Thursday, July 31, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014): Review

When going into watch Guardians of the Galaxy I was expecting a fun, campy, big budget blockbuster movie and I am very happy to say that I wasn't disappointed.  Going in I was trying not to get my hopes up and this movie ended up meeting and exceeding what I hoped it would be.  It was fun, entertaining, with explosions, and kept me interested and didn't seem to lag anywhere.  I think that everyone should go see it so that I get a second installment because that is what I wanted when I left the movie theater, more.
Guardians of the Galaxy is the new Marvel Comics movie and it is different from the Avengers Movies as it takes a more fun, campy approach to the movie.  The Averages movies has some comedy and fun to it but all of them have a serious mien to them, Guardians, at least to me, was more focused around the fun and with a the ensemble of characters made it more difficult to have a truly serious movie. Plus it is set in space which just makes it more fun and brings out the childish glee in me.  Guardians is based around an ensemble of five characters.  First there is Peter Quill AKA Starlord, played by Chris Pratt, who is a boy born on earth but raised in space by Ravagers (space pirates); Gamora, played by Zoe Saladana, the adoptive daughter of Thanos who has a change of hart when she is assigned to help destroy the galaxy but instead teams up with the Guardians; Rocket, voiced by Bradley Cooper, an genetically altered raccoon who is drawn into the plot by wanting money and  being a total badass; Grout, voiced by Vin Disel, a tree humanoid who has a heart of gold but fiercely protects those that he cares about, he also has serves as muscle for Rocket; and Drax, played by Dave Bautista, a man who doesn't get metaphors and is set on revenge against Ronan (the main villain of the movie) for killing his family.
  These five get together to try and save the Galaxy from Ronan, played by Lee Pace who is set on reeking havoc in the Galaxy. Can these five work together to save the Galaxy from destruction without turning on each other and overcome the obstacles that they face?
Like I said I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and am looking forward to seeing it again. I will not be surprised if it becomes one of the blockbuster movies that goes into my watching rotation when I want a fun big budget flick to watch.  It has explosions, banter between characters (which to me can make or break a movie and in this one the sometimes ridiculously stupid banter was fantastic), well balanced chemistry and interplay between characters, jokes and fun, and keeping the story going without spending too much time on any particular battle.  This movie had a really good pace and kept the story going but it did have a lot going on. 
It wasn't too complicated that it was hard to follow what was going on and wasn't that distracting but there were a lot of characters thrown in that if some where eliminated could have had more dedicated to them.  
The main negative for me in this movie is that I didn't really care for or think that the villains were scary.  Ronan felt like he was just their so that there could be the conflict that drew the Guardians together and keep them focused on the same mission while they bonded as a group. I think that if it focused more on Gamoras adopted sister Nebula, played by Karen Gilian, and built up the tension there and just the mysterious references to Ronan it would have been better or done the same thing with moving the plot forward without me thinking that the main villain of the movie was lame.
The CGI of the movie was well done, especially with Rocket and Group. I saw this movie in 3D and it mainly wasn't distracting, plus it did my favorite way to utilize 3D with things hovering in space and floating around.  I continue to think this is cool and like when it fits in organically with the movie and action sequences.
The action sequences where good and varied in tip, from hand to hand, to guns, to space ships and the pace kept movie so I never thought that they were extending a sequences just because they could.  They did do the thing that I will continue to complain about where there was really tight up fighting and jumping from clipped shot to shot.  I really just want the camera to back up and show what is going on.
Basically I really liked this movie and it was a lot of fun.  It is not a movie to be taken to seriously but to go in and just enjoy.  I liked the eighties references and the soundtrack had iconic songs to it.  It was the type of big budget campy fun that is enjoyable for the whole family.

My Rating: 3+

There is an extra scene at the very end of the credits (which run for about 8 min).  It is one that will be hit or miss for your enjoyment but seems to be there just for a fun reference.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014:): Trailer

Yesterday the first official trailer for the new Hobbit movie came out.
Watch Here:

I know that I am getting excited to see the final installment of the Hobbit Trilogy and hope that it a great ending to the entire movie series.  I cant wait until Christmas to see it.

Lucy (2014): Review

This weekend I went and saw the movie Lucy, which going into I was hoping would be entertaining because the previews had me intrigued.  I enjoyed many aspects of this movie but really is only for people who like a little of the more out there action movies or just care about some pretty cool action/fight sequences.
Lucy starts  Scarlet Johansson as a woman who is tricked to deliver a locked briefcase to Mr. Jang, played by Min-sik Choi.  She is forced into acting as a drug mule to run a new drug and ends up getting exposed to this drug in a huge dose.  This drug mucks with her biology and changes her brain so that it is working toward working at 100% capacity instead of the stated average human usage of 10%.  As she works to take down the drug ring and especially Mr. Jang, she seeks the advice of Professor Norman, played by Morgan Freeman.  Professor Norman is a leader in the theory of the what would happen in humans used more of their brain and how they would gain control of the world around them.

