Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Her (Romantic Drama 2013)

Gosh, this movie was hard to rate since the theme, content, and music were all spot on, but there were at least three scenes that I would not be able to re-watch again since I was too weirded out by them. Nothing ultra-freaky or anything, but merely not my cup of tea.

I really liked this movie. It was an very interesting mix of computer science A.I. theory, base relationship qualities and phases, and human emotion and development. It was a very different film to watch. A lot of peeps will hate it for its pace and weirdness, but for those who are able to enjoy slower films, where you spend your time watching facial expressions, voice tone, and diction usage, then you just may like it. The pace is similar to that of Lost in Translation, but it was a whole lot better than that.

I probably would've preferred analyzing someone else's face other than Joaquin Phoenix, but I do have to give him props, as he did a fantastic acting job conveying emotion through his expressions. Yeah the word I would use to describe this movie would be 'realistic'. It delved into the concepts of relationship progression, love, and human need, but it did it in a way whereby you didn't need to actually see two people on the screen. The vocal chemistry between the main character and the OS, voiced by Johansson, seemed very convincing and real, as I caught myself listening to every single word that was being used by the actors because the choice of words totally would convey different feelings and present different emotional states...very interesting.

So yeah, it took a few years, but another movie has successfully made me sit there and think after the credits started rolling. That and the music was beautifully integrated and added to the overall package.
Rating - A+

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Ender's Game (Sci-Fi Action 2013)

Yeah this movie was very much like the book but hella condensed. I remember some scenes that covered many chapters in the book, while the movie cleared them in under 30 seconds. Funny because it seemed like the story was on fast forward.

The movie was OK, but it had a hidden subplot that only came out in the end. The book goes into more detail regarding it, but I thought it was a wholly dumb premise to try to develop. It did turn into multiple follow-up books for the author though.

If you ever wanted to read this book but never did, this movie is a good reader's digest version of the whole thing. And after watching this, you may also realize why I didn't continue reading the series.
Rating - C

Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale (Action 2011)

This movie was OK but I personally didn't really like it. It was about the indigenous people of Taiwan and a mini-rebellion they started against Japan before WWII.

I found it boring even though it had all of the regular attributes of a war-related movie. It had a fixed set of primary characters and a lot of extras who shouldn't have been granted one-liners. Plot-wise, some peeps had internal struggles of identity while living under Japanese occupation and others were complacent with their situation and became turncoats in the end. In the middle you had all of the fighters who got erased but stood up to the man.

They told a story that could've taken up a little under 2 hours, but instead they made it into something that ate up a whole lot more time. Filming wasn't too professional either as it seemed to use a camera that was made in the early 90s. The only notable thing was the language used in the movie. It totally sounded Native American but all of the actors were Chinese or Japanese...pretty good skills to pull that off.
Rating - D

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Valhalla Call (Warrior's Wings) by Evan Currie (Book 2013)

So this book was the last in the Warrior's Wings series, and I got to say that I enjoyed every minute of it. It's a very good example of what the space/military genre can offer.

I liked Evan's writing throughout my time with the books. He totally draws you into the story-line, characters, and plot. Non-stop action and character development.

But with most series' he kinda dropped the ball with this last book. Everything built up to the ending that should've probably been 5 chapters which was instead compressed into 2. It was like he was rushed and quickly wanted to wrap things up. The bad thing with doing this is that it totally dampers what a multi-book series is all about. If you work so hard on writing a great beginning and middle, then why skimp on the ending? Just doesn't make sense to me.

Either way, I did enjoy this last book but it could've ended with a longer "bang" than it did. Too many unanswered questions as well.
Rating - High

Grudge Match (Comedic Drama 2013)

Both of these guys are way too old for movies like this, but I think that might've been the point. It reminded me of Arnold trying to go back to the big screen with his latest release of The Last Stand which I'm not even going to watch. Everyone should just stay home and live off their money. Their time in the spotlight is quite over.

