12 Films of Christmas 2018 (Part 5)

Well hello there! Thanks for coming. Sit down and relax while I jabber on about today’s film.

Earlier today I was thinking, “What should I do today?”, as I wanted to be slightly more creative with today’s pick. Then I thought “I should do a Harry Potter movie!”, as most of those flicks have a part set around the holiday. Then it came down to which one I would do. And in the end I decided to pick my favorite out of the bunch, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”. It’s time for Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) to do his third year at Hogwarts school for witchcraft and wizardry. But of course he can’t just have a “normal” school year for once, as he has to look out for Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), a killer who has escaped from Azkaban prison. And you know the usual shenanigans that happen, Harry questions things, Snape (Alan Rickman) looks angry, Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) is secretly a dick, and Harry and his friends end up in some dangerous situations. But they put some nice twists on these things here with the inclusion of certain revelations regarding the past of Harry’s parents, as well as the looming horror of the Dementors. It stands out thanks to one of the more engaging plots in the series, combined with the confident and stunning direction of Alfonso Cuarón. And while this movie doesn’t go “Happy Christmas” as blatantly as some of the other ones, it does have a bit set in a very snowy Hogsmeade, and it all just gives me a very christmas-y vibe. “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” works both for christmas-y and casual viewing.

On the fifth day of christmas, Markus brings to you, an actual good film, woohoo!

Movie Review: Child 44 (2015)

Adapting a book to a film is a very serious gamble. Sometimes you can  succeed very well and get something as great as Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, or you get something as mediocre as “The Hunger Games” (That’s right, I said it). So for you aspiring filmmakers out there want to adapt something into a movie… be careful.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Child 44”.

The Soviet Union, 1953. Leo Demidov (Tom Hardy) is a member of the Russian Military police that takes on the the task of investigating a series child murders. And what follows is a tale of betrayal, redemption, and other fancy words. The basic story of this movie is actually really good and could be incredibly compelling… however, the execution of said story in this movie is not that good. I wouldn’t say that it was bad, but you can tell that the movie’s reach exceeds it’s grasp. The people who made this film clearly wanted to make the plot compelling and suspenseful, but in the end it was just kind of… meh. Which is kind of sad, because the ideas they set up here are actually good. The execution on the other hand is not that great. It’s kind of boring. I can appreciate a slowly paced movie, but the pacing in this movie is kind of shit.

The characters in this movie are decently interesting. I wouldn’t say that I was too invested in them, but they weren’t bad. Tom Hardy plays the main character Leo Demidov and actually gave a great performance. I actually did kind of care about his character, but that’s mainly because of Hardy’s great performance. Noomi Rapace played Hardy’s wife in this movie and she was good. Joel Kinnaman plays one of Hardy’s colleague in the movie and he did a really good job. His character was a bit psycho, and Kinnaman portrayed that very well. Gary Oldman is also really good in the movie, even though he doesn’t get to do too much in this. Jason Clarke pops up very briefly in this movie, and he does a really good job even though, like I said, his appearance is rather brief. We also get Fares Fares as another one of Hardy’s colleagues and he gives a really good performance. So yeah… there are a bunch of really solid performances in this movie.

The original score for the movie was composed by Jon Ekstrand and it was pretty good. While it never did anything overly unique/original, it was still well composed and fit the movie fairly well.

This movie was directed by Daniel Espinosa and he did an okay job. The shots for the most part look really good, but I think that’s more thanks to the cinematographer, Oliver Wood. There are a few action scenes in this movie and they are… okay. The main problem with them is that they are too shaky. I know that it works in “Bourne Ultimatum” (also shot by Oliver Wood), but here it just looks bad. Basically when there is no action and people are simply talking or there is some establishing shot, this movie looks great. But when action comes it turns into a shaky, quickly cut mess. Also, remember when I talked about adapting books at the beginning of the review? Yeah, this movie is based on the book of the same name written by Tom Rob Smith.

