Movie Review: The Purge (2013)

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With the recent release of the new horror-thriller “The Purge: Election Year”, I decided that it was time for me to go through and review the first two movies in the series because I had not seen them. That’ really the reason why, I had no other reason to see them. I had not heard the most positive things about them, but a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. Which in this case means I have to review them. So, enjoy.

Ladies and gentlemen, won’t ya please take part in… “The Purge”.

The world has gone to shit. And by that I mean that the United States has started a new annual tradition that they call “The Purge”. This means that for 12 hours straight, from 7 pm to 7 am, ALL crime is fully legal. That’s right; assault, theft, burglary, murder… rape… ALL of that is fully legal. So there are no police officers, no paramedics, no one that you can call for help in case you get attacked by some asshole with a hatchet. Now in the middle of all this shit we have James Sandin (Ethan Hawke), a man who sells protection for your home in case of Purge (break glass). But he isn’t so safe when his son (Max Burkholder) lets a homeless man into their home. The bad thing isn’t that there’s a homeless dude in their home, but that he’s chased by a gang of young psychos who really want to kill him. And instead of having a really clever and cool thriller about the consequences of this “Purge” idea, we get a pretty generic home-invasion thriller filled with jumpscares and stupid plot points. Yeah, the story/plot of this movie is not good. I’m not gonna lie, I think the idea behind “The Purge” is fucking brilliant, but that potential is wasted when they lock it down to one location and make it a generic home-invasion thriller. Yeah, not very good.

The characters in the movie are not that great. Either they make really stupid moves or their motivations are unclear/really dumb. But hey, at least the acting in the movie is pretty good. Ethan Hawke as the dad is actually pretty good, despite a not very good script. Lena Headey plays his wife, and she’s really good in her role. Max Burkholder (the son) does a pretty decent job too despite being, hold on… *looks on imdb*… only a few months younger than me. Adelaide Kane plays the angsty teenage daughter in the family and she does a pretty decent job. Rhys Wakefield plays the very well-spoken young man who is the leader of this psychotic gang who’s after the homeless guy and he does a pretty good job. I would say that every actor in the movie does a good job with what material they are given.

The music for the movie was composed by Nathan Whitehead and is was pretty meh. It’s very typical horror-thriller stuff that is meant to “build suspense” until the next jumpscare. I didn’t hate it, but it wasn’t very good either. The only tune on the soundtrack I enjoyed was the opening credits one, and that was the classic tune “Clair De Lune”, which was not even created for this movie.

This movie was directed by James DeMonaco, and looking at his filmography doesn’t exactly reassure me of quality. Yes, the shots in this movie look pretty good, but most directing choices in the movie are not that interesting. Like I said earlier, typical home-invasion thriller… that also happens to be littered with jumpscares. The blood and gore leaves no impact either. It’s not shocking and it’s not even entertaining. Basicaly, this movie doens’t really have any interesting directing at all.

This movie has not been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 37% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 41/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5,6/10.

So “The Purge” has some great ideas behind it… but it doesn’t really deliver on that. The plot is terrible, the characters are dumb, the music is meh and the directing isn’t very interesting. Though I do have to say that the acting in the movie is good and the opening credits aren’t half bad. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Purge” is a 4,54/10. It’s not good and I think you should skip it.
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My review of “The Purge” is now done.

