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Annie Movie Review (2014)

annie movie poster (2014)

Annie Movie Review (2014)

Annie is directed by Will Gluck and stars Quvenzhané Wallis as title role, Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne, Cameron Diaz and this is the third feature film adaptation of Annie and a completely necessary remake, totally necessary in every way.
Just in case you don’t know the story of Annie, it is about a young girl who doesn't know where her parents are. She is a foster child, her foster mother played by Cameron Diaz is very mean. And there is Jamie Foxx who’s trying to run for mayor and quickly realizes that his popularity grows after he saves Annie’s life.
In all honesty, this movie is a complete train wreck disaster. Every single part of  this movie embarrass me. It’s one of those movie that actually embarrasses you and not just because people just bust out singing. You know, I've seen musical that are good, I've seen plenty of good musicals, but a musical has one real job. It’s very similar to any film, tell a good story. And one added thing what a musical definitely should do is have good music. It should at least sound okay.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that every time someone began to sing in this movie, I became embarrassed to be there because the singing in this movie is not even good. Every single person in this movie sounds that they've been processed through a computer.
As a singer, what the easiest things you have to do is lip-sync, and even the lip-sync in this movie is off. There’s a scene where Cameron Diaz is like going nuts in her apartment crawling around singing, it sounds terrible but even the lip-sync is off. It’s atrociously like unforgivable, it’s the easiest thing you have to do. Just memorize the way the song goes and then move your mouth to the way it’s supposed to be.
If you watch the first 10 minutes of this movie, you know exactly where the rest of the movie is going to go. Even if you haven’t seen any other previous incarnation of Annie, it’s so predictable, everything is just set up for you. It’s like here is the problem, there is the solution, now wait for two more hours to see the rest of it happen.

Another comedy movie you might like : Top Five (2014), Dumb and Dumber To (2014)

Look, I’m a big fan of Rose Byrne, I think she’s a great actress and I've seen her do really great work before. I’m a huge fan of Jamie Foxx, I've liked him even before Ray (2004) and Collateral (2004). I think he’s very funny, he’s a good dancer, he’s a good singer, and he’s a great actor. I’m embarrassed by these two people to even be in this movie.
Every shot I see of them it feels as if they are just crumbling somehow behind the face of their characters. There’s an entire scene where they go to a movie premiere and we actually see a fake Hollywood movie being shown with all the celebrity cameos and the jokes they trying to pull up just not funny.
Let’s talk a little bit about Quvenzhané Wallis. I am sure that she is a sweet and caring and funny charming little girl. She comes off that way. But I feel like her and the entire cast in this movie has just been directed terribly. It just comes off as the worst direction has been given to everyone, because everyone in this film feels completely uneven. And there’s these incredibly random montage. Crazy stuff happens.
I hated this movie. It was terrible. I hated every second of this movie. It was embarrassingly bad sitting there watching it. I felt embarrassed. Don’t see it, that’s my recommendation to you.

Director: Will Gluck
Writers: Will Gluck (screenplay), Aline Brosh McKenna (screenplay)
Stars: Quvenzhané Wallis, Cameron Diaz, Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne
Duration: 118 min

Top Five Movie Review (2014)

top five movie poster (2014)

Top Five Movie Review (2014)

Top Five is written and directed by Chris Rock as well as starring him and Rosario Dawson. It’s a movie about a very famous guy whose had a career, he had some well-known things that were kind of a joke and everyone wants him to stay that way, but he’s also had a serious problem with alcohol addiction and now he’s being interviewed by Rosario Dawson who’s a news reporter about his new attempt at launching a serious career.
I always thought that Chris Rock is really funny, his stand-up is genius, I mean the guy is hilarious. But his movie career was not that great. I know a lot of stand-up comedian have a really hard time transitioning from live performances to in a film because live performances are filled with a raw energy, you’re able to control that so much, you write the whole thing and suddenly you’re in a movie with a whole bunch of other people trying to control you and that’s a very difficult transition for a lot of stand-up comedians.
This is his third film he’s directed and by far his best. I found Top Five to be one of the funniest movie in 2014. It had at least two truly ‘I’m the loudest person in the theatre’ moments. I thought it was funny and heartfelt all the way through but those moments are like the ones were you just go, ‘Holy crap, I can’t breathe’ and this movie has at least a few of them.
What I loved about this movie is that Chris Rock is so vulnerable in it, like he’s usually such a comedian who is such a ferociously guy, like ‘Look at me, I’m awesome’ but in this movie you really do start to feel for how many shows and emotional side to him that I’ve never seen in a film from him ever. And despite its really hilarious moments, it has a lot and really touching heartfelt small human moments especially when he and Rosario Dawson, as they walk around the city and he is interviewed by her, you learn about her life, you learn about his life, you get to see awesome areas of the city but it’s really just about these small moments that you share with people that can really be hilarious and stories that you tell and ways of inspiring yourself to be the way you want to be.

Another comedy movie you might like : Dumb and Dumber To (2014), Birdman (2014)

There are tons of celebrity cameos in this movie. Odds are if you’re fan of comedy, there’s going to be at least one person in here that you love. The movie also explores fame and celebrity quite a bit. It’s one of those movies where you have a celebrity and he’s walking down a street and people asking for autograph all the time and he’s talking about boohoo how horrible my life is and it’s so easy to look at celebrities as famous people, people who have any fame and say, ‘I understand you entirely, I see you in a video, or I see you on twitter, I see you in a movie and I know you as a person’. It’s simply not true and this movie explores that amazingly.
It’s really easy to relate to the film whether or not you’re famous or you’re just a normal guy like me, you’re able to watch the film and relate to the fact that tons of people are always trying to box you in to whatever they want you to be and it’s crazy how in depth Top Five actually got because I went to the film thinking this could be really funny cause Chris Rock is hilarious but I heard a lot of things about it and they were true. This movie is actually a lot more heartfelt than you would expect. But I need to reiterate, this movie was hilarious, I’m usually kind of quite laugher one but in this movie there were at least two or three crazy hilarious moments where I was like the loudest guy in the room which is rare for me because I like my silent in the movies but in comedy, sometimes you just got to let it out.
Top Five had truly hilarious moments, really heartfelt human moments, interesting characters relationship, tons of awesome comedians cameos and a story that you actually do start to care about. It’s not one of those comedies where when it gets serious it gets boring because that’s one of the biggest fall of comedies. Work starts out so funny and then all of a sudden you got to have a serious moment and it just goes down for like 30 minutes straight where the movie is trying to make you cry. Top Five story was interesting enough that I care during the more serious moments.

Director: Chris Rock
Writer: Chris Rock
Stars: Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, Gabrielle Union
Duration: 102 min


Wild Movie Review (2014)

wild (2014) movie poster

Wild comes to us from the director of Dallas Buyers Club (2013) and stars Reese Witherspoon as Cheryl Strayed, the true story of a woman who decided to take a thousand mile hike to get over some serious tragedies that recently occurred in her life as away to cleanse herself and hopefully survive.
I really like Dallas Buyers Club, I thought it was a very different movie, a movie that approach storytelling in a strange way and I really like the way they handle it. So I was excited to see the way he handle Wild, and Reese Witherspoon has been an actress for a long time and I think she’s beautiful, funny, very talented, and in this movie she gets one of her best performance in her entire career.
In this movie she faces a lot of challenges, for one it’s a movie about someone hiking. It’s really tough to make that interesting for two hours and I think they mostly pull it off. From what I've heard it’s very true to the book which is awesome for people who are fans of the book but the way the movie tells the story is that you’re just in the hike instantly like right from the beginning she’s already in it and then she encounters various things on the way that remind her of her past and that’s when we see flashbacks and we learn why she is the way she is and why she’s doing what she’s doing.
I like the film’s filmmaking perspective you’re able to learn things about a character as the film goes along and it’s different that way, very nonlinear. But it did take a while for me to understand why she is doing some of the things she’s doing because they hide a lot of that for a long time which I understand because you want to keep some secrets about the character you wanted to be intriguing but there are times where I just didn't feel the significance of her journey because the film wasn't showing us why it was so significant to her.
One of the things I love about Reese Witherspoon performances is that it’s totally unglamorous. There’s nothing about her role that, “Hey, look at me. I’m beautiful and lovely”. It’s like I’m sweaty, I’m dirty, my toenails are falling off and the character was just like, “Screw you, just shut up. I want to climb this. Just leave me alone,” and that’s one of the things that I love about her character. She was intriguing but also really likeable character because she just felt like a normal person.