This movie has not been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 26% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 41/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,5/10.

“Child 44” is a movie that has glimpses of greatness throughout it’s entire runtime, but ultimately falls flat. It has a meh story, okay characters, great performances, good music, okay directing, and good cinematography. The things that bring it down is an uncompelling plot, characters not being the most compelling, and action scenes being shaky as shit. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Child 44” is a 6,22/10.
So it might be worth a rental.

My review of “Child 44” is now completed.

In Soviet Russia, movie watch you.

 

Movie Review: State of Grace (1990)

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Don’t get involved with mobsters… EVER! It just brings trouble. Understood? Good.

Ladies and gentlemen… “State of Grace”.

Terry Noonan (Sean Penn) is an undercover cop who has returned to his old home of Hell’s Kitchen, New York, after being away for a certain amount of years. And soon he gets in touch with his old friend Jackie (Gary Oldman) who gets Terry involved with the Irish mob, led by Jackie’s brother, Frankie (Ed Harris). And soon Terry gets involved in some pretyt intense stuff. From this we get a surprisingly investing and very well told mob story. There are a few surprises strewn throughout the plot that really helped keep my interest. I’m not saying that they’re mindblowing twists, but they were most defiiinitely a little surprising. So yeah, the plot here is really solid.

I admit, the characters in thsi movie aren’t the most original when it comes to what type of character they all are. But I was definitely interested in all of them. Sean Penn is great as Terry, he perfectly plays this conflicted undercover cop. Ed Harris is great as the mob boss, but you knew that already… it’s Ed fucking Harris. Gary Oldman in this movie is fantastic, playing this very unhinged man. Really, he’s a blast to watch. Robin Wright plays the sister of Harris/Oldman that gets romantically involved with Terry, and she’s great in the role. Then we also get some really good supporting performances from people like John Turturro and John C. Reilly. A solid cast giving great performances… me likey.

The score for the movie was composed by the legendary Ennio Morricone, and he delivered some pretty great tunes, like he always does. The music is dramatic, tense, and it worked very well for the movie. And it just overall sounds great, because Ennio Morricone can do no wrong.

The movie was directed by Phil Joanou and Michael Lee Baron and they did a really solid job. Scenes flow smoothly and everything is just overall well handled. I of course also have to mention that the cinematography by Jordan Cronenweth looks great. But what else should one expect from the man who did the cinematography for “Blade Runner”. One final thing I also want to mention is that this movie contains one of the coolest shootouts that I have ever seen. It’s very late in the movie, but the wait is so worth it. The mix of visuals and sound is really great. It’s also really violent, so if you are squeamish you might not be the biggest fan.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 84% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t exist. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,3/10.

“State of Grace” is a really solid gangster movie. It has a really good plot, good characters, great performances, great music, great directing, and great cinematography. Time for my final score. *Bang*. My final score for “State of Grace” is a 9,79/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
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My review of “State of Grace” is now completed.

Early 90s Gary Oldman would make a great Deadpool… just a thought.

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)

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Guys, we are finally here… the final part in my series of reviews leading up to “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”. I have had so much fun with this series of reviews, especially since it gave me an excuse to rewatch all of the movie in this series I grew up with. And I thank anyone who has given each review a like and/or a comment, I really appreciate it. So… let’s get into it!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”!!! *sniffles*.

Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) are at the final stretch. Only a few horcruxes left to defeat Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) who now possesses the almighty elder wand. And from that we get the final chapter in this huge saga. But it’s not just a big and epic war, there is still a good amount of substance to it. The plot presented to us is very fast-paced but still manages to give us some very solid drama. We even get to learn more on the backstory on a few of the characters and it really helps to give this world we all love even more depth and emotion. So it’s a very solid plot we have here.

