Movie Review: The Nice Guys (2016)

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In a world filled with crime and scary stuff, cops have their hands full. And that’s basically why there are private investigators, so the cops don’t have to take care of all the bullshit out there… at least I think it is like that. If not, then I don’t know what the fuck their purpose is.

Ladies and gents, let me introduce you to… “The Nice Guys”.

Holland March (Ryan Gosling) and Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe), two somewhat different people. One is a somewhat dim-witted private investigator, the other is an enforcer. These two people have to team up to try to investiagte the disappearance of a girl and the death of a porn actress. The cases may seem unrelated, but our “heroes” soon find out that they might actually be related in some strange way. And from that premise we get a surprisingly layered and intriguing mystery set in Los Angeles in 1977. And as you may suspect from my choice of words, I loved the plot of this movie. It’s just such a fun and interesting and odd mystery that we get to see these guys go through in this movie, it’s really something we never see in film these days. But we got to now… and it was great!

The characters in this movie are all unique, interesting, and so damn entertaining. Ryan Gosling is terrific in this movie as this dim-witted and often drunk private investigator. Ruseel Crowe is also really great as the enforcer guy who seems to have a little bit more brain behind his skull. But what makes this even better is the chemistry between these guys. These guys play off each other very well and they really make some magic together. We also have young actress Angourie Rice as Holly, the fdaughter of Gosling’s character. And to tell you the truth, she was fucking amazing. Usually having someone as young as her in a movie can turn out really bad, but she was awesome. Her performance was really good and her character actually helped get shit done in the movie. She was really a standout in the cast. And the cast also has some more great actors in it, such as Keith David and Kim Basinger. There’s also a really badass character that doesn’t show up until late in the movie, but let it be known that he is awesome!

The score for the movie was composed by John Ottman and David Buckley. And it is perfect. Okay, it’s not something that I would jsut listen to at pure random, but it’s perfect in the sense that it perfectly fits the movie. The music really harkens back to the stuff you could hear in 70s crime movies/shows… and that’s perfect because this is a crime movie set in the 70s. It fit the movie perfectly and is overall very well composed. We also get a lot of great 70s tunes played in various scenes. We get everything from KISS, to America, to Earth, Wind  & Fire. Yeah, this movie got some great music.

This movie was written and directed by Shane Black, and like his directorial debut (which he also wrote), “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”, he has created a movie with great directing and pitch-perfect writing. The shots look great and Black’s directing really helps sell the 1970s setting. And the writing… oh my fucking god, it is some of the funniest stuff that I’ve experienced in some time! Really, this movie made me laugh pretty damn hard. Maybe that’s just because I have a dark sense of humor, because there is some dark stuff in the movie that really got me laughing pretty hard. But that is also kind of like “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”, Shane Black’s dark buddy-comedy from 2005. What I’m trying to say is that this movie is fuckin’ hilarious. I can also say that this movie has some action scenes and they are all fun and exciting. Really, Black did a great job here.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 93% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 70/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10.

“The Nice Guys” is the type of movie that doesn’t really get made these days. It feels so different to the majority of Hollywood stuff we get these days. It has a great plot, great characters, great acting (and chemistry between the actors), great music, great directing, and some really hilarious writing. Time for my final score. *Boogie woogie*. My final score for “The Nice Guys” is a 9,90/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “The Nice Guys” is now completed.

A movie written by Shane Black that isn’t set during Christmas? Holy shit!

Movie Review: X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

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I have been a pretty big fan of Marvel’s mutant franchise for most of my life. It all started with the cartoon “X-Men: Evolution”, and then I of course started watching the movies. And the rest is history. So I am of course always excited when a new one of these is about to be released. So let’s see if this was another hit.

Ladies and gentlemen… “X-Men: Apocalypse”!

Ancient mutant En Sabah Nur (Oscar Isaac) has awoken from his really long slumber and is recruiting various mutants to join him in destroying the world and rebuilding it into something different. So it’s up to Professor X (James McAvoy), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), and a bunch of other mutants to stop him before everything goes to shit. Sounds pretty standard from that outlook, but it is far more interesting than that. The only real flaw with the story is that it takes a while to actually grab the viewer and get them invested. But after about 20 – 30 minutes we get a scene involving Magneto (Michael Fassbender) which truly helps kick off the story and increase the drama. And after that I felt that the plot worked very well throughout, featuring some truly great storytelling. Again, it’s those first minutes that take a while to get going as they only act to set up characters and the plot. But after that… shit gets good!