Another drama movie you might like : Whiplash (2014), Birdman (2014)

I do have some issues with the movie though and a lot of them are just storytelling base. Like I said, it takes a while for you to understand the significance of what she’s doing. Now that I've seen the movie and I've done research on the actual woman, I know that was very significant to her but while you’re watching the movie from a storytelling perspective it does take a while for you to understand why it is so important to her what she’s doing.
From directing and screenwriting standpoint I feel like that’s not really the wisest choice to hide that much about your character when your character’s doing some of that seems sort of illogical. It’s hard to really relate to said character when you don’t really know why they’re doing it.
The film is very frank about her life for the first half and let you in on some of her mistakes that she’s made but once you eventually do figure out what she’s been going through in her life and how tough it’s been for her, you start to understand a lot more about her character and by the end of the film you really care for her and you want her to succeed.
It’s just that for the first half of the movie, the way they decide to tell the story made you not even really care that much about her until you realize just everything she’s been through.
The performances are great, the cinematography is really good and it’s interesting and different movie, and I like watching a person just being a person and that’s pretty cool to see in Wild.

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Writers: Nick Hornby, Cheryl Strayed
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Gaby Hoffmann
Duration: 115 min


Exodus: Gods And Kings Movie Review (2014)

Exodus: Gods And Kings (2014) Movie Poster

Exodus: Gods and Kings is directed by Ridley Scott and stars Christian Bale as Moses and Joel Edgerton as Ramses. As you may expect it, it’s about the event that occur in the bible book of exodus, Moses and Ramses, their opposition towards each other, their relationship and of course the parting of the red sea and all the stuff that comes with that.
As a filmmaker I have tremendous respect for Ridley Scott, not only because he made some of the best science fiction movies ever made but he continues to this day to make tons of movies. Even if not all of them are great, he is pumping out films faster than most directors who are in their twenties.
His career is a bit of mixed bag. You can’t always quite know what to expect, and with Exodus: Gods and Kings I had the exact same remarks for the movie, it’s a bit of mixed bag. For one the opening battle sequence in this movie is spectacular, it’s beautifully filmed. Ridley Scott pulled no punches when it came to that. I would say everything from the beginning of the ten plagues to the end of red sea sequence is absolutely fantastic.
There’s just a lot in between that a little hard to get through. A lot of controversy surrounding this movie because a lot of cast are white guys and they’re playing Egyptians. I mean really? Joel Edgerton as Ramses?
That being said, I think Joel Edgerton is a great actor. I like him a lot. If you’re not convinced of Joel Edgerton’s talent, just check out Warrior (2011), he was absolutely brilliant in the movie and I think he’s a good actor. I just don’t think he’s the right actor to play Ramses.

Another adventure movie you might like : The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies (2014), The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014)

Certain actors just stand out like John Turturro as Pharaoh. It actually felt like spoof movie the scenes he was in. I was try not to laugh. Don’t get me wrong, John Turturro is a great actor, but in Pharaoh’s make up, sitting there, giving order to Christian Bale? It was like a comedy.
It’s cool to see Sigourney Weaver back in Ridley Scott’s film but she has like two lines, so it’s like she’s not there. But there were some really good performances in this movie namely Ben Kingsley and Christian Bale. I thought Christian Bale was great as Moses. He added a lot of emotions to his character, you really felt his plight, you understood his strange position in life once he realizes about his youth, and the final scene at the red sea was so well done.
Ridley Scott really knows epic and he clearly still understand how to show an awesome battle scene, but there’s a very long sequence in between there, where Moses exiled, he meets a woman, he starts a family, and this entire sequence drag quite a bit because the conflict set up at the beginning of the movie between Ramses and Moses is non-existent because they’re separated from each other.
So clearly the movie is at its best and most fascinating when these two guys are butting heads. The stuff that happens in between that is a bit of a drag. There’s some strange choices in regards to portraying God and I don’t know, I didn’t really buy that.
So there are some really good performances in this movie, there are moments when the movie is epic and awesome, the entire film looks beautiful. Ridley Scott has not lost his touch as a visual filmmaker. The problem with this movie is the pacing and just too much happening. It’s two and a half hours long, should have been two hours.

Director: Ridley Scott
Writers: Adam Cooper, Bill Collage
Stars: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley, John Turturro, Aaron Paul, Sigourney Weaver
Duration: 150 min

Korean Movie A Hard Day Movie Review (2014)

a hard day movie poster

Lee Sun Gyun stars as a dirty cop who has a hard day. The film starts off where the lead character driving along at night. He gets a phone call from his sister, she wants him to get to the funeral of his mother quickly. He’s also going through a divorce and on the way to the funeral he hits a man and kills him, then he puts the man into the trunk of his car and tries to cover up the hit and run.
The first half hour of this film are very suspenseful and starts off really strong because the entire time is just goes from the get-go. It’s just boom, hits you straight away and then just keep getting more tension until it completely build but then by about the halfway mark it’s kind of deflate a little.
As I watching this movie, I was thinking it reminded me a lot like a completely different genre film, Gravity (2013). With Gravity it didn't like hit straight away, there was a little bit of character development but then shit just kept happening to them and they were like, “Oh my god, how are we going to get out of this?” This film kind of starts that way.

Another action and thriller movie you might like : The Equalizer (2014), John Wick (2014)

The problem is, it’s get a little predictable and it ends with one of those endings where it just keep going. There isn’t really an end. When you get to the logical conclusion of this film, it decides, “No, we’re not going to stop here. We’re going to bring in another 20 minutes or so.” If it had stopped where it did stop, then it would have been  a very high recommendation.
The thing I love the most about this movie is the cinematography. There were a lot of shots particularly the aerial shots in the chase scene, where it’s kind of like looking down. Those were really cool shots.
Lee Sun Gyun performance is very good in this movie. The suspense all comes from him and what I like about his character is he’s flawed. He’s not this perfect guy who just happens to have shitty day. He is actually not a very good person himself because the way he acts at the funeral, what he does to his mother’s coffin, when he’s trying to dispose the body, and also he takes bribes, he’s a dirty cop. Another bad thing that happens to him on that day is he and his fellow police officer being investigated by internal affairs unit.
In the first thirty to forty minutes, it’s very Hitchcockian. If Hitchcock were live today, he would be really happy watching the first half of the film. It’s very suspenseful. It’s not award-worthy for the technical side but it’s good on story-wise.

Director: Seong-hoon Kim
Writers: Seong-Hun Kim, Seong-hoon Kim
Stars: Lee Sun Gyun, Cho Jin-Woong, Man-shik Jeong
Duration: 111 min


The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Movie Review (2014)

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Movie Poster

This is the final installment in The Hobbit trilogy where you get to see everything come to a head and a gigantic battle, tons of characters flying all over the place, people are getting sliced and decapitated, there’s swords, there’s rings, there’s Arkenstone, there’s dragon shooting stuff, it’s all pretty freaking cool. I’m a big Lord of The Ring’s fan, I love the original trilogy, I love the books by J.R.R. Tolkien himself, I grew up with The Hobbit cartoon from the 70’s.
What I love about the movie is you’re just in it. It’s just like ‘Boom, you’re in this world’, there’s not much set up. If you haven’t watch The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013), there’s some catching up to do, but you can tell that is really perfect for a marathon doing because not only is tied very well in the last two films, but it ties very nicely with the beginning of The Lord of The Rings.
All in all, I really enjoy this movie. It is the shortest hobbit’s film so far. It’s actually normal epic movie length. It’s like 2 hours and 24 minutes, and it’s funny actually cause when it’s ended, I was like ‘Okay, it’s over. It’s kind of short’.
I saw the movie in 3D but not in high frame rate and I’m glad I didn't because I wasn't really a fan of it when I saw the first film in high frame rate. To me it’s just look better, the special effect are not as noticeable as they were when I saw in 48 fps. They’re really stood out in that, look like a cartoon.