The character are as great as they will ever become in this movie. Harry has now fully matured and become the hero and leader needed for the battle. And Radcliffe is as amazing as ever… not much else to say there. Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, they were great in their roles again. Ralph Fiennes, he was great. Alan Rickman (rest in peace you awesome man) got some more space as Snape in this movie and he was absolutely fantastic. Warwick Davis got to play double roles in this movie and he was great in both. For those wondering, he played both Griphook and Professor Flitwick. Matthew Lewis got some good screen time and further got to evolve Neville. We also saw the return of the great John Hurt as Ollivander. Firstly, good to see you again sir. What’s it been? 8 movies? Jokes aside, he was really good. I’d say that every returning actor ranged from really good to great in this movie. So let’s talk about the few new additions to the cast that this movie got. Firstly we get Ciarán Hinds as Aberforth, someone with deep ties to a certain someone in the “HP” universe. Not gonna mention who because there are people who haven’t seen this yet (grrr), so I just want them to experience it. And I just wanna mention also that I didn’t recognize Hinds as this character. I seriously had to look up who played him. But I can safely say that his performance is good. The second one I want to mention is a character played by Kelly Macdonald that shows up pretty briefly. She’s important in the end and her performance was really good. All actors were really good… MOVING ON!

The music (like in the previous part) was composed by Alexandre Desplat and it’s fucking fantastic. Some of the pieces in the score really are something special. And all hte tracks in the movie perfectly fit the scenes and really helped add something to it all. And of course it was amazing hearing some of the classic themes throughout… fucking nostalgic, I tell ya.

David Yates of course directed this movie, he had no reason not to. I mean, if he did Part 1 he had to do Part 2. But enough of the jokey stuff. Was his directing good in this movie? You can bet your ass it was! It’s just as great as in the previous movie. His directing is tense and dramatic. And the cinematography by Eduardo Serra is beautiful. And the visual effects are absolutely stunning. All of these of course make for some absolutely fantastic action scenes. Let me also say that this movie made me cry. Two and a half times. Half as in one time wasn’t a full cry, only like a single tear. But yeah, this shit made me sad. *sniffles*.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 96% (100% if you go by “top critics” only) positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 87/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,1/10 and is ranked #223 on the “Top 250” list. The movie was also nominated for 3 Oscars in the categories of Best makeup, best visual effects, and Best art direction.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” is the perfect way to end this magnificent franchise. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, great directing, great cinematography, and amazing visual effects. Time for my final score. Shut up, I’m not crying. My final score for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” is a 9,89/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” is now completed.

This is it, the very end. And since it’s such a special occasion, I want to do something I never really do. I am asking you all a favor. Share this around social media. Friends, family, followers, pets… doesn’t matter. Just share it, let’s make a big fuckin’ deal out of this! Thank you.

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

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The Month of Spooks may be over, but we still have some “Harry Potter” reviews to get through! And it’s finally November, so it’s not long now until “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” comes out. For fuck’s sake, it’s in like… 12 days. Alright… let’s do this!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”.

After Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) wards off a Dementor attack and saves his terrible cousin Dudley (Harry Melling), he gets in some trouble with the Ministry of magic. So to keep an eye on both Harry and Dumbledore (Michael Gambon), the ministry sends Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) to become the new defense against the dark arts teacher. This all happens as the ministry is trying to quiet down the “rumor” that Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) is back. And now Harry has to go through another year at Hogwarts, with the ministry breathing down his neck, while also having strange visions of awful things. And there’s a lot of shit going on here. Almost to the point of being too much… almost. Really, working with as many sub-plots as this movie does is a very delicate thing to do, which can get severely fucked in the end. But this movie handles it well, even if some things might feel a little skimmed over at times. But I get it, they got a long fucking book to adapt and don’t want to make the movie too long. I’m sut saying, I think the plot is really good and features some genuinely great moments, but it feels like it does skim over some parts.

