Movie Review: The Brothers Grimm (2005)

Before we get into the review itself, I want to apologize for my absence for almost two weeks. First I was busy, and then I got really sick. But now I’m back! Woo!

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Brothers Grimm”.

Jake (Heath Ledger, R.I.P) and Will (Matt Damon) are a pair of brothers who travel from town to town, defeating demons for the people. And by defeating demons I mean that they set up a fake demon based on local folklore, “defeat it”, and then get paid by the people of those towns. But these dirty rotten scoundrels are about to come face to face with something they never thought they’d run into… a forest filled with actual magical creatures. So now we have our dark fairy tail. And is this plot any good? There’s a lot of good ideas here, but in the end it’s a fucking mess. At times it’s a comedy, at times it’s a horror movie, at times it’s a whimsical fantasy, at times a family drama. It creates an inconsistent and messy blend that doesn’t work.

The characters in this I can see the potential of, but we only ever skim the surface of them. Heath Ledger (May he rest in peace) plays Jake, one of the two titular brothers. He has a love of fairy tales, and often shows signs of believing in them (at least more than his brother). He’s also a little bit of an idiot and a coward. He’s probably the closest we have here to a compelling character. Though that could also be because Heath Ledger is really good in the role. Matt Damon plays Will, the second Grimm brother. He’s more or less the leader of the two, and can be a bit of a jerk at times. And his character is… meh. Damon’s good though. Then we have Peter Stormare as an Italian soldier that the brothers travel with through the movie. He’s a bit of an idiot and chews all the scenery. And yes, Stormare is glorious in the role. Then we have Lena Headey as Angelika, a young hunter that the brothers run into during their quest and eventually join forces with. She’s a no-nonsense badass with a mysterious past, and while that sounds interesting, it’s only surface-level. But Headey is really good in the role. And we get some okay supporting turns from people like Jonathan Pryce, Mackenzie Crook, Monica Bellucci, Richard Ridings, and more.

The score for the movie was composed by Dario Marianelli, and I think he did a good job with it. His score is bombastic, emotional, quirky, and even has a bit of a fairy tale feel to it. It somehow elevates the movie above it’s mediocrity. It’s almost too good for whatever the hell is on screen at any given time.

This movie was directed by Terry Gilliam and I have mixed feelings. On one hand, his direction really helps sell the fairy tale style and even builds a lot of atmosphere. But it is devoid of any real tension, despite being part horror flick. And the CGI in this movie, good fucking god… it’s awful. I can usually excuse a little bit of bad CGI, but when you have so many awesome practical sets/costumes/props, the bad CG gets quite distracting, especially when it’s as prominent as it is here.

This movie hasn’t been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 38% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 51/100. Roger Ebert gave it 2/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5,9/10.

While “The Brothers Grimm” has some good things going for it, I’d say it’s a bit too messy to recommend. It has a very messy plot, meh characters, good performances, good music, okay directing, and awful effects. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Brothers Grimm” is a 4,98/10. So I’d recommend skipping it.

My review of “The Brothers Grimm” is now completed.

Feels good to be back.

Movie Review: Suicide Squad (2016)

I guess now was a good a time as any to watch this movie and review it as I didn’t last year when it came out. And I mean, I could technically use this as a sort of lead-up to “Justice League” later this month. Fuck it, moving onto the review.

Ladies and gents, what are we, some kind of… “Suicide Squad”.

When a supernatural entity threatens to wipe a lot of stuff out, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) decides to put together a team of criminals to try to stop the evil shit. So now we have our action movie plot. So is it any good? Difficult to give a hard answer. On the one hand, unlike “BvS”, it doesn’t have a thousand plot threads that get all tangled up, making it feel a bit more streamlined. And there are some decent ideas throughout the plot, but the overall execution feels a bit weak. I was interested enough to keep watching, but I never felt truly invested in the plot in any way. The stakes were high(ish), but it never felt like that. The plot here was… eh.