This movie was interesting but to me it was the pushing of this what would happen if we used 100% of our brain stuff that struggled to fit into the movie. I really liked the styling and cinematography of this movie.  The fight and action sequences where pretty cool and kept me entertained.  I liked that this movie was slightly different then the bigger budget action movies and had some grittiness to it.
The acting was good enough and although I tend to think that Scarlet Johansson is overrated she was fair in this movie and besides the blankness of her face at time was good as Lucy.  Morgan Freeman is definitely the one who is expected for being an explainer of the science the movie is based around I see exactly why he was chosen for his part.
To me it was the ending part of the movie that was the low point of the movie because it was the control of everything and why can she do certain things but not others that bothered me, but as it was just a ninety minute action movie it didn't drag on.
I would recommend this for people who like action movies as it was pretty standard in enjoyment, had a different-ish approach to the plot, and didn't overplay its hand and lose my interest.

My Rating: 2

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fifty Shades Of Grey: Official First Trailer

Today the first official trailer for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie is released and it focuses very highly on the fact that this book/movie is focused around the sexual dynamics of its two main characters Christian Grey and Anastasia Steel.

Watch it here:

I have been uncertain about how I feel about this movie being made and regardless of how the trailer was presented I am curious to see how this movie will be done.  I start out disappointed in this trailer because it doesn't show Ana falling into Christian's office which is the introduction to the book that I have in my which I was hoping for once it started with their meeting. I did really like how they used the the song "Crazy in Love" as it set a specific tone for the trailer, which I hope is not false advertising for the tone of the movie.

I am interested to see if the hype for the books will stay up through the release of the movie, because to me it seems like they made it a few years too late and that the buzz for these books has died down considerable.  Anyway are you excited for this movie to come out?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Snowpiercer (2014): Review

This weekend I went and saw the new movie Snowpiercer.  Snowpiercer was written and directed Joon-ho Bong and prior to my father suggesting going to see it, I hadn't really heard anything about it. This movie had the potential to be something and had a lot of great components about it but for me it never really came together.  Yes it was interesting and keep me focused throughout wondering how everything would come together and end but at the end I was just thinking I know he had a several points to make but none of them really shone as the main one.  It was worth a watch and had a great cast but is really only for people who don't mind action movies that don't really go anywhere, don't have the shininess of the big budget action movies, and leave you contemplating what did the director want me to get out of this.  It is more of a drama action movie.

Snowpiercer is a movie that is set seventeen years from now after the world has been sent into an ice age due to anti global warming chemicals that were put into the air.  Due to this all life on earth is gone except for the few thousand people who manage to board the Snowpiercer train, a self sustaining train that is able to protect those inside of it from the harsh weather conditions.  Within the train a class system has developed with those in the front of the train living in the lap of luxury and those in the tail of the train living in poverty.  In the tail end of the train you have Curtis, played by Chris Evens who is planning an uprising with his fellow tail-members to work their way to the front of the train and take over the engine.  He is helped by his second in command Edger, played by Jaime Bell, friend Tanya, played by Octavia Spencer, and mentor Gilliam, played by John Hurt. The seek the help of drug addict security expert Namgoong Minsoo, played by Kang-ho Song and his daughter Yona, played by Ah-sung Ko, to help them open the locked doors between train sections.  During their struggle to fight their way to the engine they are blocked by upper classed Minister Mason, played by Tilda Swinton.  Can Curtis make it to the engine and change his world, will Mr. Wilford, played by Ed Harris, the creator of the train keep his precisely set up world in order with Curtis challenging him?
Like I said this movie has a lot of things that had the potential to come together really well but it just never reached its full potential. Although it didn't ultimately become spectacular it was still worth watching for being a different type of action/drama then I have seen lately. The best thing for me in this movie was the cast.  It had a lot of actors that I tend to like and I think the chemistry between them was good.  There were some moments of over the top but overall it worked for me.  If it didn't have this cast it would have ended up being  a lot worse then it was.
This movie tried to have some great graphics and needed them to work for everything to come together.  For me it was easy to tell that the views outside of the train were CGI and that this movie didn't have the budget to really make it blend in with rest of what it was doing.  It also had a lot of close up action sequences and in this movie there were too much for me and I really just wanted it to back up the shot.
The story seemed to be alright but I didn't like how they weaved it together with what was going on in the present and the back stories of some of the characters.  There were things referenced throughout the movie the were then identified as meaning something later on but for me it didn't add to the experience it made me go I don't like that and wish they would have worked it out a little bit differently to still include the emotional scene but without such a guttural response from me.

This movie was more interesting and required more attention then a lot of the bigger budget action movies that have come out lately but it does have me wanting to see it again to try get a better grasp on all of what was going on.  That being said I wont pay money to see it again in theaters.

My Rating: 2