The characters in this movie are pretty damn interesting. Harry once again gets a lot of character development, mostly because of some terrrible things happening to him throughout. And Daniel Radcliffe… I don’t think I have to say anything, the guy is amazing in the movie. Rupter Grint and Emma Watson are also great, not much to say there. Michael Gambon once again owns the role of Albus Dumbledore. Alan Rickman (Rest in peace, you awesome man) is great once again as Snape. Basically any recurring actor is great. So let’s go through the newere actors in the movie. Ralph Fiennes (yes, he was introduced in the previous one, but you should shut up) was great as Voldemort, the manipulative and intimidating villain. Imelda Staunton as Umbridge… god. Her performance was great, but the character was despicable. I really did not like her, but I guess that was the point. I’m just saying, I’d rather hang out with Negan from “The Walking Dead” than be anywhere near Umbridge. The last one I’m gonna mention is Luna Lovegood, played by Evanna Lynch… yeah, she’s fucking awesome. She’s weird, funny, odd… I just love her, she’s awesome. She’s also Irish, which is a plus in my book (the only one I prefer more is Scottish).

The original score for this movie wa not composed by the one and only John Williams, nor by Patrick Doyle. No, this time the composer chosen was Nicholas Hooper who I think did a really good job. The music is fun, exciting, and well composed. Not the most memorable of scores from any “HP” movie, but it’s still good.

This is the first of the “Harry Potter” movies to be directed by David Yates, and he did a terrific job with it. The movie is very well shot. And it shows a lot too in the fact that this movie gives us the first real look at wizarding warfare. There’s a huge battle near the end of the movie where there’s all kinds of magic flying around, and it is intense and awesome! Speaking of magic, the visual effects look great… ain’t got much to say there. Also, as a fun fact: this movie actually made me tear up… yeah. Those who have seen the movie might have an idea what caused it… because it makes sense to tear up at that point in the movie!

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 78% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 71/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10.

“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” is not my favorite movie in the series. It’s not a bad movie at all, it has a lot of great stuff going for it. It has a good plot, good characters, great acting, good music, great directing, and some great visual effects. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” is a 9,55/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” is now completed.

Just so you know, the game is also pretty good.

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

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We’re now halfway through my series of reviews leading up to the release of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”. So I just wanted to take a moment to thank you guys for sticking around and for giving me a bunch of likes and nice comments… I really appreciate it. Okay, done with the mushy stuff… let’s get into the review!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”!

So Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) return for their fourth year at Hogwarts. But this time it is a bit different since the school has been selected to host the Triwizard tournament. This of course is the huge magical tournament where wizards and witches from three different schools compete to show who’s the best. The wizards get selected through the Goblet of Fire (roll credits). And for some unknown reason, Harry get selected by it to compete, despite being three years too young. So now he has to compete in there, while something more sinister goes on in the background. And this gives us an intereesting plot that further develops this world we all know and love, while also playing with the theme of maturity. I mean, since this is the first PG-13 “Harry Potter” movie, so we get some more mature themes in this movie. And it’s really interesting to see these characters go through all the things they go through in this movie.

The characters in this movie are just as interesting and great as in the first three… if not even better. Since Harry gets dragged into the tournament and has to face some truly dangerous stuff, he of course has to mature a bit, which he actually does throughout the movie, and I do like seeing that type of development in him. You can really tell that he’s very different from when we first saw him in “Philosopher’s Stone”, he has really grown as a character. And Daniel Radcliffe is absolutely terrific in the role, especially since he has to show a lot of emotion throughout this movie, which can be difficult for someone so young. But he fucking nailed it! Ron and Hermione also gets some development in the movie, which is nice to see. Of course Rupert Grint and Emma Watson are great in their roles. All other returning cast members are great in their roles too. So let’s talk about some of the new additions. First off, Robert Pattinson as Cedric Diggory, a handsome young man from Hufflepuff. And he’s really good in this movie, compared to his performance as Edward in “Twilight”… which was shit. Then we have Brendan Gleeson as Alastor “MadEye” Moody, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. He may be a bit crazy, but at least he’s great at what he does. And Brendan Gleeson is fantastic in the role. We also get Katie Leung as Cho Chang, a student at Hogwarts that Harry may or may not have a bit of a crush on. And she’s good in her role too. Basically all actors did really well.