The characters in this range from interesting to duller than dishwater. Will Smith plays Deadshot, the most accurate marksman in the DC universe. Out of all the characters in this, he’s given the most development, and I found myself actually kind of caring about him. And Will Smith is really good in the role. Margot Robbie plays Harley Quinn, psychiatrist turned crazy person. She’s given some decent development, and she’s pretty enjoyable. And Robbie is really good in the role. Viola Davis plays Amanda Waller, the take-no-shit-from-no-one woman who puts together this squad. And like her comic/cartoon counterparts, she’s tougher than tough and kind of badass even if some things involving her in the movie are kinda dumb. But David was great in the role. Then we have Joel Kinnaman as Colonel Rick Flag, the non-criminal member of the squad. And while they try to give him some emotional weight in this, he is quite bland and I didn’t care about him. And Kinnaman is just… fine here. Jared Leto as the god damn Joker… I see the potential in him, there are bright spots in his performance, showing that he could be a good Joker. But his rather brief appearance and less than stellar writing doesn’t exactly help him out. But overall I guess he’s fine… could’a cut him out of the movie. Jay Hernandez (who should return to “The Expanse”, please and thank you) plays Diablo, a troubled man with fire powers. He is given a decent emotional core and I thought his character was pretty interesting. And Hernandez was good in the role. Then we have Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang. One of my least favorite actors as a character I have a hard time taking seriously. And somehow, against all odds, I actually enjoyed his appearance in this movie. He was a less serious character than some of the others, and I thought he was entertaining. So yeah, Courtney is surprisingly good in this (who’da thought?). Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje plays Killer Croc, and he gets sidelined for most of the movie… he does almost nothing here. And he’s… meh in the role, mainly due to writing/sidelining. Cara Delevingne plays Enchantress, the villain of the movie (there, I said it). She is clearly supposed to be a somewhat complex and interesting villain, but she just comes off as a dancing idiot. And Delevingne is… okay in the role. Then we have Karen Fukuhara as Katana, she’s got my back, I would advice not getting killed by her, her sword traps the souls of it’s victims. That is an actual exposition dump from this movie. And while she sounds kind of badass, she’s sidelined here. Does jack fucking shit in the grand scheme of things. So I can’t exactly comment on Fukuhara’s performance here other than saying that I think she was fine… I guess. Also, this movie waste’s a couple good actors. David Harbour, Common, Scott Eastwood, Kenneth Choi… wasted. But overall the movie is pretty well acted.

The score for the movie was composed by Steven Price and it was fine. Typical orchestral stuff with some mild electronic sounds thrown in every now and then. Not bad, not great… good. Worked decently well in some scenes, didn’t do much for others. They also used a whole bunch of licensed tracks throughout the movie, from The Animals to Skrillex. Some tracks were used pretty well throughout, actually kind of fitting the scene. Other times it feels like they chose some random tracks to throw in… strangely enough it is the tracks pertaining to my music tastes that mainly felt out of place. So overall this movie has some good music.

This movie was written and directed by David Ayer, but edited by Warner Bros. I say this because I can tell that David Ayer directed a tight(ish) and interesting action movie, and then some WB people came in and edited a lot of it. Parts feel like they’ve been cut to pieces, missing key parts. And then during certain scenes there are these weird edits thrown in that the execs probably thought were “cool”, but just came off as obnoxious and annoying. As for the action in this action movie, it’s not bad… mostly. The battle(s) in the streets aren’t mind-blowing, but they’re still pretty entertaining. The action in dark, close quarters offices were… okay, I guess. The final encounter… not very good, could barely see what was going on. So the action here ranges from good to… shit. As for humor (since they wanted to attempt that here), it is okay. Some jokes land, some don’t. The CGI in this movie is also like that. Some of it looks awesome, and some wasn’t good.

This movie hasn’t been the most well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 25% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 40/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,2/10. The movie won 1 Oscar (wut?) in the category of Best makeup and hair. 

“Suicide Squad” is… fine. It has a meh plot, okay characters, good performances, good music, good(ish) directing, weird editing, and okay humor. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Suicide Squad” is a 6,22/10. While heavily flawed, I’d say that it might be worth a rental.

