The Iceman

 

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8.5/10

Such an amazing and impacting telling of the famous mob hit man known as Richard Kuklinski. Michael Shannon gives an Oscar worthy performance as the man who is stone cold when killing over 100 people. This film is definitely one of the best films of the year and deserves a look by everyone. It’s got an amazing cast that includes Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta (As badass as ever), Chris Evans, James Franco, Stephen Dorff and David Schwimmer. It was great to see into the mind of such a notorious killer for doing the things that he does. This is a 100 minute movie that keeps you entertained every minute of it, and that is something very hard to do. The only thing i would’ve done to improve the film is to show a little bit of Richard’s early life before he became a killer. It does show an abusive relationship with his father, but nothing much more than that. I recommend this film to everyone when it comes out next week. Definitely worth a look.

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.

42

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8.5/10

It’s funny to go from my earlier review to this because this is one of my favorite films of the year so far. This film shows the struggles that Jackie Robinson went through in his rookie year in pro baseball. One of the things i loved about this film was the fact that it didn’t just show the struggles of Jackie, but the struggles of his family, friends and even his teammates. It was great to see this team come together as a band of brothers who had each others backs when they realized Jackie is their teammate. The only minor criticism i had for the movie was that it only covers his rookie year. I would’ve liked to have seen this story span over the first seven years of his career to the point of him beating the Yankees in the World Series in 1955. I felt that if you even had to make it a 2 and a half hour movie to get to that point that it would’ve been entertaining enough to keep up through that length. Other than that, it’s a film that i highly recommend to any sports or non-sports fan. The performances of Chadwick Boseman as Jackie and Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey are incredible enough to give this film a gander. I also really thought the cinematography of Ebbits Field was amazing. They got everything down perfectly to a tee with the stadium design of a stadium that has been gone for over 50 years

The Place Beyond the Pines

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9.5/10

Absolutely the most powerful film of 2013 so far. Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper deserve Oscars for performances that are definitely the best thing that either one of them have ever done. I will try to review this without spoiling anything. This movie is awesome because it has so much balls to do something ultra shocking in the first 1/3 of the film. After that it turns into a story that crosses the characters interactions so well that it becomes that kind of film on the likes of ‘Crash’. This movie had beautiful cinematography in the way it was shot and edited. It takes a yuppie town and really makes something beautiful out of it. The woods itself was a character in this movie. The score is also not disappointing as it compliments a jump in the story 15 years ahead and gives music for that time. The only problem i really had with this film was the running time of 2 hours and 20 minutes. While i totally understand why the film was this long as they had to build up the big payoffs they were giving by the end, i do think that an average movie fan will be bored by the 2 hour mark. It kept me pretty well entertained, but i can see both sides of the ball on that one. The biggest thing i got from this movie was the fact that it may be better if we don’t know everything about our pasts. Sometimes they will come back to haunt. I recommend this film to anyone who digs powerful performances and deep impacting situations.

The Spectacular Now

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6.5/10

Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley give a good performance to an otherwise empty script. I did like this film for the things it did do right. It represents teens from the way they talk and act to a perfect tee. Some of the conversations in this film are some of the same ones i see on Facebook today. It’s because of the two leads that this film receives a passing grade from me. Teller stars as an alcoholic teenager on the verge of graduation when he takes a chance on an unpopular girl at school (Woodley). The two surprise each other and share such a connection to one another that takes them through the rest of the school year. This film represents alcoholism in the light that it needs to be shown. It’s a real life problem with teenagers, and this film has the guts to make it a focal point for most of the film. The problem i have with it is that it’s predictable where it’s going and what is going to happen for the last half hour of this film. I actually accurately predicted the horrible event that would shake up their relationship by the end of the film. Another weird thing is that this film has some extreme fast forward scenes. We don’t hear much talk or see much preparation for Prom and then BOOM, it cuts to prom out of nowhere. We find out Teller needs a C to pass a class or he doesn’t graduate and then BOOM, it cuts to graduation. These are big events that need more screen time. The ending left me with good and bad feelings. Good because he confronts the problems within himself that have hurt his chances at a bright future. Bad because there are so many questions left unanswered. The Spectacular Now is a decent film that should be seen for it’s examples of the decisions we make having severe consequences. I just think for the most part that the audience who will enjoy this film the most is ages 16-21

Olympus Has Fallen

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7/10

A really good action movie that reminds me a lot of the 80’s action flicks we have come to love. Infact, this movie was more Die Hard than the newest Die Hard sequel that came out last month. Gerard Butler was incredibly badass as a former Secret Service agent who returns to the White House to take down a Korean terrorist threat. This movie had so much more than just action, it also had comedy, decent acting and an incredible cast that included Aaron Eckhart and Morgan Freeman. The weaknesses for me was the way they made it look completely easy to break into the safest building in the world. Other than that, it’s a fun time at the movies. I recommend it to anyone who doesn’t have to watch the greatest movie in the world, but just a good old school action flick.