This is the first of the “Harry Potter” movies not to be scored by the one and only John Williams. Instead the score was composed by Patrick Doyle. And while I don’t think the score is as great as maybe “Prisoner of Azkaban”, it still is damn good. It’s fun, exciting, magical, and perfectly works for the movie. It’s good.

This movie was directed by Mike Newell and I think he did a really good job with it. The shots look really good and the scenes flow very well. But where this movie really shines is with the Triwizard scenes, particularly the first and the last. The first is an exciting scene where Harry has to dodge a CGI dragon that looks absolutely terrific. The final one, which is in a maze… tense as all hell. And it’s a great scene for Harry as a character, because it’s basically just him trying to survive in there, all by himself. Speaking of things, the visual effects in this movie looks absolutely fantastic. Sure, you can tell most of the time when stuff is CGI, but at least it looks really good. There’s also a lot of comedy in the movie, I really had forgotten how funny this movie actually was. Most of the comedy has to do with the guys entering puberty and also having to deal with a Yule ball. Seriously, I laughed quite a bit thanks to this movie. And of course, Fred and George, being as awesomely funny as always… love ’em.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 88% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 81/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,7/10. The movie was also nominated for 1 Oscar in the category of Best Art Direction.

“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” is not as good as “Prisoner of Azkaban”, but it’s still a damn fine movie. With a really good plot, great characters, great acting, really good music, really good directing, and great visual effects. Time for my final score. Accio, envelope! My final score for “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” is a 9,74/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
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My review of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” is now completed.

Halfway there… holy shit.

 

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

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So now we’re moving forward in my series of reviews leading up to “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”. So let’s stop with this intro and just get into it!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”!

After having blown his horrible uncle’s horrible sister into a human balloon, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) goes back to Hogwarts. But everyone in the wizarding world is a bit on edge at the moment, because convicted killer Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) has somehow escaped from Azkaban prison and is presumably out and about to find Harry and do somethign terrible. And this of course also brings out the Dementors, the guardians of Azkaban. And from that we get a plot that further develops this world that’s been built up over the previous two movies, and gives us even more knowledge on the pasts of everyone. There are some truly interesting developments going on here that truly adds layers of the already established world, while also giving us a compelling stand-alone mystery. And I absolutely loved it. It was invested the whole way through thanks to those great developments and the overall great pacing of the movie.

The characters in the movie are just as great as in the previous movies, if maybe even better. With all the revelations happening we see Harry developing even more as a character, as he no longer takes any shit from anyone. And Daniel Radcliffe’s performance in the movie is truly great, with him having to show a lot of different emotions throughout the story. Rupert Grint is great, Emma Watson’s great, Alan Rickman (R.I.P) is great. Basically, any returning cast member is great. So let’s talk about some new additions, such as Michael Gambon now playing Dumbledore instead of Richard Harris (R.I.P). And I honestly think he does a really good job here, probably even surpassing Harris. Then we also have David Thewlis as Remus Lupin, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. And he does a great job too. Gary Oldman as Sirius… fantastic, but there could never be any doubt about that. It’s Gary fucking Oldman. Every actor in this movie does a great job!

The one and only John WIlliams once again provided the score, and it might the best so far. Some of the tracks create the same level of inspiring awe that could be gathered from the scores of the previous two movies, but then we also have some tracks that are outright chilling and haunting. Don’t believe me? Listen to the track “Apparition on the Train” and tell that it’s not a chilling piece of music. Yeah, the music in this one is fucking fantastic.

