World War Z

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8/10

This is the happiest i have been after an original zombie film since 2003 (28 Days Later). The world is overrun by disease infected zombies in this end of the world drama. I say “disease infected” because this film treats the zombie epidemic as a disease…..and it works. It’s nice to see a film take an old idea and make it fresh again with the psychology and not the killings of zombies. That is what makes World War Z different; the zombies infect, not kill. Some of the scenes were amazingly scored by rock legends Muse, which only adds to a heart dropping scene like the one in the plane. Things i didn’t like about this film was the camera work. I got a headache watching this film that took me back to Die Hard 5 earlier this year. Shaky cam work doesn’t always have to be a stable in an action scene. I know why they do it, but just shoot the scene and leave it at that. I also had a dispute with the ending, but because of spoilers i can’t get into that. Brad Pitt is just ok as the lead in this film, nothing good or bad. I felt that a no namer could’ve done just as well, but it probably wouldn’t have sold in that perspective. Overall, i recommend this film in theaters but not in 3D. Outside of the plane scene, i didn’t feel it added anything great.

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

The Bling Ring

 

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5/10

This chronicles the story of the celebs whose houses were robbed in 2009 by a group of out of control teenagers. The film is ok, but it is pushed further because of the great cast it is. The movie played out like a made for TV film, and maybe that would’ve been a better medium for it. Emma Watson and Katie Chang were amazing. They really made the most out of these spoiled girls that broke into people’s houses for no reason except to live their lifestyle. I compared this film a lot to this year’s Spring Breakers. I think The Bling Ring is a better movie, but the comparisons are very striking. The camera shots were also done very well with many of the break ins being recorded like a security camera. One of the biggest things for me to believe is that no security or anyone close to the celebs were in the house while these people were out of town. This is based on a true story, so i know the break-ins were a real part of the story, but how do you not have someone watching your house? The story just doesn’t have enough meat to carry a film through 90 minutes, so it’s injected with a lot of club shots where we see the kids enjoying their victories. We could care less about those moments, and just wait for when they are caught. One final thing i will say that worked in the film’s benefit was that it showed how easy it is to learn the things we need to from celebrity addresses to actual views of their houses. All of this is supplied by the internet, and that is a scary thing. The Bling Ring is something i would recommend to people who follow celebrity tabloids, but it’s hard for this film to keep you entertained for 90 minutes.

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.

Hello Herman

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4/10

Herman is a boy who shoots up his high school after years of abuse and torture. This film’s biggest problem (aside from it’s editing, sound, terrible acting and length of time) is it’s story progression. With a movie synopsis like the one i described, you know a story can’t go much further. Example – Boy shoots up school, boy either dies or goes to prison, Boy is put to death if he is sent to prison…..THE END. There isn’t anything about this film that makes you go WOW, or sets up a difference in the shootings we have had in our country. This film does offer a look into the mind of one of these children who are picked on, but it’s stuff we already know. It’s pretty much assumed that a child doesn’t just snap for the hell of it. There has to be a building up of tension and terror in a child’s life for them to let it all out. This film is just an anatomy of that. Norman Reedus does give a decent performance and has some shadows of his own, but that is definitely not enough to save this film. The movie was so generic that the news channel was called “American News”, i am not kidding. The news anchor and the governor are so overdone that it’s ridiculous. We are supposed to sit there and believe that they would get away with the things they say about Herman on TV? Even killers cannot be trashed like they are doing. Overall, i don’t recommend this film to anyone. It’s a decent look at a hate crime, but it doesn’t give you anything new to put yourself through 85 minutes of this slop

The Purge

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6/10

First off, i didn’t like or hate this movie. The difference with this movie as opposed to The Lords of Salem is that this film had the potential to be great. During the first 70 minutes, it is a good film. It gives a great build-up right to the point of the bad people breaking into the house. From there, it’s like the writers didn’t know how to follow in the last 20 minutes. There is a twist ending that gives the film life again, but they abandon it for an ending that is both predictable and corny. This film is enriched with good performances by Ethan Hawke and the leader of the creepy outsiders, Rhys Wakefield. The movie oozes in symbolism for the way we do things in our current society just to prove a point. This isn’t one of the finer points of the film. Finally, i finished the film wondering how all criminals and murderers obide by rules made by our founding fathers. THEY ARE MURDERERS!!! THERE ARE NO RULES FOR THEM!!!! I would recommend this film if you have a dollar theater in your town. Other than that, i wouldn’t waste your time in theaters.