The characters in this movie are really interesting. James McAvoy as Professor X once again knocked it out of the park, he is so great in this movie. Michael Fassbender as Magneto, fucking amazing, especially since he actually gets a few pretty damn emotional moments. And the interplay between these two main characters is just as great as ever. Jennifer Lawrence was good as Mystique, you could tell that she was phoning it in a little bit, but overall her perforamance was good. Nicholas Hoult was great as Beast. Rose Byrne (welcome back), was really good as Moira MacTaggert. Evan Peters as Quicksilver… he was just awesome, like in “Days of Future Past”. I’d even argue that he’s even better in this movie since he gets more to do and has more of a purpose in this story. So now let’s talk about the newcomers. Sophie Turner was really good as Jean Grey, I am glad that she got to shine a bit in this movie with some scenes/moments that requires the actor to be able to portray anger and distress in a movie, and she nailed it. Tye Sheridan played Cyclops in this movie and I thought he was really good. And I’m not just saying that because I’m a fan of Sheridan, but I am saying it because he was genuinely good in the role. And to answer your questions, yes I am really a fan of the guy. Kodi Smit-McPhee played Nightcrawler in the movie, and that is something I was really interested in because Nightcrawler is my favorite mutant. And I am happy to say that the guy was really good in the role. Then finally, let’s talk about Oscar Isaac as En Sabah Nur, or Apocalypse as he’s more known as. Oscar Isaac is one of the best actors of the modern generation, so I was very excited when he was cast in the role. And how was he? At first his performance felt a little odd, not exactly something that I’d say was great. But then as the movie went on I got more used to it and I’d even argue that his performance got a better over time. And as a villain in general I thought Apocalypse was fine, he was suitably intimidating and badass.

Like in the previous movie, the score was composed by John Ottman who also did the editing on the film. But how was his score for the movie? Good. It’s, bombastic… the stuff you’d expect from this type of huge superhero movie. Not to say that it’s bad, I’m just saying that it doesn’t take any big or unique or unexpected turns. But it’s good. And there are a few licensed tracks in the movie as well that caught my attention, mainly because of how cleverly they were put in the movie.

This is the fourth “X-Men” movie to be directed by Bryan Singer. And I think that he once again did a great job. The shots look good and the action is very well directed. Speaking of action, there are two action scenes in this movie that just blew me away. One of them is one I won’t spoil in case you have managed to avoid trailers and/or spoilers and haven’t seen the movie yet. But let me tell you… it’s brutal and badass. The other one… remember Quicksilver’s awesome scene from “Days of Future Past”? Yeah, it’s like that but even better. And the visual effects in the movie look great. Sure, at times there a fuckload of it and you know it… but I never thought it detracted from the movie at all… stuff looked great.

This movie has gotten some truly mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 48% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 52/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10.

I honestly don’t understand all the hate that “X-Men: Apocalypse” has gotten. Is it the best “X-Men” movie? No. But it’s still a damn fine movie. With a good plot, great characters, great acting, good music, great directing, great action, and some great visual effects. The only drawback is those first 20 – 30 minutes that kind of drag on. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “X-Men: Apocalypse” is a 9,40/10. It’s not perfect, but it’s still definitely worth buying!
Worth buying

My review of “X-Men: Apocalypse” is now completed.

Feel thy name extermination
Desecrating, hail of fire
So we cross that line
Into the crypt
Total eclipse
Suffer unto my apocalypse!

Movie Review: X-men – Days of Future Past (2014)

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I love Marvel, you love Marvel, please Marvel give us a super crossover with all franchises and stop bitching about who gets what rights. Sorry, had to get that out of my system. To be completely honest I did grow up on Marvel more than DC. As a kid I watched shows like “Spider-man” or “X-Men: Evolution“. I guess I’ve always been a Marvel guy (But I do still love me some good DC stuff). I think that “X-men” have been a franchise that interested me more than most because of how diverse the characters and their powers are. You have a guy with Metal Claws and super healing and then one with Laser vision and a Demon Smurf who can teleport. Sorry, getting off track (But only a little). I simply love “X-men”. So of course I saw the movies that had their ups and downs. But now we have another one, directed by the guy who did the first two (Sidenote: He also did “The Usual Suspects”). So is this any good? Or should we burn that shit? Let’s have a look!

(X)Men and (X)women… “X-Men: Days of Future Past”.