This is the first “Harry Potter” movie not directed by Chris Columbus (still not trying to rediscover America), instead the reins were handed over to Alfonso Cuarón. And while I thought Columbus did a really good job, Cuarón knocked it out of the god damn park! This is a magnificently directed movie, giving us some real eye candy. For example: Throughout the movie we get some of Cuarón’s signature single-take shots, which look great. Combining his direction with the editing of hte movie also makes it really suspenseful, and even a bit scary. Not only are the designs of the Dementors scary, but the way that some scenes play out/are directed actually kind of scared me. The imagery presented combined with editing, sound effects, and music made for a tense and kind of scary watch. So this can technically be put in the Month of Spooks. Two birds, one stone. And of course, the visual effects in the movie are absolutely terrific, perfectly holding up 12 years later… holy shit, this movie is 12 years old!

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 82/100. Roger Ebert gave it 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,8/10. The movie was also nominated for 2 Oscars in the categories of Best Original Score and Best Visual Effects. 

“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” is one of those rare cases where the third movie in a series happens to be better than the first two. It has a fantastic story, great characters, great acting, fantastic music, fantastic directing, and great visual effects. Time for my final score. *EXPECTO PATRONUM!*. My final score for “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” is a 9,90/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” is now completed.

It’s a shame Cuarón didn’t diect any more HP movies…

Movie Review: True Romance (1993)

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Ya know… the poster sums it up pretty well.

Ladies and gentlemen, are you ready for some… “True Romance”.

So Clarence (Christian Slater) is kind of a lonely nerd. He very rarely goes on dates, he works in comic book store, and he spens his birthdays at the movie theater. But this year is a bit different, because he meets Alabama (Patricia Arquette), a lovely woman who turns out to be a call girl hired by Clarence’s boss. So what happens is that Clarence marries Alabama, steals her pimp’s cocaine (cue Eric Clapton), and then runs off to try to sell it to Hollywood people. Also, the mobsters who actually own the cocaine are going after our “heroes” to get it back. Ooo boy, that’s a lot of unnecessarily necessary plot elements, it’s almost like this was written by Quentin Tantin-oh shit, he actually wrote this. Jokes aside, I think the plot of this movie works really well. It isn’t really a plot that should be taken too seriously, and when you look at it from such a perspective, you will be able to appreciate it more. And that’s what I did and I really liked it. The plot is so odd, yet so grounded in reality that it kind of just meshes together perfectly.

The characters in this movie… to descrive them as colorful would be a bit of an understatement. I mean, when you have a script by Quentin Tarantino you should expect some oddball characters. Christian Slater does a great job as Clarence, playing a man who despite this strange situation, is quite relatable. Patricia Arquette (who’s really hot in this, by the way) does a really good job at playing this woman who goes through lots of ups and downs throughout the movie. Then we have one of the best supporting casts I’ve ever seen, including actors like Dennis Hopper (R.I.P), Christopher Walken, Michael Rapaport, Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini (R.I.P), and Samuel L. Jackson. Then we also have my absolute favorite in the movie (hence why I saved him for last): Gary Oldman as Drexl Spivey. This guy is out of his damn mind, a white guy who thinks he’s black and… god, I just love him! Shit, I barely recognized Oldman in the role. No wonder he’s known as a human transformer.

What’s interesting about the music in “True Romance” is that there are parts of an original score, but not that much. The music is mostly based in licensed tracks of varying genres (kind of like a lot of Tarantino movies). The original score bits were composed by Hans Zimmer and they were… okay. The tracks composed by ZImmer worked for the movie, but I wasn’t the biggest fan of them. The rest of the soundtrack though… fucking magnificent, perfect picks!

This movie was directed by Tony Scott (R.I.P), and I think he did a great job with this. The movie looks nice and any part that involves some kind of craziness going on… beautiful. I mean, the final action scene in the movie is pretty great. Violent, stylish, and simply fun. And like I have stated several times during this review, the movie was written by none other than Quentin Tarantino. And you can tell, because the movie has his handprints all over it. Movie references, conversations about nothing, tons of profanity… Samuel L. Jackson. And all of it works perfectly in the movie. Shit, if anyone else would have written the movie I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed the movie as much. The doalog is just fun and snappy and awesome.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 92% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 57/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10.