But yeah this one was a silly film where these two old boxers get coaxed into having one last fight. It tried to have a story with side characters and all, but I thought it was just plain stupid. I wasn't really entertained and was bored throughout most of it. It did have Shane from The Walking Dead though, so that was unexpected.
Rating - D

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Fantasy Adventure 2013)

Do you know how long this movie was? It was close to 3 hours and gosh did it drag ass. This was the second part of The Hobbit, and although it was better than the first, it still didn't have the same spark that made me like the original LOTR series.

This one had more dwarf adventures along with a fake elf chick named Tauriel. Why insert a whole another character who isn't even in the book? Peter Jackson stuck to so many nonsensical details in his recreation of Middle Earth, but he chose to bypass all of that with this brand new character? Maybe he knew that The Hobbit was boring as fuck and wanted to spice things up?

Either way it still felt like a Peter Jackson LOTR movie, but I just don't like any of the characters. They all seem boring and unmemorable. I'll watch the last film of the series when it comes out only because I have to finish it, not because it has any semblance of quality or potential.
Rating - C

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

About Time (Romantic Drama 2013)

You know it's a bit weird, but I really liked this movie. I'm sure others will have a differing opinion, but for a romantic, time-traveling type of film, it had a great embedded theme.

I did find it humorous that Rachel McAdams always seems to find herself in movies where the main dude travels in time, so yeah maybe that's her shtick? In this British movie, all of the actors did a fairly good job and I mostly understood what everyone was saying. It did feel like Love Actually though, which was another romantic British film that I liked the first time around.

This movie had some depth to it verses just being another romantic flick, so that's what won it some brownie points. I liked the story, dialog, and all of the mistakes that the main dude found himself in. Overall it was a solid, feel-good film.
Rating - A

Monday, January 13, 2014

9th Company (Foreign Russian War Drama 2005)

This one was an older war flick that told the story of a group of recruits within the Soviet Army who were sent into Afghanistan back in the 80s. I would say that it's a bit crappier than Platoon, but still a decent war movie.

Drama and character development were good, but there's something about reading a bunch of subtitles while not paying attention to facial expressions that takes away from the experience. Either way, it was good for a foreign flick, but if it was an American war movie it would be considered kinda crappy.
Rating - C

Enough Said (Comedic Drama 2013)

So this was one of Gandolfini's last roles before he passed away, and it sucks to say that the movie wasn't very good. I personally thought everything about it was pretty lame. I mean a lot of it has to do with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the fact that I don't think she can act, but the plot of this film was not very compelling.

It's a small drama with some funny parts and some very stupid characters. I couldn't really relate to any of them so yeah...blah. It's definitely one of those highly forgettable films that lacks any sort of substance.
Rating - D

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Man from Nowhere (Foreign Korean Action 2010)

This was a pretty good Korean action movie. It's one of the few that's on Netflix streaming so I gave it a go.

The good thing about Korean action movies is that it has a few subplots going on that actually adds to the story. It's not like most US action movies that are pretty much linear as apple pie. Either way, good watch, subtitles and all.
Rating - B

Thursday, January 09, 2014

All Is Lost (Drama 2013)

So this movie had a tiny bit of talking at the beginning and that's about it. The rest of this film was pretty much silent in terms of dialog. You get to hear the ocean, the boat, and Mr. Robert Redford do his thing, but yeah -silence- a very different type of movie.

It was pretty good though. It directly followed around this guy who is sailing on the ocean in a boat and has to try to overcome a bunch of obstacles using only what he has on hand. It was cool being an invisible participant as in thinking of what you would try to do yourself if you were in the same position. Personally I wouldn't be alone on a boat in the middle of the ocean. That and there're so many things that need to be done on a sailboat where one set of hands is probably not enough.