My review of “Suicide Squad” is now completed.

Since I’m in the middle, will both sides of the argument hate me now?

The Food in Film Blogathon: Harry Potter and the Tasty Foods

Hello there, ladies and gents of the internet. I have once again joined in on a blogathon. Just like the last couple of blogathons that I’ve been part of, this one is hosted by Kristina from Speakeasy and Ruth from Silver Screenings. And in this blogathon the participants were asked to talk about food in film. It took me a while to choose something to write about, but I managed to figure it out and signed on. Skip ahead a couple of months and now we’re here! So let’s stop with these delays and get into the tasty num nums!

So as you could gather from the start of this post, I have chosen to talk about the food culture of J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world by talking about the “Harry Potter” movies. Now, for the cave dwellers reading this post, I guess I should explain what the hell a “Harry Potter” is. In 1997, J.K. Rowling released a novel titled “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” (there is no alternative title, you silly Americans), and it was a HUGE hit. It got sequels and movies started getting made. And in 2001 we saw the release of “The Philosopher’s Stone”, directed by Chris Columbus, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Richard Harris, and Maggie Smith (among many others). This was also a huge hit, getting a whole bunch of sequels, video games, and a spin-off franchise. Alright, no more backstory for you. Now, I chose this because not only do I adore this series, but also because it’s filled with food, which makes it perfect for this blogathon… so let’s enter the great hall and have a look at the buffet!

One of the most interesting things about the culinary culture of this world is that it’s very… British. Bacon, sausages, toast… it looks a lot like your typical British breakfast table, as demonstrated by Ron, his friends, and the table they’re sitting at.

Fat-shaming, Hermione? Let the man eat.

Really, for the most part it is pretty average. And by average, I mean for you typical Brit. The food they eat there isn’t exactly the healthiest, but I guess it’s still good food. Good, very ordinary food. Like these chicken legs that you find Ron chomping on.

Though, when eating, be sure to keep an eye out for rogue John Cleeses…

Again, the food for the most part seems to be what we have in our world. No “dragon spleen casserole” or “Chupacabra soup”… just normal food. Even the adorably weird Luna asks for normal stuff.

Anything for you, Luna.

Now, while most dinner/breakfast/lunch items are normal things, it’s when you start looking beside them, looking at beverages and candy and such that you start finding unique things. So let’s talk about some of them.

Beverages

The first beverage we’re introduced to in this show (aside from tea, damn Brits) is pumpkin juice. It’s also the primary beverage for our beloved Hogwarts students, not even water comes near it in terms of abundance. So what is pumpkin juice? It’s right there in the name, it’s juice… made from pumpkin. Not sure what that would taste, as I have never actually tried pumpkin anything. So if you consume pumpkin (Starbucks’ bullshit doesn’t count), feel free to tell me what it tastes like.

Another decently well known drink from the series is Butterbeer (pictured above), which looks just like someone poured a lot of toffee into a glass… which I want now. But what exactly is “Butterbeer”? It’s a slightly alcoholic beverage that our heroes drink while visiting Hogsmeade, a small town not too far from Hogwarts. As you could probably guess from the name, there is butter in this drink. Then, depending on what recipe you go by you get a whole bunch of different ingredients you could use. So just look it up if you want to try it out.

There are a couple more beverages within the universe, but those are the main ones I wanted to talk about.

Candy

As with our normal world, the magical world that Harry gets to be part of is filled with all kinds of awesome candy. From normal ones that just taste sweet, to ones that do weird shit, there’s something for everybody. So let’s talk about a couple.

Let’s talk about the chocolate frog, one of the first candies to pop up in the movies. Basically it’s a magic frog made out of chocolate. Though you gotta be fast, because these sons of bitches can jump away from you if you’re not careful. Except if you buy it at Warner Bros studios, because then it’s only a thick lump of chocolate vaguely shaped like a frog. This I know because I went there back in 2013 (London version of it) and my friend bought one. And hey, if it jumps away from you then you’ll at least still get a cool trading card.