Another fantasy movie you might like : Dracula Untold (2014)

There is a ton of actions in this movie, it does feel like The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) at times where bodies just flying everywhere, heads are rolling all over the place, it’s long and epic and Peter Jackson is excellent at directing actions. But the thing that stand out to me the most in this movie are the tiny nuances that Jackson so effortlessly put in some of his characters. Most noteworthy is the relationship between Bilbo and Thorin. These guys are very complicated. Bilbo has the Arkenstone, he’s hiding it. Thorin really wants it and it’s starting to drive him mad, almost like Gollum towards the ring and Bilbo watching this and some of the conversations create some of the most interesting moments in the movie and those things are what I really like about this movie. It is not just a big epic action movie, some of the smaller moments with the characters are really well done.
So, as a Lord of The Ring’s fan, I like Peter Jackson’s vision of this movie. I love the epic action. I love seeing Gandalf and Legolas back even though Legolas isn’t in The Hobbit’s book. But the romance just like in the Smaug, is very stilted and unnecessary. Some of the attempts at higher drama falls flat completely.
What this movie success is amazing battle sequences, really awesome characters, a very cool opening scene and some really well done smaller moments between characters like Bilbo and Thorin. Luke Evans is also really good in this movie, I like him a lot as his character. Ian McKellen as Gandalf, for goodness sake, you’re going to know his awesomeness.
Talking about purists, people who really love the book are going to be disappointed about a lot of things. That’s because so much in this movie is not like the book at all and most people knew that going in. There’s a lot of added characters, there’s just a whole bunch of expended stuff to really stretch one book into three movies and you’re going to have to deal with that. For me, what I think is when a filmmaker adapt a comic book or a novel or any other source material, he should capture the tone and feel of that source material. Not that you meticulously recreate every small minute details of said source material.
And I think that Peter Jackson’s vision of middle earth is as good as the vision of middle earth we will ever see. It’s actually feels like a place that we actually could go to, and that’s a big praise for the filmmaker. So Bilbo and Thorin are fantastic, the action sequences are mind blowing, it’s a very fast paced. Although there’s a slight rushed feeling, when it ends you’re kind of like, “Oh, okay. Well, it’s over”.

Director: Peter Jackson
Writers: Fran Walsh (screenplay), Philippa Boyens (screenplay)
Stars: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Lee Pace
Duration: 144 min


The Tale of the Princess Kaguya Movie Review (2013)

the tale of the princess kaguya movie poster

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is the newest animated film from Studio Ghibli in my opinion is one of the greatest if not the greatest animation studio in existence. Please keep making movies! This film is directed by Isao Takahata who brought us Grave of the Fireflies (1988), one of the best anime film ever made and a very touching war story.
This film is based on a story in Japanese folklore called The Tale of The Bamboo Cutter, about a little girl who grows out of a bamboo, raised by a family, eventually turned into a princess, and eventually her odd and strange supernatural beginning come back to haunt her.
I was so excited to see this movie, not just because I love anime, but because Studio Ghibli has made some of the best animated entertainments ever. Hayao Miyazaki movies alone are some of the best movies ever made, not just animated movies. Have you ever seen My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Spirited Away (2001), or Princess Mononoke (1997) ? or any of his movie ? The man is genius, and Studio Ghibli continues their reign of awesomeness with this movie.
I love this film, it’s such a unique and original looking anime. I have never seen a movie with such bold and rich colorful artwork that just leap over the screen without any computerized elements getting involved with that. It’s just like the artists created this movie with their hands from scratch.

Another animation film you might like : Big Hero 6

Studio Ghibli's movies are largely viewed as kid’s films, certain one like Princess Mononoke and others like that aren't really kid’s films but for the most part they’re viewed as family entertainment movies, but they’re not like America’s family entertainment, trust me. Because this film especially has a very mature and realistic look at life.
As this girl grows up in the wilderness you see her enjoy life, she loves it, she loves to frolic around in the woods and when she’s forced to take on his princess role by her well-meaning but not entirely helpful father, life becomes very hard for her as various suitors coming try to woo her and you get to see a girl who really doesn't understand her place in the world which is the theme that is well explored in movies. Characters who are out of place or feel out of the ordinary which most people do to be honest, and that’s one of the things I loved about this film, it took that so seriously.
It shown such a mature and realistic and non glossy portrayal of what life can be like sometimes for adolescents. There isn't a part of this movie that feels fictional despite some of the supernatural elements that are happening which by the way there are moments of extreme beauty in this movie that had my mouth dropped, particularly the sequence where she burst out of her house in anger and runs into the woods. It’s some of the most impressive animation that my eyes ever witnessed.
Princess Kaguya is a movie of raw emotion, extreme childlike wonder and glee, amazing animation and one of Studio Ghibli’s best film.

Director: Isao Takahata
Writers: Isao Takahata (story), Isao Takahata (screenplay)
Stars (voices): Chloë Grace Moretz, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Lucy Liu
Duration: 137 min


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Movie Review (2014)

the hunger games: mockingjay part 1 movie poster

I admired The Hunger Games (2012) movie, really surprisingly almost love The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013), and I was excited for this movie because it’s directed by the same person. The first movie had a lot of shaky cam which really annoy a lot of viewers but the second film is directed by Francis Lawrence, it was swift, it was fluid and it was really well directed an he is taking over the reign for Mockingjay Part 1 which was really exciting for me.
In this film continues the story of Katniss played by Jennifer Lawrence and a group of rebels who are going up against the evil Capital that’s been reigning over them with death and chaos and evil stuff for a long time. The way Catching Fire ended it’s like, “Yes, lets just see them just go against the Capital. Fuck those guys. They’re suck. They’re shady people, go kill them.
So in mocking jay I was really pumped to see that happen. This movie based off of one book however and it’s being stretched into two movies, which is the trend nowadays. The Twilight films did it, the Harry Potter films did it, and now The Hunger Games movies are doing it, and even The Hobbit movies are doing it. One book for three movies.
So I was really optimistic going into this movie, I wanted to like this movie and unfortunately this movie should have been called The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 (The Extended Trailer for The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2).
I want to make one thing really clear for The Hunger Games fans out there and for the people who really want to like this movie.  This is not a terrible movie, this is not what I would call a bad movie. It is a movie however where nothing really interesting happens until the last 20 minutes or so. Imagine if The Mockingjay Novel was a rubber band and you just took that rubber band and you kept stretching it, eventually it’s going to break.

