Pacific Rim

 

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7/10

This film was like a mix between The Power Rangers movie and Real Steel. I will first of all start by saying that i enjoyed this film a lot more than all three Transformers films and Battleship. This film has a lot better characters and real life drama than those films could ever comprehend. This movie is a big war with robots taking on monsters that appear out of a portal from the ocean floor. My only problem with that premise is that it never explains why the portal is there in the first place. I would’ve liked some background on when the attacks started, but instead we arrive midway through a random attack of San Francisco. Another problem i had was the training class of stick jousting. I understand why they had to do it, but why couldn’t it just be a boxing class? The robots don’t use sticks so why do the trainees have to? Stuff i liked about this film was the cast. Idris Elba has always been an amazing actor in my opinion, and he really adds a dramatic layer to this film. Charlie Hunnan is great in the lead role that gets a little cliche at times, but gives us more than a typical jock in this role. In my opinion, the action was 2nd to none in 2013 film, and i would definitely be curious to see how this film looks in 3D. Overall, i recommend this film for the action buffs. I think it provides a good story with tons of great fighting scenes between the robots and the monsters.

Despicable Me 2

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7.5/10

This film was really entertaining and almost comes as close as the laughs it had in the first film. Gru and his minions are back in this sequel to find Gru a wife. It’s obvious at about 20 minutes into the film that this is going to be Lucy (voiced by Kristen Wig). While i normally love Kristen Wig, i found her role to be the only thing about the movie i didn’t like. Her character is annoying at times and doesn’t have a lot to do. The Minions are better than they were in the first film with such bits as singing ‘I Swear’, and rowing boats with their funny sounds. I enjoy the Dispicable Me franchise, and it seems like a spinoff with the minions is right around the corner. One of the better things with franchises like this is that the whole family can see it. There are enough grown up jokes involved in this film that Mom and Dad can take the kids and not worry about being bored for 90 minutes. Side note – I am strongly debating being Gru for Halloween. I guess i will just have to see what i can do about it. Overall, a really good film that i recommend everyone sees in a theater. Really, there isn’t much better out in theaters right now. Probably Man of Steel is the only thing i would see above this.

Man of Steel

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7.5/10

Such a beautiful film with a cast that really hits a home run. Zach Snyder is back with another amazing piece of cinematography. As a fan of Watchman and the beauty of Sucker Punch (Cause not much else was great about that film), this movie only improved my opinion on Mr. Snyder. This is the film that every Superman fan has been waiting decades for. In my opinion, this is the greatest Superman film of all time. Great acting performances are handed in by Kevin Costner, Russell Crowe, Laurence Fishbourne and of course the amazing Michael Shannon. I didn’t really like Amy Adams as Lois Lane, but she is a football field better than Kate Bosworth. It also took some time for me to adjust to Henry Cavill as the man with the cape. I am not fully in his camp yet, and it may take another Superman movie to see what he can do when he is deeper under fire. The problem with making a Superman film and why nearly no one has been able to do it is because he is the strongest and fastest superhero on the planet. It’s hard to put someone up against him and make him seem defeated and vulnerable. Zod is an excellent choice to put up some adversity, but i had a couple other villains who i would’ve preferred. I absolutely loved the action and destruction in this film. After being slightly disappointed with Iron Man 3, Man of Steel redeems my faith in the superhero genre. My favorite part of the film was definitely the epic showdown between Superman and Zod which goes through buildings and streets like they are wallpaper. I longed for more scenes on Krypton as i felt they were some of the best of the movie. Overall, i definitely recommend this film and would like to hear your opinions on where it ranks among the original four Superman Movies and the 2005 Superman Returns

This is the End

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7/10

A very fun movie that i would recommend to groups of friends who are out to have a good time. This film added a comedic touch to the end of the world genre and i think in that aspect it succeeds. There are very funny comedic performances by Craig Robinson, Michael Cera, Danny Mcbride and Jonah Hill, to name a few. Where it fails is in the running time of 106 minutes which makes it feel like 2 hours. The movie does have slow spots in between where it almost runs out of ways to make Armageddon funny. I did think the effects were pretty cool, and the damage done to LA was an absolutely amazing scene that would make Michael Bay crap his pants. I recommend this film if you just want to have a good time and not see anything too serious. It definitely has an ending that has to be seen to be believed.