“How does this thing work? Darn kids, and their bloody technology”

So yeah, those things are pretty damn cool. Chocolate AND a trading card? Yes please!

The next thing on the candy list are the infamous Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans. And they’re jelly beans with all kinds of kooky flavors. You might be lucky to get a watermelon or lemon or something yummy, or you could end up getting soap or a dirty sock. Or in Dumbledore’s case:

Buuuuuut instead:

I brought up watermelon and soap because in that aforementioned Warner Bros studios visit, my friend not only bought a chocolate frog, but also a box of Bertie Bott’s Beans, and he let me try a couple. First I took a green, and got watermelon (awesome). Then I tried a white and I got soap (bleh). So yeah, eclectic bunch of beans, they are. Do feel free to try them at some point, they’re a lot of fun. There are also beans that make you do animal noises… not on the WB tour, but in the movies (as demonstrated in “The Prisoner of Azkaban”).

As for other types of candy, there’s liquorice, bubble gum, lollipops, other chocolate things… most types of candy there are like our normal things, but with som kooky “magic” twist. Still, candy is candy, and candy is great. Except for liquorice, to hell with that stuff.

That’s really all the food stuff from “Harry Potter” worth talking about. Though there was a mention of pea soup being able to kill you in one of the movies… eh, who cares. Anyway, this has been a lot of fun. Again, huge thanks to Ruth and Kristina for letting me join in on this, always happy to take part in your shenanigans, ladies!
Have a good one, and to end on a high note:

Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)

We’re at the third part in my series of “Pirates of the Caribbean” reviews! If you haven’t read my reviews of the first two movies, you can easily find them here on my blog. Anyway, enough of that. Let’s just get into the review.

Ladies and gents… “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s end”.

(Spoiler alert for the end of the previous movie) After Jack’s (Johnny Depp) death the hands of the Kraken, he has been cursed to be stuck in Davy Jones’ locker. So now we find Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), Elizabeth (Keira Knightley), and Will (Orlando Bloom) going to great lengths to get Jack back, because they apparently need him to take on and hopefully stop the evil Davy Jones (Bill Nighy). And now we have our bloated pirate adventure. I don’t necessarily have any problems with long movies as long as they’re well paced, but this movie meanders a lot to stretch out that runtime (two hours and forty-one minutes!). They’re also going a little overboard (HAHA!) with the overall plot, having so many plot-threads going on to the point where nothing feels truly fleshed out. There are moments in throughout the runtime that show great promise, making me actually go “Now, that’s some good storytelling”, but the overall thing (while pretty fun) feels bloated and messy.

The characters in this are for the most part pretty entertaining, though most of them are kind of uninteresting, mainly because they get no real development. Johnny Depp is still good as Jack Sparrow, though he’s also getting up to a few too many silly antics throughout. What was a charmingly unpredictable character has become kind of a buffoon (more than he already kind of was). He has some good moments throughout, though he feels more like a parody of Captain Jack rather than the original Captain Jack. Elizabeth Swann, she’s still a great character, a tough and clever woman who still shows that she isn’t perfect. And Keira Knightley is once again great in the role, even getting a very emotional scene in the moment that kind of got to me. Will Turner, generic handsome hero-guy who overall is kind of a dull character. The only thing making the character watchable is Orlando Bloom who gives a charismatic enough performance. Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbossa, once again a fucking blast to watch, he’s amazing. Jack Davenport is once again great as Norrington. Bill Nighy, once again kind of hammy as Davy Jones, but it still works perfectly for the character. Jonathan Pryce, once again great as Elizabeth’s father. Lee Arenberg and Mackenzie Crook came back as Pintel and Ragetti, and they’re both still pretty fun. Kevin McNally, once again good as Gibbs. Stellan Skarsgård is once again great as Bootstrap Bill. Tom Hollander once again was geat as the smug asshole known as Cutler Beckett. Naomie Harris was kind of goofy but still really good as Tia Dalma. Chow Yun-Fat was good as pirate captain Sao Feng. We also got a fun little cameo in here from Ketih Richards, playing captain Teague (and if you don’t know who he is then 3, 2, 1) AKA Captain Jack’s dad. Yeah, it’s a good cast.

