The Lone Ranger

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7/10

I am wrong about a film every once in a while, and this was definitely one of those times. The Lone Ranger clocks in at 2 hours and 20 minutes long which will detract a lot of it’s viewers. I am not foolish enough to believe that everyone will feel the same way about this film that i did. With that said, it is a lot of fun and thrills with very colorful characters. The chemistry between Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp is incredible, and i can see why they were both chosen for this role. Johnny Depp can be a little stereotypical of the indian culture as Tonto, but does not overdo it. The cast also includes excellent turns from Barry Pepper, Helena Bonham Carter and the always amazing William Fichtner. This was also surprisingly dark for a Disney film. I was definitely surprised as they showed an eating of the heart by the villain of the movie. Things i would’ve done differently aside from cutting the film to 2 hours even, i would’ve included more about the backstory of Tonto. We do learn that he is responsible for a lot of the bad things in the film, but i found that story very intriguing and would’ve liked to learn more about it. Overall, i definitely recommend this film to everyone, but be prepared for a long one. I am also not guaranteeing you will like it. But hell, it made a believer out of me, and i am certainly not an easy one to please when it comes to cinema.

2 Guns

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6.5/10

Honestly, i was a little disappointed in this film. It’s good, but it doesn’t have a lot of substance. The trailer pretty much tells you everything about the film, and you can tell the direction it is heading with all of the predictions in the first 15 minutes of it. I really enjoyed the team of Mark Wahlberg (stole the movie) and Denzel Washington, and you can tell they had a lot of fun shooting this film. The action is pretty good, the storyline reminds me of 1996’s Bulletproof, and they even manage to throw some great comedic humor into it. I guess i was disappointed because nothing out of the ordinary happened. Like i said, if you have seen the trailer then you have already seen 90% of this film. Bill Paxton is great as the bad guy. He is typically someone i am not a fan of, but he certainly fit well as a C.I.A agent searching for his 43 million dollars. I would only recommend this film at the dollar theater or to wait till DVD. It’s not something that would require you to put ahead of other (better) films that are currently playing.

Red 2

 

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8/10

Best action film of the year by far. The group returns in this sequel that is better than the original (in my opinion), and brings in several new characters that are awesome. Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren and John Malkovich (Best part of these films) return with Neal Mcdonough, Anthony Hopkins and Byung Hun-Lee. Hopkins is the best actor on the screen as usual, but it’s Lee who steals the show as the #1 assassin in the world, Han. Han is one of those bad guys who just kicks total ass and doesn’t worry about consequences. He is smarter, quicker and stronger than everyone in this group which makes you wonder how they will take this guy down. The result is one of few things i don’t like about this film. I don’t want to give it away, but he is jobbed out in this film like he was GI Joe 2. I also thought the last ten minutes were a little far fetched, but the difference between this film and say Fast and Furious is that these are trained agents, so them pulling this stuff off is a little more believable. Not completely, but a little bit. On top of it all, there are great explosions and awesome fight scenes. The scene with Han taking on a dozen cops in a convenience store personally sealed this film as an 8/10 for me. I definitely recommend this film for everyone. The guys will love the action and the women will love the comedy and the two awesome female heroes that carry the group completely

The Wolverine

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7/10

This is the Wolverine film that i have been waiting for. This sequel to the crappy X-Men Origins: Wolverine does things a little better in the story of this legendary comic character. It’s not 100% perfect, but it is getting there slowly. Hugh Jackman returns in a role that i couldn’t imagine anyone else in Hollywood playing. He is simply amazing by this point playing the troubled Logan. Jackman is probably the best casted superhero in any comic book film. This film finally took the dark premise of Logan’s life and brought it to the big screen, and that is something that no X-Men film has done correctly so far. I really enjoyed how they finally showed us the bone structure underneath the claws. It’s the little things like those that can always win me over. I wasn’t too high on the choice for Viper as the villain. She is an amazing character and very powerful, but i have always considered her more of an Avengers villain (comic books or not). It was also pretty comical to see Yukio beating her down. The visuals and shooting locations are beautiful for this film. I have always liked the setting of Japan when filming a troubled story. They seem to get it right with their western culture and beautiful landscapes. Be sure to stay after the credits again as we see build up for the upcoming X-Men : Days of futures Past. The 2 minute bit had me half excited and half wondering where the hell they are going with this film. Overall, i recommend The Wolverine to comic book fans in particular. I don’t think the outside world will get much enjoyment out of this film, but the fans of X-Men and Wolverine will love it.

Killing Season

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7/10

Robert De Niro and John Travolta return to top notch in this revenge thriller. De Niro held Travolta at gunpoint in the Bosnia war shooting and (what he thought) killing him. 18 Years later, Travolta returns for revenge. I loved the amazing acting by each one. This movie only features four credited actors, but it doesn’t need anyone else. It’s all about De Niro and Travolta giving great performances. The film only runs 80 minutes, but i don’t think it hurts it in anyway. It has a story to tell and that is as long as the movie could possibly stretch without it getting dull. I enjoyed the beautiful music score by Christopher Young. Johnny Cash even lends his support with the song “Don’t take your guns to town”. It certainly makes you never look at the song the same way again. Since this is an independent film, you probably won’t be able to find it, but i definitely recommend seeking it out when it hits DVD. If you are a fan of De Niro or Travolta, i think you will enjoy it.