The Internship

 

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5/10

This film bored me to the point of stopping four times to pause along the way. Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson return to try to catch that lightning in a bottle that they did with Wedding Crashers. The problem with this film is that even though it is classified as a comedy, it simply isn’t. I laughed twice during the whole film, and even that was generous. The storyline of two 40 year old’s trying to get into Google is simply too dull to warrant a near 2 hour film. Vince and Owen play two of the biggest douchebag characters that are so hard to like and understand. These are supposed to be the two guys we cheer for, but they continue to cost and hurt the people around them because they try to always say the cool thing. I enjoyed the decent inside look at the Google campus, and thought that this could’ve been a pretty cool educational film. But the atmosphere just doesn’t work for comedy. I recommend this film as a Redbox rental, but nothing more. Don’t waste your time in theaters.

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.

12 Rounds : Reloaded

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6.5/10

I really enjoyed this film from the underwhelming WWE Studios. This is a sequel from the 2008 film starring John Cena. This film stars Randy Orton and doesn’t include any characters or storylines from the previous film. First off, Orton is great for this role. He is a MUCH better actor than Cena, and can bring out the best of dramatic emotions when he needs to. I also enjoyed the vilain in this film. With the exception of one twist towards the end that makes no sense, i felt like we could relate to him a lot for the reasons he is doing the things he is doing. The film almost feels like an early Die Hard movie with the scavenger hunt that Orton has to go on to save his girlfriend. The only critques i have for this film are the normal for WWE Studios. Some of the camera angles they use are terrible and not the best shots for capturing the action sequences. They also don’t always write the best of backstories for their characters. Orton’s character in particular suffers from lack of a past. We don’t really find out anything about his character, and i think that would add to the good storytelling. Overall, 12 Rounds 2 is a good film, and among the top 5 for WWE films. It’s definitely worth a one dollar Redbox rental, so give it a shot

Now You See Me

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7/10

This is the best example of cast carrying a script. The first hour of this movie is really well done, and then it takes a turn for the unbelievable. It’s funny that this film is about magic because it is every bit as unbelievable as the sport it exploits. The difference between this being a good movie though is the cast. It was great to see Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson back together (Zombieland) and Michael Caine with Morgan Freeman (Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy). Freeman is excellent as a former magician who reveals all of four horseman’s secrets. You really have to suspend disbelief for some of the craziest magic illusions you have ever seen. The ending is kind of satisfying, but has a twist that is very easy to see coming. While the film is good, it suffers from a weak script that keeps it from becoming as good as The Prestige. It is however better than the other magic film of this year, Burt Wonderstone……..WAY BETTER. I recommend this film to anyone if you can go watch a movie and suspend a lot of disbelief. Basically, if you appreciated the logic of The Fast and Furious series, then you will love this.

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.

Fast and Furious Six

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7/10

A very fun movie that will make for a good time in any friend group. The movie had a lot of great qualities including non-stop action. It also featured great comedic turns by Tyreese and Ludacris. The biggest shining moment in my opinion for the acting was that of big time up and coming actor Luke Evans. He had a great role as the smart villain Owen Shaw. Some of the things i didn’t like about this movie were the way some things weren’t explained well within the plans. Also, some of the characters don’t have much to do or say because it is such a large ensemble. The biggest problem with this movie however, is the INSANE and illogical stunts. I understand that this is a Fast and Furious movie and most people will think i am whining for a bad reason, but this was unbelievable even for Fast and Furious standards. Just a total new definition of gravity portrayed in this film. Overall, i recommend it because it is one fast paced action thrill ride that doesn’t need cheap 3D effects to pull of a good film. Fun for everyone