The score for the movie was (like in the previous movie) composed by Hans Zimmer and it was really good. Big, epic, fun, and just great. The only part about it that bugs me is one track called “Parlay”. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it, it’s a good track. What bugs me about it is that is rips off Ennio Morricone’s “Man with a Harmonica”. As I was watching the movie as preparation for this review I sat there thinking “I- is that Man with a Harmonica?”. Seriously, listen to both tracks and compare them. Other than that, the score is great.

As with the previous two movies, “At World’s End” was directed by Gore Verbinski and I think he does a really good job. There are some really great shots in this movie, in particular there is one where the stars are reflected on the water, it’s pure eye candy. And the shots where this movie doesn’t feel like blowing my mind, they look good too. Verbinski really has a good eye for visuals. Speaking of which, I don’t think I ever mentioned in my previous reviews (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong) that the sets in these look fantastic. Also, the costumes and such… great! And the CGI looks great once again, especially of course on the crew of the Flying Dutchman. And the action scenes, while bloated and kind of dumb, are quite fun.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 45% rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 50/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,1/10. The movie was also nominated for 2 Oscars in the categories of Best makeup and Best visual effects.

“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” is a mess but it’s also pretty fun. It has an okay plot, pretty good characters, really good performances, really good music, really good directing, and great visual effects. My problems with the movie come from the messy plot and a good amount of characters not being the most interesting. Time for my final score. *Yarr*. My final score for “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” is a 7,78/10. While quite messy and bloated, it’s still worth a rental.

My review of “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” is now completed.

One more movie in this damn review series left…

Movie Review: Doctor Strange (2016)

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I know, I know. I said that I had reserved October for Spooky stuff and “Harry Potter”… but this is an exception I just had to make. I mean, it’s fuckin’ Marvel!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Doctor Strange”.

Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a brilliant but arrogant neurosurgeon. And one night he ends up crashing his car, completely fucking up his hands. So in search of ways to get them healed, Sephen finds himself going to Kathmandu where he meets a mysterious woman called The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) who begins teaching Stephen about sorcery. And while the plot can feel a bit by the numbers, it still works as an interesting origin story while also opening up the more magical side of the MCU very well. I mean, I was invested throughout and I enjoyed seeing where the plot went next. Good shit.

The characters in the movie were for the most part interesting and entertaining. Benedict Cumberbatch was great as Strange, even if I got a bit of Tony Stark vibe from him. His American accent was a little bit distracting at first, but I quickly got used to it. Rachel McAdams was really good as Christine Palmer, colleague and love interest of Strange. Tilda Swinton as The Ancient One was a very controversial choice, since it’s a white person playing an originally Asian character. But to give credit where credit is due, I thought her performance was good. Chiwetel Ejiofor was really good as Mordo. Mads Mikkelsen was suitably intimidating as the villain Kaecilius.

The original score for the movie was composed by Michael Giacchino who seems to be everywhere these days when it comes to composing music for movies. And the score for this movie is definitely one of the best from any MCU movie. Sure, some tracks feature the typical bombastic stuff we’ve come to expect,  but there’s also a lot of new stuff going on here too. There are instruments being used throughout that I honestly haven’t heard from any previous MCU score. And I think it’s all pretty great, especially the end credits theme… that shit is great!

This movie was directed by Scott Derrickson, a man primarily known for horror. And I think he did a great job directing this movie. The scenes flow very well and the action scenes are really good. But I think that also works with a lot of the trippy magical stuff we get in this movie. There is a lot of world bending being done throughout, which makes this one of the most visually interesting movies this year, or at least in the MCU. And the visual effects in general look fantastic, with all spells and such looking perfectly integrated into the movie. Speaking of things that work well in the movie, there’s a lot of humor throughout that I thought was really funny. Even though I am aware that the MCU isn’t afraid of having some comedy in their movies, I didn’t expect there to be as muc as there was in this movie. It’s not as much as in “Guardians of the Galaxy”, but there’s more than I expected… and I like it.