So what is the plot of this movie? The future is complete shit. The mutants are being hunted down by these giant robots called Sentinels who were originally created by Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage). So what do our Mutant heroes do to try to stop them? They decide to send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back in time to stop the creation of them. Back in time he teams up with young Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) and young Hank McCoy/Beast (Nicholas Hoult) to stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from causing the creation of the sentinels (Trust me, the movie will explain how that works). And while Wolverine is in the past doing his thing the other Mutants have to try to fend off the Sentinels attacking them. This plot might seem like it is all over the damn place but trust me, it is inredibly focused and well-written. I found the story to be engaging, suspenseful and just fantastic. I really loved how they handled it.

The characters in this movie never feel cluttered or underused, they all fit perfectly into this movie. And there are a lot of characters in this movie. They brought in pretty much everyone from the “X-men” franchise into this movie. And like I said, no one felt out of place, they all worked and were very unique an fleshed out. Here, let me mention some of the characters I missed earlier; Storm (Halle Berry), Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), Bishop (Omar Sy), Colossus (Daniel Cudmore) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender/Ian McKellen). But by far, the best character in the entire movie (My opinion) has to be Quicksilver (Evan Peters). He was pretty fucking awesome. There was also a risk using him since he could have been annoying… but he wasn’t. He was nothing but pure awesome, definitely my favorite in the movie. And I do not think I have to mention anything about the acting considering the cast. You have seen pretty much everyone in this movie in one way or another in previous insallments of the franchise or in other movies. They all gave great performances.

The score by John Ottman was nothing short of fantastic. Orchestral tracks for all kinds of situations. Need something for a big fight? You got it! Need something for a more subtle and quieter scene? Done! This soundtrack got it all! Besides, I might be slightly biased considering my love for many of John Ottman’s other works. Anyway, the score was awesome.

The way this movie was directed really hightened the experience for me. I already knew Bryan Singer was a great director with movies like the first two “X-men” movies and “The Usual Suspects” that I mentioned before. But this movie is probably his most well-directed one yet. It looks beautiful and never lingers on anything too long. The CGI in this movie was also really impressive. Sure, previous movies have shown great CGI too, but this is where you just Marvel (puns…) at it. It is magnificent. The action in this movie is also really great. It really gets better with the CGI too since it can elevate the scene since that is the only way these characters can really show their powers. I also have to mention how dark this movie gets at a few points. I mean sure, other Sci-fi action movies have been dark before, but this came as a big surprise to me. “X-men” movies haven’t been this dark before. And that really gave this movie a great edge.

People (and critics) really seemed to like this movie. On Rotten Tomatoes this movie has a 91% positive score and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 74/100. And finally on imdb.com it has an 8,1/10 and is ranked #204 on the “Top 250” list.

“X-Men: Days of Future Past” got a great story, great characters/acting, a great soundtrack, great visual effects, great action, great emotion, great humor and is delightfully dark. Now for the final score. Hey, Wolverine, will you help me cut this envelope open? Thank you! My final score for “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is a 9,82/10. This movie is great and of course gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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“X-Men: Days of Future Past” is now reviewed.

How in the hell will “X-Men: Apocalypse” be able to  top this?

Movie Review: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (2005)

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Christmas movies doesn’t always have to revolve around chistmas in a direct way. All the movie have to do is be set around christmas time and maybe mention the damn thing once or twice. We also have christmas movies that take it in an entirely different direction than you regular “feelgood everybody is happy yay” scenario. Like for example how I talked about “Bad Santa” recently. That movie was a lot different than you typical christmas movie formula. Or how about “The Nightmare Before Christmas” which doesn’t truly use the christmas stuff until at least 20-30 minutes in. I am going off track a little bit here… sorry. But what if you took the two themes of being set around christmas time but have it barely be mentioned and having a different type of story/formula and combined? Well that is what we are taking a look at today!

My friends, I give you… “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang”!

This story is kind of odd, but I’ll try my best to sum it up. You have three people; A thief posing as an actor (Robert Downey Jr.), a private detective (Val Kilmer) and a struggling actress (Michelle Monaghan) who over the course of about 5 days (around christmas time) get involved in a complex murder mystery. And that is really all I can say about the story without giving away too much. I can however say that the story was really entertaining to see how it unfolded. Not only to see how the intriguing mystery worked but also because some of the things that happen are a little bizzarre and often really hilarious. The story was really well-paced and even a bit intriguing and I found that really awesome.

The characters are some of the best characters I have been witness to in any movie ever. Not only are they well performed, but they also have some really awesome writing to them. One thing about the characters I have to mention is the chemistry between Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer… it is some of the best chemistry I have seen between a pair of characters in anything. The dialogue they have is hilarious and you can see that they liked working off of each other. And for the love of god, I knew Val Kilmer was a really good actor after seeing him in “Tombstone” and “Heat”… but here he truly stole the show. He just rocked the scene and just became my favorite character out of all the really great characters this movie has to offer.