Another sci-fi movie you might like : Interstellar, Left Behind

They’re trying to stretch the events of that book over two movies and with this film when it comes off as grasping for the tiniest little bit of details, they don’t really add anything to the movie going experience that really actually take away from it and make it kind of tough to get through because there really isn't much of any action in this movie at all.
And when I say there isn't any action in this movie I’m talking they were really isn't much action in the movie at all. The shot they promoted so often, the trailers of Katniss shooting an explosive arrow, that’s really the only thing she does in the movie. The majority of the movie is actually a camera crew filming commercials with her propaganda pieces to encourage the soldiers in their revolt against the Capital and that really is most of what she does in this movie.
Jennifer Lawrence is a fantastic actor and her character is very interesting and she gives a great performance once again in this movie. In fact all of the acting in this movie is very good. A lot of drama is really well done. There isn't one thing in the movie that you would pinpoint and go, “That is really bad”. But one of my main issue with this movie is actually the character of Katniss, I feel that she does not grow in this movie at all. I feel like she’s the exact same character she was in the last one. There’s no growth in her as a character in this movie. I don’t know that she’s matured or really learned much of anything in this film and for that reason she became less interesting around a story that was even less interesting, that is filled with endless political motivational speeches.
Katniss as a character does not grow at all. She’s the same as she was at the end of Catching Fire but she doesn't use any of that thrill that you got of her rebelling in this movie. Nothing really happened, she gives motivational speeches for commercials that are filmed for propaganda purposes. She sees a lot of dead bodies and cries a lot and stays underground for the entire movie.
Nothing happens in Mockingjay Part 1. The characters that are interesting don’t get to do anything interesting, they just sit around and talk and gives speeches and it’s not until the last 20 minutes of the movie that you feel anything of merit is actually happening and you feel like okay, I’m about to watch the actual movie and then it ends.
In the first film a shaky cam was so awful I couldn't stand it. So it’s great to see Francis Lawrence take the reign in the second one and make a much more smooth film. Unfortunately in this one, some of the shaky cam is back. I don’t know what the hell he was thinking when he decided he wanted to follow people running with a shaky handheld cam. Hasn't this series got enough flag for that? And didn't he fix that with Catching Fire? I’m really confused.
It is a well acted movie, it does have potentials but it’s filled with potentially awesome things that never reach their ark. This is a really easy way to describe a not so great movie but it’s true. This movie was boring.

Director: Francis Lawrence
Writers: Peter Craig (screenplay), Danny Strong (screenplay)
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Donald Sutherland, Julianne Moore
Duration: 123 min

Far Cry 4 Game Review (2014)

far cry 4 (2014)

There is not a lot you could say about Far Cry 4 that you couldn’t say about Far Cry 3. With the previous two sequels signal significant changes in approach, Far Cry 4 takes its predecessor and cranks everything up by several orders of magnitude. This make your fun sandbox is even more outrageous and the off-putting story and dialogue are even greater blight. Big turn-off in a game that doesn’t know when enough is enough. In other word, Far Cry 4 takes every elements of every major Ubisoft series and shoves them into one game, and as you can imagine, it’s big, crazy, entertaining, and problematic, all at once.
The over the top tensions actually start off in a promising manner introducing you right away to Pagan Min, the dictator of the Himalayan nation of Kyrat. You’re there to scatter your mother ashes, he’s there to make your life a living hell. The brutal scene that introduce Min are horrifying, he’s vain, vindictive, and lacking in empathy. He then disappears for most of the game leaving you instead with series of stereotypes, each one more embarrassing than the last.

far cry 4 screenshot

Every so often the game seems to be foist to make a point about you being an American, shooting up soldiers in the name of peace and freedom. But when you spend so much time instead listening to radio personality that fantasizes about becoming a serial killer that mere feces on the victim, it’s difficult not to cringe. There is not much treasure to be found in this thrash.
Far Cry 4 is awesome and messy, dumb and fun, gross and beautiful, and problematic. It’s when Far Cry 4 lets you off the leash then you find the thrill you seek. You grab a few guns, maybe a bow and arrow, maybe some molotovs and rush into the wilds, seeking to disrupt the land in the name of golden path freedom fighters.

far cry 4 elephant riding

While the stealthy method of infiltrating an outpost still available, Far Cry 4 newest tools emphasize chaos and destructions. You can mount an elephant and charge forward launching soldiers into the air with their trunk. You can summon a friendly AI and set a place to blaze with flamethrower, or assassinate an artillery gunner and take over for him.
When you’re beyond outpost, you can find more ways to express your violence tendencies. The new auto driving feature which allow you to automate your trip through the way point isn’t very reliable but it does make it easy to launch grenade on pursuing enemies when you behind the wheel. You liberate the entire fort and climb upwards, goes quickly from cliff to valleys by activating your wing suit and unlock new areas by climbing the radio tower and hacking them.

far cry 4 outpost

Competitive play is one more entertaining way of spending your time in Far Cry 4, a game already full of opportunities to make your own fun. One of Far Cry 4 biggest problem however, is it doesn’t trust you to find that fun. The game constant reminder to go do something other than the thing you’re doing right now are beyond irritating. You liberate an outpost, drive away, and in ten seconds, you alerted that the outpost is under attack again. And so you drive back fend off the attackers, leave and get the message again, and again.

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One

Little Big Planet 3 Game Review (2014)

little big planet 3

Little Big Planet scrapbooked world of cardboard and metal grating is bigger and brighter in Little Big Planet 3. With more bits and bobs occupy your time and to go every last one of your fancy. It’s more of the same Little Big Planet you've come to know and despite a handful of unfortunate glitches, sincerely sweet new additions like new gadgets and characters keep the overall whimsy of the game intact.

Little Big Planet 3 Characters

The thing about these new characters is that while they’re fun to play, they’re not particularly playable. Each character is confined to the hub world in which they are unlocked. For example, once you unlocked Oddsock in the mingle with swamp hub you can only use Oddsock in the mingle with swamp levels. The same goes for Toggle and Swoop, but Sackboy is playable in all world and in some story campaign levels he’s mandatory.
Each hub world also offers only one point of small doorway at which we swap characters. I’m disappointing that after months of being tantalize with the idea of gathering three friends and playing all four characters at once, you rarely can. As Little Big Planet 3 launched, four characters levels are severely limited which is maddening and saddening all at once if you want to play the whole game as someone other than Sackboy.

Little Big Planet 3 Screen Shot 1

Level structure itself is very basic. Within each hub, Sackboy has to find marbles that when placed together will awaken that hub’s hero. Marbles are rewarded for finishing main campaign levels and when you’re not marble hunting you can explore hubs for hidden side quests and mini games. These mini games ranged from go cart building to lemmings like challenges in which you have to guide six or more Sackboys to the finish line. Each quest is introduced by NPC that is just as colorful and strange as the world itself.
Playing Little Big Planet 3 alone is great when you’re score chasing but playing with friends is infinitely better. Helping each other navigate tricky traps and collect prize bubbles is rewarding as it helps the game transcend from just something on the screen to something affecting the real world space. You and your play partner will shout at each other, laugh, and maybe engaging some playful competition.

Little Big Planet 3 Screen Shot 2

I can’t get over how beautiful this game looks. The world of Bunkum is bright and detail. The NPCs are also fully voiced for the first time in the Little Big Planet series. And between the myriad sounds and sights it’s like an adorable Technicolor acid trip in a beautiful and untouchable bubble of sunshine.
Little Big Planet 3 is entertaining and sweet but things get sour if you run in any of these strange bugs. Sackboy’s twitch uncontrollably or randomly bounce on the screen out of nowhere, or fail to respond in certain levels. A few times I spawn behind the moving boss character in side scrolling levels which broke the game force me to restart. These bugs can also make you lose progress and for more than once I find myself ready to give up because I had to begin levels again.

Developer: Sumo Digital
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4

Dumb and Dumber To Movie Review (2014)

dumb and dumber to movie poster (2014)
Dumb and Dumber To (DaDT) directed by the Farelly Brothers starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels. Back in the day every kid that was in my ages like Dumb and Dumber (1994), it was like the greatest movie ever made. I also lived through seeing Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003) where the only funny part being Bob Saget screaming about all the poop in his bathroom.
DaDT with bad grammar included picks up 20 years after the original film where Harry and Lloyd are coming back together because Harry finds out that he has an extremely attractive daughter living somewhere that he didn't even know about and so they embark on a road trip and it’s funny and stuff happens and you know crazy craziness.
My best way to describe my thoughts on DaDT to you are by giving you a little analogy. Imagine when you were younger you have an incredible friend, you guys did everything together, you had overnighters, you played video games, you watched movies, you played sports, you did everything, it was amazing and awesome, and you guys loved each other and then for whatever reason you kind of parted ways. Nothing happened, there was no argument and then twenty years later, you decide you know what? I want to see this guy again and you call him up and you guys hang out, you go to dinner. It was nice, you had a good time, it’s great to see him again but it wasn't like the old days. That’s Dumb and Dumber To.
Did you really think this movie was going to be better than the original? A film that has been quoted over and over again for 20 years, that everyone admires, that everyone enjoys watching, that has a nostalgic place in a lot of people’s hearts? Of course it’s not going to be better than that movie.
Is it a terrible movie? Is it a train wreck? I would say no, even if the Farrelly brothers haven’t really made a good movie in quite some time. I would say that the best part of this movie is seeing Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels with their amazing comedic chemistry back in these roles just having the time of their lives and giving their all to this physical comedy. That’s something that really have to commend both of these guys, for Jeff Daniels especially. They do a lot of rolling, diving and flipping and stuff, and these are things that a lot of action stars nowadays don’t even do.
Is the movie as funny as the original? Probably not. It does feel a little bit forced. There are times when a lot of the jokes fall flat, especially in the third act and once they actually do meet the girl they’re searching for, I think she was pretty much not funny at all.