Since this movie just came out, the scores will probably change a bit on the sites, so these are just the scores on the sties as I’m writing this review. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 93% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 74/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,1/10.

“Doctor Strange” is not absolutely perfect, but it’s a damn fine movie. It’s definitely one of the best solo movies in the MCU, in my opinion. It has a good plot, good characters, great acting, great music, great directing, amazing visual effects, and some real eye candy. Time for my final score. *Magic*. My final score for “Doctor Strange” is a 9,61/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “Doctor Strange” is now completed.

Finally… MAGIC!

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!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” is now completed.

Halfway there… holy shit.

 

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

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The other day was the blogathon thing, and we still got some Month of Spooks stuff left to do… but we can also not forget my series of “Harry Potter” reviews leading up to “Fantastic Beasts” in November. And now we are finally continuing it after,,, two and a half weeks, good grief. Anyhow, let’s stop with this intro and get into the review itself!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”!

Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) begins his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in a rather rocky way. First off, he got warnings from a house-elf named Dobby (Toby Jones) about bad things that will happen at Hogwarts. Secondly, his journey from Little Whinging to Hogwarts was kind of troublesome and filled with mishaps. But the trouble is not over yet, as people start getting petrified for some reason. And this of course creates a mystery where Harry, Ron (Rupter Grint), and Hermione (Emma Watson) to try to figure out who/what might have done this. With that said, I really liked how the plot unfolded… a lot. What I think the plot of this movie benefited from was how it doesn’t have to set the world up, since that was done (pretty fucking well) in the last movie. So now we can just get right into the main plot of this movie, which of course gives the plot of this movie a much better pace. Which is of course a bit ironic seeing as this movie is longer than the last. But yeah, it was an interesting plot which created a compelling mystery which of course led to the plot going to some darker places when it comes to this world and it’s main character. It was pretty great.

The characters in the movie are about as great as in the first one, but as the plot unfolds we do get a little bit more development from them as they learn more things. Daniel Radcliffe once again knocked it out of the park, getting some more moments to shine here in comparison to the first one. And the development of the character itself is actually really good, as we learn more about who he really is, at the same rate he does. Rupter Grint and Emma Watson also did great in this movie in their roles. And the chemistry between these three central actors is so great and so believable. The other actors in the movie do pretty great as well. Tom Felton as Malfoy once again was great, with his character being even more despicable than in the first movie. Richard Harris (R.I.P) was also really great as Dumbledore, Maggie Smith once again was great as professor McGonagall, Alan Rickman (R.I.P) was still amazing as Snape, and it goes on like that for pretty much every returning actor/character. But we also got a few new interesting faces in this one, so let’s go through them. First off we have the previously mentioned Dobby the house-elf, a magical little dude voiced by the great Toby Jones. At first he is actually a bit annoying, but after a while you grow to actually kind of like him, especially near the end when you find out some more stuff about him and his “family”. Next is Kenneth Branagh as Gilderoy Lockhart, a very famous wizard who you immediately can tell is more bark than bite. Basically he is the magical equivalent of the classic saying “Girls want to be with him and guys want to be him”. Think to have that dude as the “Defense Against the Dark Arts” teacher… yeah. But you can tell that Branagh had fun with the role, and I think he did a good jobas the character. And finally we have Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy, AKA Draco’s dad. And this dude just oozes of self-important asshole, as soon as he enters the scene you immediately tell that this guy is bad news. And Jason Isaacs is pretty damn great in the role. In other words, this cast is great!

Once again the music was composed by the one and only John Williams and its still great. Some of the themes in there are of course the same as in the first movie, but that’s nothing to complain about because those tracks are pretty great. But there are also a bunch of new tracks composed for this movie as well, and they are pretty great too, perfectly capturing the magical and whimsical but still dark world that Harry and his friends live in. Yeah, the music’s fucking great.