“True Romance” is a reall oddball action-dramedy. It has an interesting plot, great characters/acting, a really good soundtrack, great directing, and great writing. Time for my final score. You’re so cool. My final score for “True Romance” is a 9,84/10. This of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “True Romance” is now completed.

Seeing Christian Slater here just gets me more excited for “Mr. Robot” season 2.

Movie Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

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Sequels are probably the one thing (besides shitty horror movies and comedies) that is the most common in our modern movie world. Some are good, some are bad (Cough, cough, Transformers, cough!). And today we are taking a look at the sequel to the excellent “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (Still a mouthful).

APES!…”Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”.

Just so you know, this review will contain some spoilers for “Rise of the…” considering this is a sequel. So if you have not seen that movie yet I suggest you go watch that first and come back when you have done that. Okay, for the rest of you people who had the common sense to watch “Rise of the…” first…let’s go!
The story is set 10 years after the events of the previous movie. The so called “Simian Flu” eradicated most of humanity except for a few who apparently were immune. A few of these were our important (main) characters Malcolm (Jason Clarke), Dreyfus (Gary Oldman), Ellie (Keri Russell) and Alexander (Kodi Smith-McPhee). On the other side of the spectrum we have the a giant community of apes led by Caesar (Andy Serkis). Not only is Caesar the leader of all apes…he is also a husband/father. But of course his leadership is threatened by not only war with the humans (if that would happen) and his servant and “friend” Koba (Toby Kebbell). The humans want to restore power to their town with the help of a nearby dam. Problem is that a giant ape “army” (using the word loosely) between them and the dam. But as Malcolm want to make peace with the apes to work in peace, Dreyfus having some problem with that and Koba having something bad in mind, shit will go down. Now that is kind of the story in a nutshell without spoilers. I am keeping it as simple as possible (which is more difficult than it seems) to not spoil anything. Because this story might have a kind of predictable idea…the execution is strangely more awesome. It is perfectly executed and always keeps you interested (at least in my case). This movie is one that some people have called “boring”…but I disagree. Those people probably expected non-stop action and did not like when there would be good amount of drama. Oh yeah…it is the “Drive” situation again. And once again I love how it turned out and don’t care that there is a good amount of drama. The drama only makes it better…kind of like “Drive” (Comparisons on two different types of movies…jeez).

The characters are portrayed very realistically. They are not as cheesy as in the 1967 original…but also not trying to be too dramatic. All characters are incredibly human (Yes, even the apes). I have never seen a movie where I have seen primates show emotions and make it seem so realistic. That is the only word to describe the characters here really…realistic (Again…yes, even the apes). Malcolm is the guy who only wants peace between humans and apes but also to help humanity survive by getting the dam running. Dreyfus does not have a problem shooting the apes and even talking about it in public. Then we have Caesar…oh my god, give Andy Serkis his fucking Oscar already. I don’t care what the academy thinks about performance capture…give Serkis his god damn Oscar already!

The score is fantastic. A lot of epic tracks are of course in there for the more action-based bits, but it also features some calmer tracks to work with the drama and slower bits. Composer Michael Giacchino did a fantastic job with the soundtrack and has my utmost respect and admiration.

The CGI in this movie is breathtaking…even more so than in the pervious movie. It is so good. I am not kidding, you can look at this movie and your jaw will drop to the floor. I wouldn’t get surprised if it got an Oscar nomination for best Visual Effects. Also, the camera work is fucking magnificent in general. Matt Reeves know how to make a great looking movie and I love that. And if I can be honest for one second, there was a scene in the movie, not saying which…that made me cry. Not like “Oh no…I am crying my eyes out”. More like “I just shed a tear”. If a movie succeeds in doing that, then it does something right.

The recpetion for “Dawn of the…” has been nothing but general praise (Unless you count the few assholes who calls it boring). Rotten Tomatoes has a 91% positive rating with a “Fresh” Certification. Metacritic has 79/100 as score. imdb.com has 8,5/10 as main score and the movie is ranked #155 on the Top 250 list.