So much trouble for one homeless guy…

The “Magnificent Seven” remake just got a trailer

Evenin’ to y’all, hope yer all enjoyin’ yerselves. I’m sorry, I can’t keep that going throughout this thing, would be much easier with my voice instead of my keyboard. But why did I go all southern and cowboy-y? Well if you couldn’t read the title of the post, we have finally gotten a trailer for Sony’s/MGM’s remake of the western classic “The Magnificent Seven”. Sinful cinematic confession… I haven’t actually seen the original 60’s film starring every big-name actor of that time. But with this movie coming out later this year, I just might have to finally check it out. Also the TV-show starring Michael Biehn, that might just finally be watched.
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So for anyone unfamiliar, the story of this is about a group of cowboys coming together to protect a village against savage thieves. Here’s the fun part though… the original “Magnificent Seven” is originally based on a Japanese movie by Akira Kurosawa about a group of samurai (yes, that’s the plural) who come together to help a village out. As you probably know by now, I absolutely love westerns, it’s practically my favorite genre of film. So of course I was interested in seeing this based on that fact, but then it also happens to feature some pretty cool things in it that makes it seem even more interesting. First off, it’s directed by Antoine Fuqua, a man who truly knows what the hell he’s doing behind that camera. Secondly, the cast is absolutely terrific, featuring people like Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Peter Sarsgaard and many more. And third… the trailer is pretty fuckin’ awesome. It features some decent lines, some really cool action and a really badass cover of “House of the Rising Sun”. I was a bit skeptical before, but after seeing this I am totally on board.
While not having gotten an official release date here in Sweden yet, you US and UK people will get it on the 23rd of September of this year.
Are you guys excited to see this movie? Leave me a comment and let me know.
Have a good one!

Movie Review: Lord of War (2005)

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I have a weird interest in illegal business practices. And before you call every safety organization on me, I don’t mean it like that. I don’t have an interest in conducting illegal business, but I am really interested in reading about it. Have I calmed your tits now? Excellent! But these kinds of illegal businesses can range from drugs to murder, but today we are taking a look at something less… mainstream, in lack of a better word. Of course it occurs a lot in our big world, but not as many people look into it as the other ones I mentioned.

Ladies and gentlemen, load your guns, aim and fire, because this is “Lord of War”!

This movie is about illegal arms-trader Yuri Orlov (Nicolas Cage) and his rise to become the best at his craft. And with him (for the most part) is his brother Vitaly (Jared Leto). But it isn’t easy supplying guns for our “heroes” as they have problems with a rivaling arms-dealer (Ian Holm) and a tenacious Interpol agent (Ethan Hawke). And that is interesting in itself of course, but the plot gets even more interesting since Yuri through the plot starts questioning the morality of his work more and more. And to be completely honest, I find the plot really interesting and engaging. There wasn’t one minute of the plot that wasn’t interesting to me. It was so well-written and suspenseful that I just didn’t find anything uninteresting in it.

The characters were all really well-written and never felt out of place or even unrealistic. And I am so happy to see Nicolas Cage give a really good performance. Now to be fair, I have for the most part only seen over-the-top performances from him and the only legitimately good I have seen from him prior to this was “Joe” where he was amazing. But I know he got it in him to be great and here he proved it. Jared Leto was also great in the movie as his brother. And Ethan Hawke as Interpol agent Jack Valentine was also really good.

The score for the movie was done by Anthony Pinto and was in my opinion really good. There was a lot of use of piano and acoustic guitar which helped build a lot of suspense and emotion which is exactly what was needed. The music was also part of helping hold up the thought-provoking plot and characters by having that type of vibe (if that makes any sense).

The movie was both written and directed by Andrew Niccol and he shows that he got a knack for both. The writing (Both plot and dialogue) is excellent and the camera work/direction of the movie is really good. The movie is visually impressive, especially during the movie’s amazing opening credits which follows the life of a single bullet, featuring the excellent song “For What it’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield. Watch it here!

This was movie generally well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 61% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 62/100. Roger Ebert gave it a score of 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10.

“Lord of War” got a well-written and thought-provoking plot, terrific performances, a great soundtrack/score, great direction/camera work and one of the best opening credit sequences I have ever seen. Time for my final score. Holy crap, Jeff… you’re actually on time for once. Envelope? Thank you! You can go now. My final score for “Lord of War” is a 9,82/10 which of course gives it the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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Review of “Lord of War” is completed.

There’s something happening here, for what it is ain’t exactly clear…