Another comedy movie you might like : Birdman (2014), Big Hero 6 (2014)

I don’t know about that character, I think she kind of ruined a lot of the movie unfortunately because I didn’t find her funny in the least. She was very attractive, nice to look at but as a character she’s not funny and for a comedy you kind of need this character that they’re searching for to be as funny as they want her to be and it’s just didn’t work for me.
I do have to say that the overall vibe I think most fans will take away from this movie is disappointment. It’s a funny movie, it’s great to see these characters back and a lot of their jokes do hit because Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey just they work magic together. They are fantastic together in this movie. It’s not a complete disaster, it doesn’t tarnish those characters and that’s what I have to praise this movie for.
But just like in the first film, you didn’t give a crap about the actual plot. Does anyone really care about the murderous schemes going on in the background of Dumb and Dumber? No, we just like seeing Daniels on the toilet for two minutes straight. That’s why we watch Dumb and Dumber. The actual plot in this movie with Laurie Holden? You don’t care. It is the same as in the first film. You just want to see Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels doing funny stuff and you get a lot of that in this movie.
But I don’t want to let my nostalgia override the fact that the movie just isn't as funny as the first one and in some ways it feels like a clone similar to the way Home Alone 2 felt. Even the Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) is entertaining because I grew up with it, when you watch it and you watch the first one, you do have to admit they are literally exact same movie just in a different location.
It’s pretty much the same with Dumb and Dumber To, they follow the same formula. It would have been nice to see them do something of a little bit more difference with these now older characters rather than have them do basically the exact same thing they did when they were younger.
But Carrey and Daniels are hilarious in this movie. They really work well together. It is not an explosion of crap but it is a little disappointing because the third act, a lot of jokes got tired and the character they’re searching for, I really do not find funny at all. In fact it’s kind of annoying.

Directors: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Writers: Sean Anders (screenplay), Mike Cerrone
Stars: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Rob Riggle
Duration: 109 min

Whiplash Movie Review (2014)

whiplash (2014) movie poster
Whiplash stars Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons. Miles Teller plays a drummer, but not just any drummer, he wants to be the next great one. J.K. Simmons plays a well respected music talent/teacher/coach/scout/really mean guy. He saw Miles playing one day and decide to ask him to come to his class, and then he just start grueling Miles Teller’s character. I’m talking devouring him in every sense of the word until he can't take it anymore, and the psychological battle of wits begin.
I remember the first I really took note on Miles Teller, that was the American remake of Footloose (2011) and it wasn't a good note that I took. He’s just seem like the guy who’s the next teen that wasn't going anywhere and going to be in this long string of movie like where he play in 21 & Over (2013).
With this movie, he’s really show me that he has a lot of talents, especially on the drums. He’s been drumming apparently since he was age 15 so he’s really was perfect for this role. However, J.K. Simmons in this movie is an absolute revelation. Imagine of J. Jonah Jameson shaved off his head, became a music instructor, and got really vulgar. That’s his character in this movie, he’s brilliant. He gave one of the best performance I’ve seen so far this year, he’s totally Oscar worthy.

Another drama movie you might also like : Birdman (2014), The Judge (2014), Gone Girl (2014)

Do you know all those YouTube’s montage videos of the best movie insult? You could take his character and fill the run-time of all of those videos with the things he comes up with. But what so beautiful about this movie is the drive that tells the characters feel, that desire to want to be good, the passion that he feels for a subject that he’s so incredibly excited about but he has a hard time communicating that with his family, his father, because it’s a really hard thing to express. I personally know all about that and I completely connect with that aspect of the character because I had the same type of childhood.
I had a really hard time convincing others of my love of movies and trying to get them understand and appreciate what I saw in them. That’s a really difficult thing to do when you younger, to express your love of an art form, because everyone around you just want you to work on a factory, or become a football player, or get a job in an office or something traditional. It takes that rare parents to understand the love of art, and that’s portrayed beautifully in this film, but the highlight by far is the budding of heads between Teller and Simmons.
This is an all accounts of psychological film. It’s not just a music film, it’s not entertaining and funny, this is a very serious psychological battle between two people who feel so strongly about their positions and their opinions and to see them clash is some of the most intense acting that I’ve seen in a movie this year. I’m not going to give anything but this film I think contains my favorite ending of the entire year. It has the most emotionally powerful last ten minutes I’ve seen so far in 2014.
Whiplash is an incredible film. If you’re fan of music, if you’re fan of art and you have a hard time expressing your love of art, if you’re fan of great acting, definitely check this movie out. Whiplash is one of the best film of the year.

Director: Damien Chazelle
Writer: Damien Chazelle (screenplay)
Stars: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist 
Duration: 107 min


Interstellar Movie Review (2014)

interstellar (2014) movie poster
Interstellar is directed by Christopher Nolan and stars Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Jessica Chastain. This movie portrays our planet at some unspecified time in the future which we are running out of food. The dirt is just not providing food anymore like it used to and people are starving. When a possibility of interstellar voyage utilizing a worm hole becomes an opportunity for Matthew McConaughey, he leaves his family behind in search for possibly inhabitable world.
I was really excited to see this movie because Christopher Nolan in my opinion is one of the best director working today. His films are imaginative, they’re fun, they’re exciting, they’re big and they’re all really good.
So I was like, “Okay, Interstellar is going to be my favorite movie of the year, I can’t wait to see this movie, it’s going to be flawless, it’s going to be perfect,” Is it all those things? No, Interstellar is not a perfect movie, there are some flaws involved with it, the script has some issues, there are some narrative structure problems, some aspects of the way the film ended did not have the emotional punch that I felt was needed.
But I enjoyed the entire run-time of this movie because I genuinely did care about Matthew McConaughey’s character and his family, the entire setup of his family was so well done, and the launch into the space and that entire mission was so incredible, and the CGI was seamless. I barely even noticed any CGI, I mean honestly, the CGI becomes part of the movie, part of the environment, that is praiseworthy.

Another sci-fi movie you might also like : Left Behind (2014)