I have given my primitive opinions on a few things that this movie has to offer. And now I am willing to hand out my final score. My score for “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is a 9,70/10 and a recommendation to buy it when it comes out. But wait, with that score also means, *gasp*…the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
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“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is now reviewed. I honestly think it is slightly superior to the previous one.

APES! TOGETHER! STRONG!

Movie Review: Robocop (2014)

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Remakes are happening all the time. Some good like “3:10 To Yuma” and Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy. Then there are shit ones like the 2013 version of “The Lone Ranger”. Then we have remakes that get reviews so mixed, that they wake the interest of people even more. That recently happened for this reviewer fairly recently with a remake of one of the most undreground hits of all time…”Robocop”. So what did this reviewer think of the remake that has gotten a PG-13 rating instead of the M rating the original had.

Ladies and Gentlerobots…”Robocop”!…The remake.

In 2028, company Omnicorp has the leading grasp on robotic technology. Mostly for military needs overseas. But they want to expand it to have for police based needs in the US. But the people are not too happy about it. The guy who want to put it in the hands of cops, Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton) really wants to push the idea forward. He looks for valid candidates to put this technolgy on. Mainly people who have lost limbs and been in the army and shit. But they find no good one. Enter police officer Alex James Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) who after coming home from a regular day of work and checking why his car alarm is going off an hour or so later…gets blown up. So naturally he gets picked out, his wife (Abbie Cornish) signs the papers that basically say “Yes I allow scientists to do weird robot shit with my husband” and he gets rebuïlt by Dr. Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman). So after he wakes up and stuff, he goes on a smaller rampage just because he is scared and don’t know what the hell is going on or where the hell he is. But after getting shut down and getting everything explained to him by the good Dr. Norton, he will be tasked to become the first ever…Robocop (Roll the credits…oh wait). So yeah, they did some changes to the origin story a little bit and drags the whole transformation into Robocop out until circa the 30 minute mark. Then he becomes Robocop. But changes aren’t always so bad (Except if Michael Bay makes them), they might actually help. And I feel that the dragging out until the transformation thing was kinda smart, considering it gives it a little more buildup. But they try to make the entire story thing a shit-ton more complicated which kinda takes away from the charm a little bit. And since they make it more complicated…it kinda loses its edge a little bit. Also…it’s PG-13…so no ultra violence to make it more entertaining…damn. Also, they reversed the character of Robocop a little bit. In the original, he had to learn to become more human. In this one he need to learn to be more robotic. So yeah…changes!

The characters, I’m gonna be honest are kinda jsut there to be characters and fill out space. They are not here for anything else. The only one I even remotely cared for was Alex (Robocop) since he was the main protagonist with any development. Oh wait…Dr. Norton had some too…but not as much. So the characters are not the strong suit of this movie.

The music is something I liked in this. It is exactly what you’d expect from this type of movie…techno-esque things and a few rock tracks. And I really enjpyed that. Also, minor spoiler (but still not) for the end credits. They played the song “I fought The Law” by The Clash on the end credits…and that gets some major points from me.

The special effects in this…they are honestly really good. Those are one of the few things driving this movie forward. Also the action scenes, while brief, are surprisingly well done and actually enjoyable…even if they are few and far between. And this movie looks really, really good. Good job director-guy.

Reception for “Robocop” has been very mixed. For example: Rotten Tomatoes gave this movie a 49% rating. Metacritic gave it a 52/100 rating. The things in this movie that has gotten most praise were the performances and the looks of it. But getting criticism for the lack of violence and social satire in it. And to top this off, imdb.com has given this movie a score of 6,5/10.

So I have given my opinions on the movie and is ready to throw it a score. The score for “Robocop”…the remake, is a 6,89/10 and a recommendation rent it. This movie is not bad…it’s quite good. But it is not as fun as the original.

Review is now completed.

Your move, creep!