Like the first movie, this was directed by Chris Columbus (still not re-discovering America). And he did a great job again. Sure, a lot of bits remind me of the first movie a lot, but it’s not too much of a complaint. But he is a very talented director who did a great job, giving us some great directing and some great angles. He also managed to make this movie even more suspenseful and even scarier than the first. I mean, the final act is really tense and actually a bit scary. And the visual effects in this movie are even better than in the first, especially the Quidditch match which looks so much better than the first movie, which of course makes it more engaging and more fun.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 82% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 63/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,4/10.

“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” is a a definite improvement over the first movie. With a really interesting plot, better pacing, great characters/acting, great music, fantastic visual effects, and better suspense/tension. Time for my final score. *Magically summons score*. My final score for “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” is a 9,67/10. So of course it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” is now completed.

If you have arachnophobia then this movie might not be the best for you…

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

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Hello there, my friends! And welcome to this very special review! Why is it special? Because in honor of “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them” coming out in November, I have decided to talk about the “Harry Potter” movies here on the blog. I wasn’t sure in what style I would it in however, so I held a little poll on twitter (Follow me @TheMarckoguy) where I asked if people would prefer separate reviews for each movie or if they wanted a ranked list. And after a few days with I think 12 votes, the separate reviews option won. So here we are… talking about the first one in the series. Oh dear, 8 movies before mid-November, while also doing Month of Spooks… Jeez Louise.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”!

Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) leads a pretty shit life. He lives with his outright mean aunt (Fiona Shaw) and uncle (Richard Griffiths, R.I.P) and their dickhead son, Dudley (Harry Melling). But one night, Harry gets a visit from Rubeus Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane), a huge man who tells Harry that he’s a wizard, and will get to go to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he will learn all sorts of awesome magic-releated stuff. And it’s through his experiences at Hogwarts that he learns about who he really is, and what that means for the wizarding world around him. There he also meets his new best friends, Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson). And from all of this we get an incredibly imaginative and very well realized world and story that I find very interesting and entertaining. Yeah, the plot of this movie is good and sets up this universe very well. The only problem might be that it meanders a bit at times which slows the pacing down. It’s not too bad, like with some movies, but I definitely noticed it. So yeah, great plot, but not the best pacing.

The characters here are so interesting, well-developed, and entertaining. And a lot of this I think comes down to the aboslutely terrific casting. Seriously, they nailed the casting for these characters so damn well. Daniel Radcliffe was perfect as Harry Potter, perfectly nailing the whole oblivious to this huge wizarding world that he was born into. For someone who was so young at the time, his performance was really good. Ruper Grint was really good as Ron, perfectly capturing this not too bright, but still lovable and charming personality. Emma Watson was really good as Hermione, even if she could come off a bit bitchy in her performance. Like she was a know-it-all with a little bit of snark in her voice… anybody who’s seen the movie knows what I’m talking about. Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid was just perfect, any time he was on screen I wanted to give him a hug, that lovable oaf. The rest of the cast was pretty great too, with actors like Richard Harris (R.I.P), Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman (R.I.P), Tom Felton, John Hurt, Ian Hart, John Cleese, and so many more. Yeah, I love ’em all.

The original score for the movie was composed by the one and only John Williams (AKA god with a conductor’s baton). And the music he created for the movie has lived on for so many years, and once someone heears it they know what it’s from. And it just sounds so great. Seriously, when I sat down to watch the movie in preparation for this review, the music gave me goosebumps. It was so awesome. Really, all the music in the movie is nothing short of fantastic.

Based on the book by J.K. Rowling, this movie was brought to life by director Chris Columbus (Not the Italian explorer who rediscovered America), the man who also directed the first two “Home Alone” movies. And he did a fantastic job with the directing this movie. Everything is well shot and overall well done. The sets are also fantastic, combined with some of the practical costumes and makeup that are used throughout. There is also CGI in this movie which for the most part looks pretty good. Some bits don’t hold up as well now, such as the Quidditch game, which has some pretty outdated CGI. Seriously, go back and watch the Quidditch match and tell me with a straight face that it looks fucking flawless. You can’t, it’s impossible. So yeah, that distracted a bit. But otehr than that, the CG holds up pretty well. And seeing some of the speels and stuff being used in the movie is pretty fun. I also love the wizarding world itself, there are so many cool details to it that make it all so unique and interesting.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 80% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 64/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10. The movie was also nominated for 3 Oscars in the categories of Best Set Decoration, Best Costume Design, and Best Original Score. 