I don’t have to tell you that Hans Zimmer’s score is fantastic, that the movie directed very well, that the CGI is good, because you guys all knew those things are going to be good.
Now, how about the story? It’s very interesting, without spoiling anything I did think a lot of the aspect of the way the film concluded were great. But the last ten minutes of the movie, I felt were completely unnecessary, too convenient, and too much like a perfectly wrapped gift. It’s just all felt too perfect.
Like the way Inception (2010) concluded, where they aiming for that catharsis in Cillian Murphy’s character, and they got it, and it’s just felt like, “Oh yes, this is so emotionally powerful,” I didn't feel that way in the end of Interstellar. They wanted me to, but I just felt like, “Well, this is really well directed and I wish that I was feeling like I care more at this moment.”
I don’t want to come off like I didn't like this movie because for goodness sake I did. This is going to be day 1 blu ray purchase for me. I have to praise its ambitiousness because it really has a lot of huge ideas. It’s kind of like annoying just threw themselves at the mercy of everyone, just like, “Look, this is what I want to do, here is all of it,” just blow the gigantic vomit of ideas, and he just put it all out there, some of it doesn't work, and some of it really does.
There are moments of brilliance in this movie, there are long stretches where my eyes were glued, there are moments where my mouth dropped, I got goosebump at a couple parts. I had to pee for like the last 90 minutes of this movie and I didn't get up. I was so into it that it kind of eclipses my qualms with the way the film concluded.
Even though I wanted a little more ambiguity for the way the film ended and more emotional punch to the film, I still so entertained by everything that came before that. The movie’s theme is what our place in life is, what our existence is, what our purpose is, are all really well realized.
Anne Hathaway is very good in this film, despite not really caring all that much about her character, all round is amazing visual treats your eyes are getting. McConaughey is the anchor that bring this movie back down to earth. He is terrific in the movie. Is he as good as the character in True Detective? No, but True Detective had 8 hours to build the character. He was just perfect in this movie, he really was.
The space sequences were just mind blowing, some truly epic stuff going on. Definitely a lot of inspiration from Space Odyssey (2001) in there, and a really funny robot character that I truly did not expect to be as awesome as it was.
I felt attached to his daughter when he was still on earth, the emotional connection between them is so real, so raw and so powerful. I really felt that, it didn't seem fake. It felt totally real, like all of the space mission stuff was great. It’s just the way the film wrapped up.
Like I said, no spoiler. There’s a moment when you think the film might be ending. At that point, I feel that if the movie ended, then it would've been a lot better than it was. But it goes on for about another 10 minutes.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Writers: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain
Duration: 169 min


Big Hero 6 Movie Review (2014)

Big Hero 6 is the first Disney’s animated film to have Marvel Characters in it. That’s why this film is possibly inspired by the Marvel Comic of the same name. The story is about a young kid name Hiro who’s extremely smart. This guy is a genius.
When the tragedy happens which I won’t spoil in case you don’t know, he then take responsibility for this thing called ‘Baymax’. He’s basically an inflatable nurse. He’s meant to care for you and make sure you’re okay in every way he can. The film takes place in a futuristic city called ‘San Fransokyo’ which is like a hybrid of San Francisco and Tokyo, where tons of new technology being invented every day.
When Hiro invent something called Microbots and the wrong man gets his hands on them and decides to use it for evil, Hiro unites with five other friends to form ‘Big Hero 6’ so they can save the world.
I love this movie, and what makes it so special, is the relationship that forms between Hiro and Baymax. Baymax is one of the most lovable character I've ever seen in an animated film. This is the type of animated film that makes you sad these characters don’t actually exist, because I would love to just hug that thing. The bond that forms between them is what gives this film its emotional core.
This movie is like an amalgamation of The Incredibles, Iron Man, The Avengers and Terminator 2. In Terminator 2, young John Connors was trying to teach The Terminator how to be more human, how to be more lovable. The movie was Rated R and there’s a lot of blood and violence and everything, but let’s face it, you like The Terminator in that movie a lot.
So you could say that we've seen a movie like this before, and we have, but the movie was directed so well, it’s written so well, and it’s really very funny, and the characters are what draw you to this movie. It’s a very entertaining kids film, but as I said, science place a large theme in this movie. And I remember when I was a kid being vastly interested in science, and I wanted to be an adventurer and do all these amazing things. And this movie has that feeling and ingenuity in it and I can see tons of kids watching this movie being like, “I want to make something special for mankind right now!”
But I can not stress enough that Baymax really makes this entire movie. He really was one of the most entertaining character of the year. Everything that came out from his robot voice was hilarious. The 3D was also terrific and I saw this movie with a buddy of mine, he was there with his four children, all of his kids adored it, and he’s in his 40’s and he loved it too. This is a movie that will appeal to all ages, and that’s the best type of family film, the one where the entire family go to and feel like they learn something, they were entertained, there was emotions to be felt and it didn't feel forced, it didn't feel like they were trying to shoved it down to your throat.
This might be my favorite animated film of the year, and not just because how entertaining the action scenes are and how lovable the characters are, it truly did had me with the emotional hard felt core of this film, and I can not praise the film enough for that because that is really hard to do, especially with an animated movie. Because the movie has a way of sneaking up on you and telling stories that are more realistic that kids can understand that sometime in life certain things do happen, and even though this is a fictional fantasy futuristic movie there is a lot of human emotions in this movie that is very raw, and I think that is something that good for kids to know about.
And I also think that adults are really going to appreciate that, mature audience are going to appreciate the fact that the film isn't just a kiddy movie with actions and explosions and fun. It has a real emotional core to it. It’s a fabulous family movie, definitely go check this one out guys. You should have a lot of fun.

Directors: Don Hall, Chris Williams
Writers: Don Hall (story), Jordan Roberts (story)
Stars: Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, Jamie Chung, Genesis Rodriguez 
Duration: 108 min


The Babadook Movie Review (2014)

the babadook movie poster
The Babadook is an Australian horror film directed by Jennifer Kent and it’s her debut feature and it’s stars Essie Davis as a mother with a very annoying son. He’s very difficult, he’s very hard to deal with, he has tons of problems at school, he likes to carry around home made weaponry.
And both of them are still dealing with a very difficult lost that happened on the day her son was born. One night, when he request her to read a story for him, she finds a story on her shelf that she hasn't read to him before called ‘Mr. Babadook’. It tells a story of a tall monster that lives in your house and will visit you if you let him in. From that moment on, The Babadook became the scariest film I've seen in all year.
I didn’t know what to expect with this movie. I was getting tweets from people who already seen it in Australia or The United Kingdom tell me to check it out, but I didn't know it. It’s one of those things where you’re going to be like, “What? The Babadook? What is that thing?
I love horror movies, I watch all of them. Bad, good, theater, dvd, whatever. I love scary films. This film truly unsettled me to my core. I mean it. It really got under my skin, in the best way. And it’s because of the melding of a lot of really great things, some of those are a very good screenplay, an excellent and very exciting debut from Jennifer Kent who is in my opinion one of the best horror director I’ve seen in years –and  this is her first movie– and an honestly, truly Oscar worthy performance by Essie Davies. She was brilliant in this movie, she captivated me. Her performance was so real and so lifelike that I truly did not think I was watching an actress.
She was magnificent in this movie and in my opinion, is rising to the top of the list of best actress of the year. I’m not overselling it, she truly was amazing in this movie, and her young son also did a really good job because you started out really hating this kid. But the film has an excellent way of turning the table on you in regards to feeling sympathy for characters you do not want to feel sympathetic for.
Let’s talk about the creature itself without giving anything away, it’s practical, it’s frightening, it’s disturbing, because it is not overly shown. There are no stupid loud jump scares, and there is no over reliance on gore. This is a straight up, unsettling, disturbing psychological thriller.
The creature stuck on mind because of the excellent directing and cinematography and use of sound. The performance sells so well, the music and side effect of this movie is so incredibly disturbing. But there is something that a lot of viewers may not picked up on and that is a fact that this is not just a monster movie, this is a movie about grief, about depression, and about how that can affect you.
There are two different thoughts when it comes to this movie, and I’m interested in seeing what the overall viewer thinks when they leave this movie. Because a lot of people may view it just as a straight up monster movie. Others, while looking deeper under the surface, are going to see a lot more depth to be found, and it is very smart, in fact it’s masterful. Because there is a lot of metaphor imagery in this movie that can lead you to think certain things maybe happening, certain things might not be happening.
I’m not going to give any spoilers here. I’m just going to tell you that this is a very smart horror movie. It’s the kind of movie that is not just about something that goosebumps in the night, it’s about the scariest thing that goosebumps in the night, your past, your family, the people you care about, things that can affect your mind. These are the types of horror this movie explores, and it does it brilliantly. It’s the best horror film I’ve seen in 2014. It is far better than V/H/S: ViralAnnabelle or Ouija or any other crap that’s in theater right now that suppose to scare you.
If you have a chance to see The Babadook coming up this month at any point time, I strongly suggest checking it out. It’s going to be in theaters and DVD in November.