The ending was a bit dumb considering how much effort the character put in throughout the majority of the film, but yeah, gotta make things dramatic. You do have to be in the right mood to watch this movie or else it'll seem quite boring; no talking is weird.
Rating - B

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Lone Survivor (Action Drama 2013)

This was an OK war drama. Nothing great but definitely above average. Action-wise I thought it was pretty good since it didn't have a Rambo-like atmosphere during gun-battles. There was lots of crawling around, peeps taking cover, and enemies who could actually shoot back. Additionally, the plot showed how the US military can be dysfunctional and broken even though they are often viewed as being very organized.

The movie told the story of what happened during a famous Operation in Afghanistan by a team of Navy SEALs. They made a choice to 'not' take out some kids who wandered onto their position and ended up bringing a shitstorm onto themselves. Hard call indeed. Wahlberg and Foster melded into their roles well, but the other actors were kinda like filler.
Rating - B

Monday, January 06, 2014

The Butler (Drama 2013)

Ever since The Last King of Scotland, I've seen what Forest Whitaker could do in terms of his acting skills. So with him in the staring role, I knew that good things were abound.

This movie was actually about the history of the Civil Rights Movement, but seen through the experiences of a White House butler. The plot used the butler's son in a Forest Gump sort of manner by tailing him through various major events in the 60s. Whitaker did a great job portraying his character, while the other famous face of Oprah was only OK. The storyline was engaging as it illustrated the transient and mostly polar nature of different White House Administrations. Funny how the background staff seemed to be employed for life.

I liked this movie. It didn't go too overboard in any specific area, but kept the whole story moving through historical events while showing the toll it took on the main character's personal life.
Rating - B

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Hours (Action Thriller 2013)

So this movie was one of Paul Walker's last ones. I actually don't recall him being in any other films other than the Fast and the Furious series. Either way this movie was pretty average. It was about a guy who has to keep his newborn alive after the electricity goes out in the hospital after Hurricane Katrina. The kicker is that everyone else has jet, the baby is plugged into a heavy ventilator that can't easily be moved, and he's keeping it running by using a wind-up generator that has a battery that is slowly depreciating in its max capacity. Get all that? Yeah in a nutshell it's like that scene from Lost where the peeps have to input a command into a computer at a fixed time interval.

The "situation" that the film presented to Walker's character was interesting in that it would really suck to have to do something at a fixed interval (2-10 min) while trying to survive, find help, find food, or even go to the bathroom. On top of that, one human being can only maintain this for x number of days before they would pass out from exhaustion.

So yeah the premise was interesting but the movie as a whole wasn't very good or developed.
Rating - C

How to Change the Battery on a Sonicare FlexCare Toothbrush

Friday, January 03, 2014

Captain Phillips (Suspense Drama 2013)

This movie dragged ass. The beginning and middle went by pretty fast, but then the latter 60% of the movie was spent in a little-ass life raft. I doubt that the whole scene in real life lasted as long as it did in this movie.

So yeah I didn't really like this film. Acting was blah, especially for Tom Hanks and an odd accent that he tried to take on for the part. The action scenes were few and far between and it just didn't feel like a worthwhile film to watch. The length of the movie made it even worse since they so could've cut it down by a whole hour just to finish it up within an effective time-frame.

But even if they did shorten it up, the drama itself wasn't very good since you didn't truly get to know any of the characters or give a shit about their plight. It was a movie filled with situations and nobody cares about situations, only characters.
Rating - C

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

The Guillotines (Foreign Chinese Action 2012)

The beginning of this movie seemed to start off well, but as it progressed on, it kept on falling down a hill and eventually landed straight on its face.

The movie followed around a group a assassins who were the spec ops of the Qing Emperor during the 17th century. When things go south during a mission to kill an enemy of the state, they are disavowed and then hunted down. Pretty much everything in this movie that wasn't action was stupid. It had lots of talking, lots of "secrets" that added to the story but were lame plot twists, and yeah the ending was horrific. At least other Chinese movies with Jet Li in them had more of story. This one just wasn't put together well.
Rating - D