The original score by John Ottmas was pretty cool. There was a lot of stuff that worked for a crime movie. You know, these noir-esque tracks with a really smooth and stealthy (in lack of better words) tracks. And a lot of the soundtrack in general was sort of smooth Jazz which is a type of music I really enjoy listening to. The other tracks (licensed tracks) in the soundtrack were also pretty good and fit the scenes they were used in. Come to think of it, all of the music in the movie fit the scenes it was used in and just felt right. It helped set the mood of the scenes perfectly.

Looking at how this movie looks and how it was directed I was very surprised to learn that this was the first movie for director Shane Black. Sure he had worked on movies such as “Lethal Weapon” before, but only as a screenwriter. In other words, this movie was very well-directed. It was also one of the most well-written movies I have ever seen. The dialogue between the characters in this movie was not only really well-written but also really fucking hilarious. I seriously burst out laughing several times throughout the movie. I am gonna finish off this segment by giving you a bit of the dialogue from the movie. Just one small part… enjoy!

If you looked up idiot in the dictionary, you know what you would find?”
“A picture of me??
“No, the definition of idiot which you fucking are!”

This movie was pretty well-received by critics and audience members alike. On Rotten Tomatoes it got an 85% rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it got a score of 72/100. It looks liked Roger Ebert thought the movie was “eh” and gave it 2,5/4 stars. And finally on imdb.com it got a 7,7/10.

This movie got hilarious dialogue, an intriguing story, great characters and performances, good music and some of the best comedy in any movie ever. So now I can give it my final score. Now… my final score for “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang” is a 9,80/10 which of course gives it the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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Review of “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang” is done.

I don’t know about you, but I wish I would have seen this movie last christmas.

Movie Review: The Usual Suspects (1995)

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You should know by now that I love crime movies. Whether it’d be a crime-drama, crime-thriller, crime-comedy, etc. There is just something about crime-based movies that I love. Maybe it is because I have never committed a crime and probably never will and the movies help me get some kind of weird satisfaction from it or something. Anyway, today we are taking a look at a crime movie that is being praised as one of the best.

Ladies and gentlemen, please step forward and say the line you’ve been given when told so… because we are taking a look at “The Usual Suspects”!

The story is about con man Roger “Verbal” Kint (Kevin Spacey) who is the sole survivor of a brutal and horrific gun battle on a boat/at a dock. He is brought in by the police and is being interrogated by US Customs officer Dave Kujan (Chazz Palminteri). As you may have guessed, the officer wants to know what the hell happened there. And not only does Kint tell him about what happened there, but he also tells about the events leading up to it starting with a random police lineup where he meets his fellow cast members (Gabriel Byrne, Stephen Baldwin, Benicio Del Toro, Kevin Pollak). And at the same time as Kint is telling Kujan about the different situations there is an investigation going on that revolves around the mysterious killer “Keyser Söze”. And then plot twists, great heist things and other awesome things ensues… and that is kind of what makes this story so great. It has an unconventional way of telling itself. It is not straightforward, it is not without complexity, this story is fucking awesome!

The characters in this movie are fantastic in every aspect of the word. Not only well-acted, but also fantastically well-written. They are all entertaining to watch and they all fill their shoes perfectly. But by god, the biggest surprise in this movie was Stephen Baldwin. Take in mind that I have only seen him in that shit movie “BioDome”. But here he not only gives a really good performance but also turned out to pretty much be my favorite character. He is witty, he is smart, he got a great beard and just is perfect for the movie! Also, Kevin Spacey gives an Oscar worthy performance in this movie (Duh, of course he was Oscar worthy, he won an Oscar for the role).

The soundtrack by John Ottman (Who was also the editor for the movie) is just fantastic! Combining both subtle and pretty (I don’t wanna use this word, but I have to) epic orchestrations. The subtle parts were there when they needed to and the bigger parts were there when they needed to. And therefore it really worked.

Fun fact: The script for this movie was written by Christopher McQuarrie who later went on to direct 2012’s “Jack Reacher” and the upcoming “Mission Impossible 5”. I don’t know, I just thought it was kinda cool to see his name in the credits of this movie since I really liked “Jack Reacher”. Also if you didn’t know, this movie was directed by Bryan Singer who you may know from movies like “X-Men”, “X-men 2” and “X-men: Days of future Past”. Yeah, this guy has been around and kicked butt. I also have to mention that this movie is perfectly shot. I know I rarely say that about a movie that is not directed by David Fincher, but this time I can say it without any problems. It looks fantastic!