Director: Jennifer Kent
Writer: Jennifer Kent
Stars: Essie Davis, Daniel Henshall, Tim Purcell 
Duration: 93 min

Birdman (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Movie Review (2014)

birdman (2014) drama movie poster
Birdman stars Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, and Emma Stone. This film is about a man who used to be really famous for playing a super hero called Birdman, that man is Michael Keaton. He since become rather washed-up, his public image isn’t very strong anymore, and he scrambles the fun together to put on this play. He’s directing it, he’s writing it, and he’s watching it, all crumble around him.
But it’s not just about that play, it’s about existence, it’s about one’s place in real life, it’s about how you view your own life, it’s about duality, it’s about film critics, it’s about family life, it’s about drinking, it’s about special effect blockbuster. This movie is about everything, and it is one of the best movie I’ve ever seen in my life.
I’ve been waiting all year for a movie like this, a movie that I can sit down and go, “Oh my gosh, this is why I watch movies and talk about them.” This is why I go to movie theater, for movies like Birdman.
A lot of people are focusing on the way of the movie was filmed. It’s made to look as if it is one continues shot. A clever editing technique and a really long take and some really skilled actors accomplished that. For that reason, the entire movie feels like it has this veracity, this unpredictability about it, with just mere by its drum only score, which also feels as if it was made up in the moment. The score is very jazzy, it’s feel like off the cuff, it’s feel unpredictable similar to the film.
Michael Keaton plays Emma Watson’s father in the movie, and they have a very estrange relationship, she’s had problem from the past, she’s dealing with one side of her feeling one way and the other side of her feeling in other.
Edward Norton plays a replacement actor who comes in the last minutes who feels like he owns the theater, he just wants to take over this play. He’s also dealing with the fact that he feels as if he pretending in real life, and when he is acting, he feels as if he’s home.
Throughout the movie, Keaton’s character literally hears the voice of Birdman in his head, telling him to do certain things. He ignores it and sometime he’s able to actually respond to it and sometime even see him. And he might just have mysterious powers of some kind which he can use telepathy to move things. This movie is weird !
What I’m getting at is almost every character in this movie is dealing with an intense psychological issue of some kind that make them feel split as if they are two halves in one. The movie also touches so much on life existence, what your place in the world is, what your here to do, the movie is filled with brilliant metaphor imagery that instill thoughts and emotions into your brain as you watch the movie, that no character is speaking, there’s no exposition that can say these things to you. These things are told through brilliant film making and excellent writing.
I got to give a mega praise to these actors. Keaton pose off the best performance of his entire career. Edward Norton is the best he’s been in years. Emma Stone is maybe the best she’s ever been. Naomi Watts is also terrific. All of the acting in the movie, even Zach Galifianakis, is perfect. These guys hit all of these tough marks throughout this very long takes and I got to give major admiration for that.
I love some action movies, I love some big fun entertainment movies, but I also respect art film like this that are really trying to be art. A film that has so much thought provoking emotions behind it and so much to say about humanity and relationship, and also the movie business. It was a flawless movie. I have not one problem with Birdman.
This movie is what I’ve been waiting for, a movie that feels like an experience, a movie that I never ever forget how I felt sitting in that theater, a movie that I can truly say is a masterpiece.

Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Writers: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (screenplay), Nicolas Giacobone (screenplay)
Stars: Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Emma Stone
Duration: 119 min

Nightcrawler Movie Review (2014)

nightcrawler (2014) crime movie poster
Nightcrawler stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a man who is looking for a job. When he come across this kind of unknown profession, people who tried to get to crime scenes as soon as possible to get footage to themselves to the news, he gets really good at it. In fact, he gets too good at it, and eventually he gets way to good at it to the point where he himself is committing crimes. This is a movie about an insane, possibly psychopath, who’s extremely good at appearing like an awesome human being until you get to know him.
I was really excited to see this movie, not just because a lot of people buzzing about Jake Gyllenhaal performance, but I was starting to hear things about the screenplay. A lot of people I know told me that the screenplay was one of the best, and for that reason I was pumped when the movie started, and I’m just as pumped to talk about it now, cause this movie blew me away.
Jake Gyllenhaal gives probably the best performance in his entire life in this movie. He is a gaunt looking man, he lost a lot of weight for this role.
Let’s not focus on the weight loss though, that’s an easy way to get noticed sometime. Let’s focus on how he actually performs in this movie. I did not see Jake Gyllenhaal, I saw a character, I saw a different person, and when you don’t see the actor, that is a performance that’s worthy of an Oscar nomination.
I think he’s an actor that is making such good choices right now, movies like Prisoners (2013) and Zodiac (2007), and Nightcrawler confirms to me that this guy is just a genius actor.
And yes, the screenplay of this movie is absolutely magnetic. There are so many different dialogue scene which you can not stop focusing on these characters, particularly this journalist, because he is just so good as this guy who is becoming so obsessed with the idea of capturing the perfect crime on film and making money doing so by selling it to news channels. And as you watch that obsession take over him, you start to see him turn into what in my opinion is a psychopath.
I mean in all honesty, I was trying to figured out who’s the antagonist that Nightcrawler was until I realize that might be Jake Gyllenhaal. He might actually be the main villain of his on movie and yet you want to root for him somehow because the script is so well written that you actually get to that point where you are rooting for someone who’s doing terrible things. And it’s because you’re able to understand his character’s brain you’re starting to figure out how this guy works, and how the clock ticks in the place up there, and you’re really start to understand him as a person. And that’s why his performance works so well and why this screenplay is so good, because it’s so focus on character. And because of that this movie is endlessly watchable.
It’s a great looking movie too. The streets of LA have not look this good since probably Drive (2011). I’m not comparing to say that Drive is a better film, but Nightcrawler is a movie that so focus on its character and you’ll able to understand his obsession so well despite the fact that you know in your head this is not something I would ever want to do. You able to understand the obsession because of his performance, because of the excellent script and because of how well this movie shot.
I’ve never really been a fan of the news, I don’t like the news. Because as a person, I’m one of the people who looks at a shot on the news and says, how did they get that? What exactly was happening behind that camera? Because I do that with normal movies. It’s always bothered me in seeing this movie confirmed to me why it has bothered me. I don’t like the news for this reason, because this movie so accurately describes the seedy underworld of the evening news.
The writing was off the charge, the acting was explosive, the directing was very good. It could have been a little better. I can see if someone like Fincher or Spielberg had his hand on this movie, it would've been slightly more intense, but I will say that this movie has probably the most suspenseful finale I've seen all year. The last twenty minutes of this movie were absolutely nail biting.

Director: Dan Gilroy
Writer: Dan Gilroy
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton
Duration: 117 min

The Equalizer Movie Review (2014)

the equalizer (2014) movie poster
The Equalizer is directed by Antoine Fuqua and stars Denzel Washington. This project went between a lot of different hands before it’s finally landed into the lap of Antoine Fuqua. Originally Nicholas Winding Refn was going to direct this movie, which is not very surprising because a lot of his trade mark violence in his movie.
Chloe Grace Moretz plays a young prostitute in this movie and Denzel Washington is a man with a mysterious past. He often meets her at this diner, kind of watches over her and eventually decides to protect her when some evil man beat her up.
This brings his mysterious past back into forth and he’s on a mission to find all of the Russian gang and take them out. While people are getting nailed and beaten until they can’t even move anymore, Denzel Washington is the one thing that carry this movie along and give it the credibility that it’s deserved.
It’s a fun movie with a pretty strong villain, and see them both in their act was some of my favorite parts of this movie. In fact, my favorite scene in this movie is a very intense conversation with both of them in a restaurant.
Some people are going to be really turned up by the over the top violence in this movie because it’s not really handled with much reason. In the past where films like Drive (2011) have violent and it was in there and it felt like actually it has something to do with the character of the driver that he have like this strange past which he’s trying to withhold this psychotic insane part of him, Denzel Washington’s character of The Equalizer seems fairly sane. And so some of the things that he does, some of the sore or home alone, feel like just there for entertainment value and sometime some of the trap I thought became a little over the top and maybe even a little unnecessary.
My main issue with this movie is there are just too many side plots. There is the character of Chloe Grace Moretz who shows up for a while, kind of just to get Denzel Washington back into his evil world again and then just disappear for the entire movie. And then there is one Denzel trying to help to lose weight so he can become a security guard. And whilst some of these characters come back in to the play at certain parts, a lot of it just feels like added back just to give the audience some sympathy for Denzel’s character when he’s doing some of those horrifically violent things he does. There is also like really random scene with Bill Pullman and Melissa Leo that feels like could just be removed from the movie entirely.
That being said, I did have a good time watching this movie because Denzel Washington as I said, sells every scene he’s in. He makes the violent fun to watch. He also sells the really serious moments. You’ll really buy that this altered gentleman can really kill all those people and do a really good job at it.
Overall, I did enjoy watching this movie because as a character I found him extremely compelling and of course Denzel made it endlessly watchable. That being said, you don’t really learn that much of his character and I was expecting to learn more about him but he’s a blank slate throughout the entire film from beginning to end so that did disappoint me.
Denzel was great, the action was fun although it’s basically like Saw combining with Home Alone, and it’s a little over the top. The story has a lot of hole in it, and there is a lot of added back but I still did enjoy watching this movie.