The Call

 

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6/10

Actually a lot better than i thought it was going to be. I really enjoyed all of the things the movie taught me about Emergency Operators. It’s crazy to think of all the things they go through in a typical day. This movie had a lot of action and decent dialogue, but the acting could have been better. I hated Abigail Breslin and found myself actually rooting for the killer because she was a beyond annoying teenager. The ending is kind of an anti-climax and cost this film a point in my review. I felt the movie would’ve been a lot better if Halle Berry stayed at the call center instead of going after the killer. I recommend it from a $1 Redbox, but i wouldn’t waste time on seeing it in theaters. Nothing special.

Spring Breakers

 

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4/10

WOW!!! This movie was awful. I will go ahead and get the good things out of the way first. James Franco gives an amazing performance as a rapper/drug dealer who serves as the main ally of the girls. There were times that i even forgot that Mr. Franco was even in the movie. Other than that, there is not one single redeeming quality to this shitfest. The dialogue is completely awful between the characters, so much so that at times they repeat the same lines twice. The camera angles mix into conversations so badly that it looks like they came out of the Spike Lee school of cinematography. But at least Spike Lee has a purpose for some of the meaningless shots that he includes in his films. This movie treats you like you are a five year old who doesn’t know the extreme dangers of Spring Break. Apparently this is the message they are trying to convey as all four girls (Selena Gomez most of all) are the dumbest airheads i have probably ever come across in cinema. So wait a minute, there are bad guys who do drugs and only want to have sex with innocent girls at Spring Break? GET THE HELL OUT OF TOWN!!! This movie at times did remind me of Alpha Dog as it becomes apparent that these girls might not have a happy ending, but what Alpha Dog did different was make us care about their characters by developing them better. I didn’t care for one second what happened to these spoiled brats who rob a bank just to pay for Spring Break. I only recommend this film on Red Box and that is only if you don’t have high standards when it comes to film. If you really want a crime movie about four strong females, i recommend Set it Off. It’s a little high strung on the dramatic at times, but it’s message is a hell of a lot better than Spring Breakers.

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.

Dead Man Down

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8/10

Tons of thrills in this crime drama starring Colin Ferrell and Noomi Rapice. This film really amazed me considering it is produced by WWE films. It’s easily the best thing that company has ever produced. The best thing about this movie is the fact that it is a completely different film than what it represents in the trailer. Colin Ferrell’s family is murdered by a crime group led by Terrance Howard. He lives on to join their group in order to get back at them and what follows is a great story. This film does have a lot of action, but i think it’s the story and the wonderful characters that really brings it together. Some of the weaknesses was the ending. I didn’t feel that it was the right kind of justice for the bad guys, but that is nitpicking. I also felt some of the scenes were a little comical at times. Like the scene where Noomi Rapice has rocks thrown at her by small children. That’s a little extreme for kids picking on her. Overall, a great film that i recommend to everyone. Not a lot of money went into this film and sometimes it is better that way. Dead Man Down proves that good action mixed with a great story is always a winner.

Stoker

 

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8/10

Stoker may be the most deranged coming of age tale i have ever seen. I really enjoyed this film as a whole, and there is a lot to enjoy. However, i am not foolish enough to believe for a second that people will enjoy this like i did. This is a very unusual suspense/horror film about an uncle who comes to live with a mother and daughter after his brother dies. This film is very slow during the first half hour of the movie, but if you can outlast all of that it definitely rewards you with amazing performances by Matthew Goode and Nicole Kidman. The best performance however was Mia Wiakowski. Long gone are the days of her performance in Alice In Wonderland. She is now a woman, and has the ability to tell so much emotion in one look at the camera. I was very surprised at the dark turns that this film took, but it was done in such a tasteful way. The music is absolutely breathtaking because it doesn’t appear too often. The color of the scene tones mixed with excellent camera work makes this a definite top ten nominee at my end of the year list. I recommend this film to anyone who doesn’t mind a slow paced dark film. I think you will appreciate the things it does above all of that.

Snitch

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8/10 – I have to say that this is The Rock’s best acting performance in a film. I am not sure yet if it is his best film to date, but he did one hell of a job as a father who will stop at nothing to get his son out of prison. Berry Pepper again turns in an amazing performance that continues to show that there is no role too big or small that he cannot conquer. Jon Brenthel (The Walking Dead) was also a big plus for this action packed drama. The final semi truck speed chasing scene is definitely one that has to be seen to believe for the beating that stuntmen take. I would honestly have to say that this has to be one of my top three films of the year so far. Definitely recommended.