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Celebrating 50 years in style!

Posted : 5 years, 8 months ago on 12 November 2012 05:11 (A review of Skyfall)

Celebrating the franchises 50th anniversary of 007, James Bond is back for his 23rd adventure on the big screen, Skyfall. Once again starring Daniel Craig in the titular role, 007 must help M retrieve a list of names featuring all MI-6 agents that has been stolen. With an all-star cast in place including Judi Dench as M, Ralph Fiennes and Javier Bardem, the 23rd Bond outing is one that is definitely better then its predecessor, Quantum of Solace.

Where Quantum of Solace was lacking, Syfall made sure to pick things up. Bringing in veteran director Sam Mendes to handle a much more polished script, the audience was treated to a banged up Bond. After being left for dead, Bond has to re-group and pull himself together in order to save lives within the MI-6 rankings. His psyche is down, his morale is down, but 007 will get the job done even if it costs him his life. Craig was made to look rougher, bags under his eyes, scars that were visible when he wasn’t wearing a shirt and a greying beard for the first 40 or so minutes of the film.

Skyfall was smart in the approach it took regarding both story and action. Being a Bond film it was inevitable that he would partake in ridiculously scaled action scenes, get the girl and still enjoy a nice drink all in a days work. Yet, somehow with both Casino Royale and Skyfall, they were able to slow it down at times and allow for a more intimate James Bond. The scene he shared with Naomie Harris early on was well done, bringing in sexual tension, a sense of humour and a good scene that showed how even battle hardened 007 can even be a human.

Everything just seemed to flow naturally with Skyfall, much than it did with Quantum of Solace. Being that the franchise is celebrating 50 years, it was good to have a solid James Bond film and not the sloppy mess of a series they were heading towards after Quantum of Solace. Having regrouped, bringing in new characters such as Ben Whishaw as Q and Ralph Fiennes as Gareth Mallory, we have an already established core group of players for 007 24. To be completely fair, I’m not sure if this will prove to be a helping hand for the series or not, because the interesting thing about the Craig era is that anything could be expected. Now we’ll have the obvious humorous quips with Q, the briefing and cheesy scenes with Mallory and the standard one off villain and leading lady. It’s back to the same old formulaic films that were being churned out in the 70’s and 80’s that at some points grew tedious and repetitive.

I’m a 007 fan as much as the next person, and fully appreciate the physical effort it takes to release a film of this stature every two years, but the two year ideal is not a necessity. Two years seems a little rushed, to write, direct, cast, film and edit films that are supposed to get bigger and bigger as they grow. As the 007 name grows and continues to be a world wide phenomenon, it becomes a bigger need to impress the critics and the fans. Let’s hope that Quantum of Solace was simply a fluke, because Casino Royale and Skyfall were both entertaining films.

Definitely worth a viewing, Skyfall is an entertaining film. Craig is impressive as Bond, Judi Dench is awesome once again and Ben Whishaw just might make an entertaining Q down the road. 2012 has been a year of big films, The Hunger Games, The Avengers, The Amazing Spiderman and The Dark Knight Rises, but once again 007 steals the show.

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Argo Review

Posted : 5 years, 8 months ago on 29 October 2012 04:36 (A review of Argo)

Starting out with a very intense riot, Argo picks up the pace right from frame one and never lets you go for a full two hours. An experience like very few, Argo fuses live footage of the 1979 Iranian revolutionaries with a modern filmed throwback to the tense days during which people were fearful for the lives of the Americans who were trapped within the borders.

Ben Affleck tells the story of the 1979 crisis from two angles. The first being those who were directly affected inIran and the second being those who worked on making sure the conflict was resolved without any blood being shed. Both angles were unique, the latter focusing on tension relieving humour, allowing veteran actors Alan Arkin and John Goodman to relive the early days of science fiction films. Both actors delivered lines that perpetuated the look and feel ofHollywood at that time.