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Writers: Richard Wenk, Michael Sloan (television series)
Stars: Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloe Grace Moretz
Duration: 132 min

Ouija Movie Review (2014)

ouija (2014) horror movie poster
Ouija is the new horror movie about board game and it’s produced by Michael Bay. That’s mean it’s going to be great.
So someone’s best friend dies and everyone think that she’s committed suicide. However, there’s more to the story than people are realizing, and most of it seems to be revolving around this Ouija board. Her friends find this thing and decided to use it to try to get in contact with their deceased friend, and then everything goes wrong.
As I said, Michael Bay produced this movie. He produced the remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), the remake of The Amityville Horror (2005), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006), the remake of The Hitcher (2007), The Unborn (2009), Friday the 13th (2009), and A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010).
After reading those titles, would it really shock you that much if I told you this movie sucked? Well, it sucked.
Watching this movie, I tried to get in the mindset of the writer, what were they thinking, and I mean that in the serious way.
While the movie is called Ouija, so obviously we have to have some Ouija board playing in the movie, right? Yea, we do. So how many time do you think we tangibly make these characters play the Ouija board before everyone calls BS on them because so much weird crap in that thing. Probably like 3 or 4 times. Okay, so we have like 3 or 4 Ouija board sessions in this movie right?
So, what’s going to happen when they’re not playing the Ouija board? They’ll talk about Ouija board, they’ll think about it, and we’ll have shots about it, they’ll go to school and their jobs, and they’ll just kind of do craps when they’re not playing the Ouija board. That’s what the movie feels like. In fact, I learned that a large portions of this was re-shot. Which make a lot of sense, because what’s certain thing come to life in this movie about what’s actually going on below the surface about what “this thing” actually wants? None of the movie make sense anymore.
So there are great twists in the movie where you begin to look back in the movie, rethink the entire thing, and that’s an awesome and very smart thing that a writer can do. When he turns the table on you and the rest of the movie still make sense. The twists in this movie cheat more than a dumb bully in school. The entire film doesn’t make sense anymore once you actually learn what’s happening. I want to explain about the twists but it would be a spoiler.
That being said though this isn’t an obnoxiously bad horror film, you can sit and probably watch this movie, you’ll be bored, it wont be very entertaining, but it’s not going to make you hate yourself. It’s actually a nice looking movie, it’s well shot, it’s a sleek looking picture for the most part.
The screenplay is so stupid though, there are so many laughable lines between these characters that by the way, are just the most disposable horror characters on the face of the earth.
The best part of this movie is like the opening ten minutes. The rest of the movie after that is just like a downhill ride into oblivion. It’s a stupid movie that is barely scary. It’s a bunch of loud noises. The only time I even jumped in this movie was when somebody was there and it was their friend, the light turned on and then a loud boom noise. Well, it’s not scary, it’s not fun, it’s not enjoyable, and it’s not frightening in the least. It’s just a sound effect.
I do not regret the decision I made before I saw Ouija. I purchased a ticket for John Wick (2014) and walked into Ouija instead because I knew I had to see Ouija. And I wanted to support John Wick, not this movie. Seriously, go see John Wick. I saw it. It’s amazing. That movie deserve your support, not this.

Director: Stiles White
Writers: Juliet Snowden (screenplay), Stiles White (screenplay)
Stars: Olivia Cooke, Ana Coto, Daren Kagasoff
Duration: 89 min


Left Behind Movie Review (2014)

left behind (2014) movie poster
Left Behind is directed by Vic Armstrong, the stuntman from the Indiana Jones movies, and stars Nicolas Cage, Chad Michael Murray, Lea Thompson, and Cassi Thomson.
A sudden epidemic seems to be spreading across the entire earth. People are vanishing in the thin air, no one knows where these people went. Nicholas Cage plays a pilot trying to land his plane to get his daughter who is on the ground searching for her family and Chad Michael Murray is like a really handy man who did something sometime, people respect him, he’s up on the plane too.
And guys, this film is one the worst movies I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Now look, I sat in a deserted empty theater through out this entire movie despite one who walked out in first twenty minutes.
Let’s talk a bit about Nicholas Cage, the man is an enigma. Some people actually view him as a religious experience. This year he’s started in Joe (2013), a movie I thought was terrific, and I thought he was excellent in that movie. And I was like, “Yes, Nicholas Cage is back.”
And now he’s in this movie which is in my opinion the worst movie he’s ever been in. Now let me explain it to you, because I’m not just going to say this movie is bad, he’s terrible, they’re terrible. I’m going to explain to you why this movie is awful.
There are theatrical releases, and then straight to DVD and blu ray, and then television, and somewhere under there is Left Behind. I’m serious. This movie is not even good enough for television.
I’m talking about the way its directed, the screenplay and the acting. Even the musical score for this movie is awful, it’s like 1995 drum kits combined with orchestrations, it’s the worst musical score of the year.
Now, Vic Armstrong is the best stuntman ever. He did a lot of the stunts in Indiana Jones movies. I have so much respect for that man in regards to that. However, as a director of actors and a composer of scenes, he is not.
If I was forced to direct the screenplay that I saw in this movie, I swear to you on my life, I would say no as soon as I finish reading the script. Every actor feels fake, every dialogue feels forced, all of the conversations do not feel real at all.
In regards the way scenes are constructed, it’s incompetent. There’s a motorcycle scene towards the end of the film, where the female lead finds a motorcycle and apparently she can ride motorcycle. We have no idea she’s ever done it before, but she just does it perfectly. Throughout this entire scene, all we get are wide shots from behind. There is not one single close up insert of the actress on the motorcycle. They can’t even take some of their budget to use a pulley system to pull the motorcycle so they can get a close up of her to try to tell that she is on the motorcycle, whose the stunt-woman the entire time. And that’s the way this film was directed, lazily.
There isn’t an inspired moment in this movie. No one in this movie is intense. Everyone just feels like they’re moshing along through an epidemic disaster that spreading across the entire world. Not one bit of suspense was in this movie. It was so incredibly godawful that I wanted to leave twenty minutes in, and yet I stayed because I viewed it as a rite of passage. I was like, I’m going to watch this movie as a rite of passage, so in the end of the year I can say that Left Behind not only one of the worst movie I’ve ever seen, it’s a movie that I sat through.
There isn’t a single moment that is worthy of you watching it. I’m telling you, it’s not even funny bad.
It really honestly is one of the worst movie I’ve ever seen in my life. I hated it, it was terrible. Nicholas Cage, I love you man… but why?

Director: Vic Armstrong
Writers: Jerry B. Jenkins (based on novel), Tim LaHaye (based on novel)
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Lea Thompson, Chad Michael Murray, Cassi Thomson
Duration: 110 min



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