Only God Forgives

 

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7/10

This review will no doubt be the weirdest and most contradictory of all of my reviews. First of all, i want to say that i enjoyed the film. It was definitely a good old fashioned Japanese revenge film. It reminded me a lot of the kung fu films because of the graphic violence of it. I also enjoyed the cinematography and the way the film was shot. Nicolas Refn sees a world in his films that is both beautiful and frightening. He is a director that i really enjoy, and i felt he did a good job here……..mostly. On the negative side, i can fully understand why this film was booed at Cannes Film Festival. This movie definitely isn’t for everyone, and i will go ahead and tell all of my readers that i would be very surprised if anyone else likes this movie. One thing that is good and bad about this film is that it’s dominated by the performance of Vithaya Pansringarm. Make no mistake about it, this is his movie. As much as you are told in the trailer and synopsis to hate this man, he is the guy you will feel the closest to. You understand why he does the things he does. Ryan Gosling and Kristen Scott Thomas are kind of wasted here. It’s a shame because you have great actors like these two in the film and they are practically on sleep mode the entire time. Only God Forgives will go down as possibly the only film i have ever liked and not recommended at the same time

R.I.P.D

 

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6/10

This film really surprised me a lot by how much i liked it. First of all, Jeff Bridges is phenominal in this movie. Had it not been for him, i probably would’ve knocked this film down to a 6. That is how important he is to this film. Aside from Bridges, you can just tell that everyone had fun making this picture. It radiates from some of the cheesiest dialogue of the year as they do it with a smile. This film did remind me A LOT of Men In Black. Infact, i could probably write a paper describing the similarities, but i would rather not. I also enjoyed the great action and some of the ugliest monsters i have ever seen. Some of the things i didn’t like were just two big questions i had. 1. If Ryan Reynolds isn’t allowed to say his name, then why doesn’t he just say the name of the killer? There is no rule what so ever about that, and even if his wife doesn’t know it’s Ryan Reynolds telling her, she at least knows who is responsible for his death. 2. Why don’t the mirrors reflect their avatar identities? It would be impossible for the mirrors in the car or in the bathrooms to show Jeff Bridges or Ryan Reynolds unless they were dead too. Last time i checked, mirrors don’t have lives, so it will always be a mystery. This film got a lot of criticism and is considered the biggest box office bomb of the summer. To be completely honest, i don’t understand it. With films like Grown Ups 2 and The Smurfs 2, i can’t imagine how this film does worse. I don’t feel that it is for everyone, and only 50% of the audience (maybe less) will like it, but i recommend it for having a good time at the movies. Above all else, Jeff Bridges kicks total ass AGAIN.

Turbo

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6/10

This was a decent film, but is very unbelievable even for an animated Dreamworks film. Turbo is about a snail who receives magic powers that make him go fast. With these powers, he enters the Indy 500 to race alongside him longtime hero. The way the snail receives the powers and the way he does 226 MPH without even damaging his texture is what amazes me. The ending is comedic for all of the wrong reasons when the Indy 500 becomes a foot race. Things i liked about this film was the amazing cast which included Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Samuel L Jackson and Michelle Rodriguez. I enjoyed the animation as Dreamworks is always on top of their game with great 3D and visual effects. In the end, i think this film is definitely geared for ages 9 and younger. Unlike Shrek, Despicable Me and Toy Story, i can’t imagine many teenagers or young adults getting an enjoyment from this. Overall, i recommend this film if you are bored and looking to get out of the house. I would honestly wait till the dollar theater shows it, but to each their own.

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.

White House Down

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6/10

Channing Tatum saves the world from terrorists in this film that is similar to this year’s Olympus Has Fallen. My opinion is that Olympus Has Fallen is the better film, but White House Down has the better cast. I am not someone who hates on Channing Tatum because i am a guy, but he wasn’t very good in this film. He was very cliche as the hero of the day, but his acting was bad at best. I think he should stick to comedies like 21 Jump Street. This film is saved by performances from Richard Jenkins, Jimmi Simpson and Jamie Foxx (Who i am normally not a fan of). One thing that this film did better was the action sequences. We see the White House being torn to shreds with no redeeming quality left of it what so ever. The bad guys are decent in this film, and have a pretty good motive for doing what they do. One thing i would change about this film is the 2 hour and 5 minute run time. It simply runs out of steam by the 90 minute point, and requires a couple of big swerves to keep it going. The swerves work, but not enough to pick this film back up. Overall, i recommend waiting for the dollar theater or Redbox for this movie. The women will give it a 10/10 because Channing Tatum is in it

The Heat

 

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6/10

This film was a lot better than i thought it was going to be. With that said, it is nowhere near a great film though. It has a great first hour and then goes on to fizzle out towards the end of the film. Melissa Mccarthy plays the same character that she does in every film, but it works a lot better for an R rated comedy like this. Even though i enjoyed Identity Thief more than this film, i enjoyed Melissa more in this movie. I think one of the biggest things with this film is that it will reflect more on the female audience. i don’t know if the male crowd will like it unless they are die hard Melissa Mccarthy fans. This movie had some great laughs mixed in with some amazing supporting actors. Michael Mcdonald (Mad Tv), Marlon Wayans, Taran Killiam (SNL) and Michael Rappaport just to name a few, really help Melissa with a script that has a lot of holes. Sandra Bullock didn’t really do anything to add to the film. It seemed like she was on sleep mode for a lot of the film. Overall, i did enjoy this film and laughed as much as i would expect to for a free film. I definitely recommend it to the female readers of this page. If you are male, give it a look and let me know what you think. I am curious to hear the male’s perspective a little more on this one.