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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



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