Packing in as much humour as it could, Argo becomes a film that parallels humour with the ever building tension. During one extremely well-cut scene, we see a table reading for the fake screenplay Argo and a tense scene featuring the hostages inIran. Almost a world apart, these two events are connected by a thin operation that could spell disaster if not done properly. The scene was engaging, the lights, the sounds of the 1979 Hollywood coming to life, and the dark, depressing revolution also taking centre stage at the exact same time.Affleck himself and Bryan Cranston lead the dramatic acting side of things, and helped add to the pressure of having to be thorough enough to get the job done.

At its core Argo is a made for Hollywood feature that has a feel good ending. Argo is falls under the classic theatre definition of comedy, with its realistic ending that just happens to be a positive one for many of the characters involved. Everything about this film is real, from the dialogue, to the hostage scenes, to the final scenes where the characters are left to figure out what comes next. The one thing that really worked for Argo was that it took us on the journey of the people, where it lead them and how they dealt with it.

Possibly the current frontrunner for best picture, Argo is a must see, there is no doubt about that. Emotional, gripping and real, Argo is more then just a film, it’s a history lesson.

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Flashes brilliance, but never really attains it.

Posted : 5 years, 9 months ago on 5 October 2012 02:42 (A review of Looper)

Set in Kansas, 2044, Joe works for the mafia as a Looper. When the mob wants someone eliminated, they send them back through time 30 years, where a trained assassin is waiting in order to fulfil the execution. Joe, works as a Looper and one day when he sees himself appear he hesitated, allowing the older version of himself to escape. After hearing about a man known as the Rainmaker, Young Joe camps out at one of the homes of the rainmaker’s potential whereabouts, in order to wait for his older self, where he plans on completing the job once and for all.

Looper is set up to be a futuristic mafia film with time travel elements. The idea of time travel was presented in a very engaging and fresh manner, but overall it became a very minute detail. It became a struggle of interpersonal conflicts. Should you waste time caring about something you are uncertain of? Looper allowed us to question the philosophies behind time travel, but never really uses time travel as significant plot device, which takes away from the original concept of time looping assassination. When Young Joe and Old Joe go back and forth at each other within the futuristic Kansas it becomes nothing more than a semi-futuristic chase movie, which is not the film it seemed to be. Using the time loops to chase would have been much more convenient, creating with it a set of alternate timelines that could have played out for different endings.

Once it became a chase movie, it slowed down, becoming more of a character piece than a time travel film. When it slowed down, Joseph Gordon-Levitt was pitted against Bruce Willis and Levitt did a much better job at playing Bruce Willis than Bruce Willis did. JGL looked, sounded and had traits that were resembled Willis too a tee, but Willis was left fumbling to feel relevant. He did little to develop the character of Joe, because JGL had done it all already.

Emily Blunt and JGL prove to have great chemistry through-out the film, and when their characters share tender moments, Looper is at its best. In most of the other scenes, Looper is too focused on creating a cool looking set-piece, or attempting to be witty, when it should be focused on getting its own continuity correct. A few major details where skewed about half way through, and my understanding was Looper was focused on the characters rather than the action, so there is no excuses for Writer/Director Rian Johnson to have skewed his own facts.

When dealing with a film that requires complex timelines in a manner that Looper did, allowing those dates to become skewed has an affect on how the overall intelligence level of the film is perceived. It seems trivial to hold it over the head of the film maker and I understand that, but when your main theme is time travel, does that not somehow make dates the most important aspect of the film.

Crumbling under the pressure of whether or not to be a sleek time travel piece, or a traditional yet well written character piece, Looper settles half hazardously in the middle, which never allows for it to be completely original on any level. We get glimpses of what it could have been, even a montage of time loop assassinations, and then another montage of a time gap of thirty years, and then another quick flash back to the same scene with different results. The time gap montage was shot rather well, but held no real precedence in affecting the overall the plotline of the film.

Billed as a top notch thriller, Looper really failed to thrill me. I felt connected to the characters on some level, but never towards the perilous situation in which they found themselves. That is not to say, seeing Looper is a bad plan, because ultimately it is entertaining for lack of a better term, but may not be the film you thought it would be when watching the commercials. There is one major reason for seeing this film, and that is too see JGL’s range, and his insatiable ability to always have to be the top performer in each of his films. Not to say he purposefully steals the show, but he has this ability to save a film from hitting the ranks of terrible just be craftily creating subtle nuances and character traits.