Time for the reception. For the most part, “The Usual Suspects” was well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it holds a score of 88% and of course with that score has been certified “Fresh”. On Metacritic this movie has a 77/100. Here comes the funny bit where I tell you about what Roger Ebert thought about it… he didn’t like this at all. He gave this movie 1,5/4 stars… I know, it’s kind of weird. Anyway, moving on from that! Let’s see here, on imdb.com this movie has a score of 8,7/10 and is ranked #23 on the “Top 250” list there. This movie also won 2 Oscars in the categories of Best Actor in a supporting role (Kevin Spacey) and Best screenplay, written directly for the screen (Christopher McQuarrie).

This movie got great performances, an interesting plot with cool twists, great music, perfectly shot and it made me like Stephen Baldwin. So time for my final score for this little movie. My final score for “The Usual Suspects” is a 9,70/10 which of course grants it the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
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“The Usual Suspects” is finally reviewed.

KEYSER SÖZE, KEYSER SÖZE, KEYSER SÖZE!

Movie Review: Non-Stop (2014)

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Liam Neeson, one of the greatest actors we got (at least I think so). He truly gained fame back in 1993 with his movie “Schindler’s List” (which I have not seen yet). But a few years back he made a small turn in his career with the movie “Taken” which puts him (for the most part) these days in action movies. And now in 2014, he made another one…set on a plane.

Men and women, boys and girls…”Non-Stop”.

Bill Marks (Liam Neeson) is a drunken(ish) air marshal who’s going on a transatlantic flight. On that he meets a woman named Jen Summers (Julianne Moore) whom he befriends. But while on the flight, something weird happens. He starts receiving these mysterious text messages from an unknown (Liam Neeson pun, haha) person. This person says he/she will kill one passenger on the plane every 20 minutes if Bill fails to transfer 150 million dollars to a certain bank account. So it’s a race against the time to find this mysterious person until every passenger on the plane is dead. But there seems to be more going on than that. And now we have our movie. And I have to say that I really enjoyed the story aspect of this movie. Not only was it well-written, but it was also very suspenseful. And to be honest, this movie is not straight-out action, but it is a bit like “Jack Reacher” in the sense of it being a suspenseful mystery with action parts every now and then. And in that sense…I really liked the story.

The characters…not the best in the universe. Not calling them bad/horribly written…just not too interesting. But it is also difficult to give different characters interesting personalities when they are so many. Sure, a few get a little development, but not enough to keep them that interesting. But we are not here to see people, we’er here to see Liam Neeson…and he delivers. Sure, he stays very similar throughout the movie with little to no change…but I don’t mind. Neeson gives a good enough performance to stay interesting.

The soundtrack by John Ottman is honestly pretty great. It is one of those soundtracks that fit it’s movie so well that it doesn’t matter what I say. It really helps build the suspense of the scenes in the movie. It is also not a too bombastic soundtrack like most modern action movies want to make their soundtracks, but it is a lot mroe subtle than a big ol’ “BWAAAAAAAAAH”. So yeah…I really liked it.

The camera work in this movie is honestly some of the best I’ve seen in a modern movie. Sure, a few parts are hurt by shaky-cam, but it doesn’t ruin the entire movie. Sure, the camera work is not really on par with any David Fincher movies, but it manages to hold it’s own against most other movies. Also, this movie kept me on edge. The claustrophobic feeling it gave really helped build the suspense and really did keep it fresh and interesting. Seriously… try to find a modern action movie that can keep me on edge… that is difficult. Also, this movie was produced by Joel Silver who also helped produce the “Matrix” films and “Die Hard”.

Reception for “Non-Stop” was mixed but for the most part pretty good. It has a 60% score on Rotten Tomatoes at the moment. On Metacritic it has the lovely score of 56/100 (Did you see the sarcasm, or did it just fly by). And on imdb.com it has a 7,1/10. So like I said…mixed, but overall good.

“Non-Stop” is a movie with good action scenes, good acting, great camera work and a good soundtrack but is dragged down a bit by lack of characterization and a little bit of unnecessary shaky-cam. So now it is time for my final score. The final score for “Non-Stop” is an 8,92/10 and a recommendation to buy it. It is not worthy the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!” but it is somethign that is good enough to pick up.

“Non-Stop” is now reviewed.

Where’s Leslie Nielsen when you need him? (Bonus points if you get the reference).