“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” is not a perfect movie. I would also say that it was a struggle to review it when I have such nostalgic feelings about it. But I powered through. The plot is interesting, the characters are great, the acting is great, the music is fantastic, the directing is good, and it’s just really fun. However the pacing at times isn’t that great and there are some effects that don’t really hold up. So now it’s time for my final score. ALOHOMORA! *Unlocks chest, opens it and finds envelope with result*. My final score for “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” is a 9,11/10. So it’s not perfect, but it’s definitely worth buying.
Worth buying

My review of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” is now completed.

One down, seven to go…

 

Movie Review: The Illusionist (2006)

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Mysteries, they are so…mysterious! I always love a good mystery, often in combination with supernatural elements. If you didn’t know, I am a big fan of TV-shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Angel” and “Supernatural”. All those contain mystery in one way or another and also have supernatural elements (Especially “Supernatural”). But what happens if you take a supernatural-based mystery but trade a lot of the horror/thriller elements for romance? You get this one movie that was kind of an odd choice for me.

Ladies and gentlemen…silence please…today TheMarckoguy presents; “The Illusionist”!

In the turn of the century (19th – 20th) we follow a young illusionist (roll credits) called Eisenheim (Edward Norton). At a young age (Flashbacks featuring a younger version played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson) he was shown some great magic tricks and got very interested by it. So he started practicing and got really, really good. He met a young girl named Sophie (Eleanor Tomlinson) whom he falls in love with and she falls for him. But their love is not accepted considering she comes from a higher social standing (Her guards/family calling him a “peasant”). The young Eisenheim runs away and travels the world to show off his magic tricks. Several years later he comes back to Vienna (forgot to mention it was set in Vienna…sorry) to have a show. In this show the crown prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell) is attending…and so is a now grown up Sophie (Now played by Jessica Biel). She and Eisenheim meets eachother again afterwards and begin a little bit of a secret romance. But that is not all of the plot, a lot of it also involves Eisenheim’s shows and inspector Uhl (Paul Giamatti) trying to figure out how his tricks work. And that is the story in a nutshell I suppose. To be honest I really liked it. I am not one to choose a romantic movie first-hand since they are for the most part not my cup of tea. But this storyline intrigued me (Maybe because of Edward Norton being in it, I don’t know). But it might be because of the magic-based twist this movie got. Or maybe it is because of the next segment…

The characters…sure, they are not always the most likeable, but they are portrayed so well by their respective actors that I don’t mind. I was especially impressed with Paul Giamatti and Rufus Sewell…DAMN THEY CAN ACT! I really liked their performances, and that is one of the highlights of this movie. And of course we have to give a few points to Edward Norton for being…Edward Norton, really. He is always good (He just acts in bad movies sometimes). But everyone on the acting side did a great job. Maybe Aaron Taylor-Johnson was a bit…not too good but remember, this is one of his earlier movies.

The music was FANTASTIC! The score by Philip Glass was just perfect. It not only works with the time period, but also works for the different situations in this movie. It is just beautiful and I think you should listen to it. NOW!

This movie looks beautiful! It is shot in such a way that I just love looking at it. Not only based on the lighting, but in general, the camera work is excellent! So I am not surprised that it was Oscar Nominated for best Cinematography.

This movie had really good reception. On Rotten Tomaotes it not only has a 74% positive rating, but also a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has 68/100. Roger Ebert gave this a 3,5/4 star rating (couldn’t find a good quote). 7,6/10 is the score on imdb.com.

I have said my opinions on this movie and I am now gonna amaze you with my magic trick of conjuring up a score! Yes, there it is. It is a 9,59/10 which tells me you should go buy it now. And it also tells me it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”. 49920178

“The Illusionist” is now reviewed.

If life is an illusion, then what the hell are hallucinations?