions in the Sky and composer Steve Jablonsky, and it was really good. It was intense, emotional, and overall fit the movie very well. And while we’re on the theme of sounds, the sound design in this movie is pretty great. I very rarely pick up on sound design in movies, but here I did and it was actually kind of impressive.

This movie was directed by Peter Berg and he did a great job. His directing here is very intense, making the action scenes in this movie pretty fucking heart pounding. Speaking of the action, this movie is very violent. You see people get shot and blood blasts out. Not in a Tarantino-esque way, but in a very realistic way. With that said I also have to give major props to the makeup crew that worked on this movie, because the makeup in this movie looks incredible and actually made me a bit queasy at times. And I can usually stomach gore in movies very well. Good job, makeup crew… you bastards.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 75% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 60/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10. The movie was also nominated for 2 Oscars in the categories of Best sound mixing and Best sound editing.

“Lone Survivor” is a really good action-drama. It has a really good plot, pretty good characters, great performances, great music, great directing, and great makeup. However I am bringing it down a little bit because I didn’t care too much for the characters. Time for my final score. *Bang bang bang*. My final score for “Lone Survivor” is an 8,99/10. While not perfect, I’d still say it’s worth buying.
worth-buying

My review for “Lone Survivor” is now completed.

Full disclosure: I am not talking smack about the actual people that this movie was about. I’m just judging the movie versions of them.

 

 

Movie Review: Munich (2005)

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Politics is something that I kind of follow but at the same time have a deep hate for because of it’s unnecessary complexity and tendency to start terrible conflicts. That is why I am worried that the world will plunge into the darkness faster than we can sing “We Will Rock You”.

Ladies and gentlmen… “Munich”.

In 1972, several olympic athletes were kidnapped and killed by a group of terrorists known as Black September. This led to the creation of a special task force which was led by a man named Avner Kaufman (Eric Bana). The mission of this task force was to locate the people responsible for the terrible massacre in Munich, Germany and then kill them. And we get to follow this task force on their mission which takes them all across Europe. And it was quite the ride, I tell ya. What we have here is a plot that is set over a good amount of months yet never feels like it’s dragging or rushing or anything, but instead it manages to pace itself in a perfect way that allows for both the suspenseful scenes where they need to take someone out and for the character-buidling moments. It’s a very dramatic movie with a good amount of suspense and excellent drama… kind of like “Saving Private Ryan” which just like this movie was directed by Steven Spielberg. This is also a movie that manages to be very politically even-handed, never pointing any fingers at who is the guilty country here, but rather focus those things at the individuals involved. There is no side taken here, everything’s up for the viewer to decide which side they wanna stand with while they watch the task force do their thing. And I absolutely loved every second of it.

The characters in this movie all feel very real and I think that might be because of the actors. The actors chosen for this movie weren’t really major Hollywood stars when this came out, rather they were good, natural actors… kind of like when they cast “Jurassic Park” back in the day. Eric Bana plays our main character Avner and he was absolutely great in the movie, worthy of an Oscar nomination in my opinion. Daniel Craig was also really good. Everyone in the movie was good, simple as that.

The score for the movie was provided by the one and only John Williams (why am I not surprised?). And once again, he fucking nailed it. Sure, it isn’t as memorable as some of his other scores he has composed throughout his very long career, but it was still really great. Basic explanation: It’s great, but I’m not really gonna remember it as much as the score for “Jurassic Park” or “Star Wars”.

Like I previously stated, this movie was directed by Steven Spielberg and with that said, I think you can figure out what I’m gonna say about the directing of this movie. But for the sake of redundancy, I’m still gonna say it. This movie is very well directed… but what else should one expect from Steven Spielberg? And as with a lot of his movies, he brought in Janusz Kaminski to do the cinematography for the movie and as per usual, it looks absolutely fantastic. And the action scenes in the movie are pretty well made. They don’t aim to be giant action spectacles that’ll entertain you for a few minutes, but instead they aim to be part of this surprisingly action-packed and suspenseful story. I do have to warn however for squeamish people that this is a violent and uncompromising movie that doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to what it shows. So if you don’t like realistic violence and lots of blood… maybe skip it.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 78% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 74/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10. The movie also nominated for 5 Oscars in the categories of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing and Best Original Score. 

“Munich” is a Steven Spielberg movie that doesn’t seem to get the attention it deserves. And I find that weird because it has a great story with a lot of suspense & human drama, great acting/characters, great music, great directing and great cinematography. Time for my final score. *AAAAHHHH*. My final score for “Munich” is a 9,89/10. It definitely deserves the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of Steven Spielberg’s “Munich” is now completed.

Bana Banana

Movie Review: Black Hawk Down (2001)

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*Ron Perlman voice activated*. War… war never changes.

Ladies and gentlemen, we got a… “Black Hawk Down”.

In 1993, a band of American troopers were sent in Mogadishu, Somalia to try to take down a local warlord who is the cause of a civil war. However when one of their Black Hawk choppers crash in the city they have to fight for survival against essentially everyone in the city… or at least a lot of heavily-armed Somalis. And while the story doesn’t have a lot of cultural empathy, it’s still one hell of a ride. What we have here is a really intense war story and how it affects different people in this situation. And it was all very riveting. There is rarely a calm moment in this movie, so when there finally is a bit of calm you never really take it for granted. But I have to say that it was really interesting, intriguing and pretty well handled.

The characters in this movie are nothing to write home about. They are all bland and never really develop at any time. And I know that you might be sitting there like “Come on, they’re in a war, there is no time for character development”. Three words: “Saving Private Ryan”, a war movie that is just as intense but takes the time to develop it’s characters and keep them interesting. The only reason you care for the characters in this movie is because the movie makes you root for them but introducing them in the beginning and making sure you don’t completely hate them. The only one I actually still really cared about was Josh Hartnett’s characters, but that’s really only because he gets the most space out of everyone. That and his performance is pretty great. That is something positive I can say: while the characters are bland and such, the acting is still fucking phenomenal, great work by everyone in the movie.

The score for the movie was composed by the ever so masterful Hans Zimmer. It is tense, emotional, big and badass. I would really say that it perfectly fit a war movie of this size and scope while also working very well musically overall. I also like the good mix of licensed tracks in the movie because they all worked really well in my opinion.

“Black Hawk Down” was directed by Ridley Scott who I am a huge fan of and once again, he delivered. First off, the movie is masterfully shot and directed and never really has any of that terrible shaky-cam bullshit. And the action scenes are very well handled too. They are both masterfully crafted and plentiful, so anyone in need of realistic war-action, look no further. I will just say that at one point there was so much intensity going on that I thought I was gonna get a heart attack from this damn movie. Thankfully the movie felt like quieting down for a bit around that time so I could catch my breath.

This movie was well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 76% positive rating and a “Fresh” ceritifcation. On Metacritic it has a score of 74/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,7/10. The movie also won 2 Oscars in the categories of Best film editing and Best sound. It was also nominated for an additional 2 Oscars in the categories of Best director and Best cinematography. 

“Black Hawk Down” is a really intense war movie with an engaging plot, bland & uninteresting characters, great acting, great music,  great directing and excellent action. Time for my final score. AAAAAAHHHHH. My final score for “Black Hawk Down” is a 9,38/10. I would say that it’s worth buying.
Worth buying

My review of “Black Hawk Down” is now completed.

Only the dead have seen the end of war.