Rapture Palooza

 

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7/10

A straight to DVD release that is definitely one of the funniest films of the year. Craig Robinson stars as Satan. He inherits the earth after the rapture takes care of 3/4 of the population. The film reminded me of a mixture of Dogma and Idiocracy because it could easily be written by Kevin Smith or Trey Parker/Matt Stone. This is definitely the role of a lifetime for Robinson who is responsible for most of the laughs and great lines. That leaves two problems that aren’t a big deal, but clearly obvious. The first, No other character even comes close to having the meaning that Robinson does. God even makes an appearance (I won’t spoil who it is), and it’s just not as big of a deal because this film totally focuses on Craig. The other problem is that some scenes step on some real good laughs by lasting a little too long. It’s like the cameraman forgot to stop the camera from rolling just to see if he could get another laugh out of his actors. Overall, Rapture Palooza might be the funniest film i have seen this year. It’s these kind of films that make me always take a 2nd look at straight to DVD releases. Sometimes, they are better than 80% of the stuff that is in theaters. There are way too many stars to name, but Anna Kendrick, Rob Coddry, Ana Gaestyer, Paul Scheer and John Michael Higgins to name a few. I definitely recommend you give Rapture Palooza a shot. It’s only 84 minutes, so it’s definitely an easy sit. I can also imagine that there are some amazing improv deleted scenes on the DVD.

After Earth

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7/10

I was very surprised with how much better this movie was than i thought it would be. Will and Jaden Smith are father and son (Big stretch i know) who crash land on Earth 50 years after it is deemed unlivable. From there, the movie tells a tale of boy becomes man in the form of Jaden Smith stepping out and making this movie his own. I was really surprised that Will took a backseat on this one. This is clearly Jaden’s movie and you know it from the opening 5 minutes. This film featured a lot of excellent fighting scenes with the creatures that inhabit the earth. The only negative i really had for this film was the annoyance of the accents that the main characters had and the lack of acting from Jaden Smith. I know he is a teenager, but he doesn’t even come close to inheriting his father’s range. Overall, a good movie that i would recommend to anyone who liked Will’s 90’s films.

Star Trek : Into Darkness

 

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8/10

This sequel to the reboot explores the crew of the Enterprise as they lock horns with the great Khan. First of all, i am no Trekie by any means what so ever, but these films are more entertaining than the originals (to me) for a multitude of reasons. The characters are more human and can be related to in this film because they make the same mistakes that humans make everyday. This great cast is led by great performances from Chris Pine, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg and especially from Spock himself, Zachary Quinto. I personally think Spock is the best thing about these new films because he is played to a tighter friendship with Captain Kirk. Into Darkness circles that theory even further as it shows the tight bond between the two men and how they would do anything to help the other. This film is also fast pace and exciting. It has amazing battle scenes that you would have never seen in the original films. I get that technology has come a long way in 40 years, but when comparing the originals to this, you get to different sets of films. Clocking in at slightly over two hours, this film doesn’t drag at all. It keeps the audience entertained while revealing a lot about the character of Khan. I would have to say that i enjoyed this film even more than the first one and i look forward to the future of this franchise. I recommend this film to everyone because if i liked it, there is a chance that anyone will.

The Great Gatsby

 

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8.5/10

Really amazing remake that surpasses a lot of the things in the Robert Redford version. The performance of Joel Edgarton as Mr Buchanan was simply amazing. I loved the arrogance that he really mastered in that part. Leonard Dicaprio deserves an Oscar nomination. I am not sure if he should win, but a nomination at the very least. I also really enjoyed the 3D in the fact that it presented many beautiful landscapes. The 3D was subtle and not over done at all like you see in some movies. Some of the things that bothered me was the soundtrack. It’s kind of weird to see a film set in 1922 with Jay Z, Kanye West, Amy Winehouse and Beyonce playing. I don’t care if director Baz Luhrman likes to modernize all of his pictures, it just doesn’t work. I also didn’t like the performance of Tobey Mcguire. I thought he was a little overdone and a little old for the character of Nick Carradine. I prefer Sam Waterston in this role. They also took a couple of things and made them different from the novel; which i liked. The film does come in at 2 hours and 20 minutes, and is a little long. But i don’t really see a scene they could’ve cut and still gotten the effect out of each scene. The film has to be that long, and if the viewer doesn’t understand that then they have never read the book. Overall, i recommend this film on the grounds that it is another beautiful masterpiece by Baz Luhrman. It will be on DVD within a couple weeks, but it’s definitely worth a couple bucks at the dollar theater. I was glad i finally was able to see this film as it was one of the most anticipated for me of the summer.