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Lawless Review

Posted : 5 years, 9 months ago on 3 October 2012 03:48 (A review of Lawless)

Jack, Forrest and Howard Bondurant lived in a small town in Franklin County, Virginia, during a time when liquor was illegal but everyone just had to have it. The Bondurant brothers had the means to provide people with the finest moonshine around, but when Special Deputy Charlie Rakes wants a piece of their profit, the Bondurant brothers must be more discreet about their operations.

Lawless is set during one of the most interesting eras to portray in media, we have seen a recent increase in the amount of films set during the prohibition area. Most of them are excuses to show gangster violence and have intense shoot-ups and police chases. What seemed different about Lawless right from the start was that it seemed to want the audience to indentify with one of the three brothers, rather than focus primarily on the gruesome violence.

Now as it progresses, Lawless does take on a merciless approach to violence, having no discretion when it came to the action scenes. Very few films push the realistic violence factor, but Lawless decided to stray away from the overtly stylish killing, and just went straight for the brutal, shorter killing scenes.

Right from the start, I felt connected to the character of Jack, who was the quiet, shy one looking primarily to impress his brothers. As the film takes off, he tries desperately to win the approval of people around him that he begins to put himself and everyone else in jeopardy. Shia Labeouf’s vocal coaching certainly paid off, his drawl playing very nicely as he narrates the film and gives the audience thoughtful insights as to who these three brothers are. How his character Jack was feeling was always apparent, whether he talking to his brothers, his best friend cricket, or his love interest, Labeouf kept using the accent to accentuate his characters personality traits and his ability to grow as a character. Tom Hardy was a man of few words, and at times it seemed even fewer expressions. That’s not to say that role was without a major impact, because Forrest was always the root of the group, the brother that held everything together. At times for Hardy, it would have been good to use more expression if the choice was to use fewer words. Very much like Labeouf did, Hardy when speaking had an accent that was a spot on impression of the era. Guy Pearce on the other hand who was man given very elegant dialogue, failed to use his accent, and in doing so failed to have his character make any sort of impact towards re-creating the prohibition era. Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska did well in their respective female roles, helping shower a softer to side to Forrest and Jack Bondurant, giving us all the more reason to like the characters.

Lawless does a good job of using most of the actors very well, but loses itself in the way of pacing. Some scenes seem to be jumbled and out of place, even completely un-necessary. Floyd Banner (played incredibly by Gary Oldman) was essentially a non-entity as far as the overall plot goes. He did play an important part in the development of Jack’s character, but the first scene in which he appears completely takes away from the slower, more focused action movie Lawless was trying to be.

As mentioned earlier the narration by Shia Labeouf as Jack Bondurant was the most incredible parts of the movie, allowing for a more intimate look into what made these characters tick. The movie itself was written by Nick Cave, who read and spoke exclusively with Matt Bondurant, Jack’s soon about a novel he wrote, chronicling the lives of his father and his two uncles. Matt spent time speaking to family members, family friends and town folk in order to tell the story of his family. Cave was able to take those words, and translate them beautifully for the screen. Labeouf was able to breathe life into them, and help make the Bondurant story come alive through the medium of film.

A well-acted, well written period piece, Lawless is one of the best complete film packages of 2012. Check it out.

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A visually appealing, well-paced superhero movie.

Posted : 5 years, 10 months ago on 10 September 2012 11:31 (A review of Kick-Ass)

Dave Liznewski dreams of being a superhero, much like the comic book heroes he adores with a passion. Dave unlike many kids his age has the guts to try, and finds out the hard way that being a superhero isn’t easy. With the help of Hit Girl and Big Daddy, Dave’s Alter ego known as Kick Ass finds himself mixed in with crime lords.