Iron Man 3

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6/10

Before i begin my review i would like to point out the reviewers who will give a lot of movies a 10/10. This is especially the case when they see a superhero movie. Just because they left the movie with a good feeling they will give it a perfect score. To me, there has only been between 10 and 15 perfect score movies ever. The less you give out perfect scores, the more it will mean to a movie when you do give it a 10/10. With that said, a lot of people will give this a 10/10, but this movie certainly has it’s flaws. I won’t get into too many spoilers but The Mandarin character was TOTALLY ruined by this movie. The Mandarin is supposed to be every bit as smart as Tony Stark and the biggest menace that he faces in the comics and they totally bitched this character out. It’s a shame because Ben Kingsley is easily the best actor on the set of this movie and he is nothing more than a joke. Don Cheadle is also on sleeping mode in this movie and doesn’t find a lot to do. This movie also didn’t do a lot with the 3D effects. I don’t really see a big reason to pay 13 dollars for a 3D experience. On the positive side, Guy Pearce was amazing as a ruthless businessman who proposes a dangerous experiment to Tony Stark. I really felt that he was the best part of this movie. The action was also the best of the three Iron Man films that included an incredible scene with the destruction of Tony Stark’s house. It was also pretty cool to see William Sadler and Miguel Ferrer as the president and vice president, respectively. Overall, i would recommend this film in theaters but not in 3D. It’s not something that is needed at all. I would rank this as the 2nd best Iron Man film behind the original.

Oblivion

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7/10

Overall a pretty good movie that could’ve been a lot better. I went into this film with very low expectations and i think that is why it paid off well. Tom Cruise is part of a cleanup crew that is trying to pick up the pieces after an extinction war with aliens in 2077. I am not usually a Tom Cruise fan, but i feel like he brought a lot to a good character that i legitimately cared about. This movie has great action, well written characters and great cinematography that creates a beautiful film to look at. This movie could’ve easily fallen into the disaster of other Cruise films like Minority Report, but this movie had the genius that is Morgan Freeman and Melissa Leo giving a decent performance as the leader of the alien race. I don’t want to give too much away, but one of the things i didn’t like was the last two minutes of the movie. The ending (at least the one you thought) would have been a pretty damn good way to end it, and i probably would’ve given this film a 7.5 if it ended there. But the last two minutes are completely implausible and it leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth. I really had a fun time watching this film and was well entertained with the 2 hour run time. I recommend this film to sci-fi fans, but for anyone else i am not so sure. I could easily see people not agreeing with me on this film, so for non sci-fi fans i will say check it out on DVD.

Oz : The Great and Powerful

 

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9/10

The best 3D movie i have ever seen. Such beautiful cinematography that added to the amazing 3D effects of things like falling snow, shooting arrows and a white water thrill ride. I didn’t really have a problem with Mila Kunis like everyone else has who has seen this flick. However, i thought it was Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz who really stole this movie. I had a couple of very small continuity issues with how it translates to The Wizard of Oz, but they are very small gripes. With that said, i will now say something that will definitely get me shot – I thought this film was better than The Wizard of Oz. Trust me when i say that Wizard of Oz is a classic and deserves all of the recognition it has gotten, but it also drags in parts. This movie is one that always kept my eyes on the screen and fully entertained at all times. I recommend this film to everyone, but you MUST see it in theaters. If you don’t see this movie in 3D, you are doing a disservice to yourself and the movie in general.

Jack the Giant Slayer

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7/10

This one was probably the biggest surprise of the year for me so far. I really loved the set pieces and the backgrounds for being as dreamy as the fairytale itself. I loved that they added little bits of story to make the fairytale transform into a 100 minute movie. Even Nicholas Hoult (Jack) gave a wayyyy better performance in this film than he did in Warm Bodies. Stanley Tucci was also amazing (as usual) playing the bad guy. The Giants were also amazing looking and not too overdone by the CGI like most films can do. Some of the things i didn’t like was the dragging at times in between the bigger parts of the films. I know it’s customary for most films to do this, but i just wish they would cut those parts all together. I am ok with an 80 minute movie as long as it’s mostly entertaining. I also didn’t like the way the giants had to respect who ever carried the throne. THEY ARE GIANTS!!! They’re stronger, bigger and they follow no rules. Other than that though, it was a great film. I definitely recommend it if you liked stories like this growing up.