A sleek, stylish and dark superhero drama, Kick-Ass combines the elements of Nerdy Superheroism with the dark atmosphere of a more sophisticated comic book hero. Kick-Ass proves to be successful in creating with Dave, a very R-Rated Peter Parker type character, taking us into the life of Dave for comedic purposes in order for the movie to add a secondary element of humour.

Kick-Ass does a very good job with most of the main cast, with Aaron Johnson providing a very solid performance, allowing subtle growths for his character through-out the film. Chloe Grace Moretz plays the 12 year old assassin superhero Hit Girl with very few issues, creating a very intentionally over the top superhero, who has Kick-Ass (no pun intended) fighting abilities. Mark Strong does a bit of overacting as the villain, but it never reaches the level of being so overdramatic that it is cheesy. Very few of the cast choices seemed out of place, even as far as to say the smaller castings, such as Clark Duke as the best friend and Lyndsy Fonseca as his Dave/Kick-Ass’s love interest.

With superhero antics comes the ability to create a visually alluring film as well. At first it took the look and feel of a cheesy hero flick, but through-out it became a very artistic and well-planned action movie, set with rapid paced, well-edited action scenes. Kick-Ass allows for shy awkward nerdy types to get their fill of witty comedy, and it also allows for the action connoisseurs to get their fare share of violent and diverse and action scenes.

The only real complaint is that at times, it is a slow moving and plot devices are given too early, such as a major plot device that revolved Hit Girl that comes back into play later on in the film. Even still, it is easily forgiven because Origin stories are about the changes one goes through in order to embrace their new identity. Most of the time when the film started to feel stagnant, a funny or plot developing scene was used to help keep the interest at a steady level.

One of the coolest things about the film was the continuous references to comic book culture, and how it played a major factor in Dave’s personal development as well as his alter ego’s development.It referenced such cult faves as Sin City and The Spirit.

A B-Superhero movie, with intentionally flashy action scenes, it is topped by the ability to have it all feel somewhat natural. Despite some of the CG looking a little too fake, most of the gun fights were realistic and featured the right amount of gun fire that would co-inside with actual number of rounds fired by that particular gun. There were only a few times that the action felt or even looked a bit cheesy, but Kick-Ass for the most part featured some of the best jump cuts, and well timed action scenes in a long time. Director Matthew Vaughn was able to keep the inventive and ballsy feel of the graphic novel, adding just the right amount of typical comic book predictability to make a very refined, and engaging superhero flick.

Kick-Ass is a fun movie, there is no doubt about that, grab it for the laughs or the downright intense action adventure it is, but I guarantee one or more elements of the film will impress you. If you enjoy comedy, check it out, if you enjoy action, and then undoubtedly check it out.

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The Dark Knight Rises

Posted : 6 years ago on 22 July 2012 07:50 (A review of The Dark Knight Rises)

Eight years after Batman takes the fall for Harvey Dent, a new breed of evil hits town, who is known simply as Bane. Batman is forced to come out of the darkness to once again save Gotham as it is being ripped apart from the inside. As Bane terrorizes and destroys the beloved Gotham City with his ruthless gang of mercenaries, Bruce Wayne/Batman must push himself to his limits in order to rescue the people of Gotham City.

Christopher Nolan has given the conclusion that Batman fans all over the world were hoping to see. It was grand spectacle of striking images, from the burning and rebellion within Gotham to the will and determination of the people to keep fighting for their cause, Nolan was crafted a film that is fitting to end this series. The longest film in the series to date, The Dark Knight rises concludes the Dark Knight Saga in a way that will leave fans of the other two films satisfied, even if this film was a little drawn out at times.

Within the film are all returning players from the previous films including Christian Bale as the Bat himself, Michael Caine as the loyal Alfred, Gary Oldman as the reliable Jim Gordon and Morgan Freeman as the always prepared Lucious Fox. Nolan has an incredible ability to utilize every member of his cast to perfection, always getting top notch performances from his main players. The newcomers included Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake and Tom Hardy as Bane.

It was Hathaway and Gordon-Levitt that were the particular stand-outs from the newcomers, as Hathaway played a slick and Chic Selina Kyle, bringing out the mystery we were all hoping for from her. Hathaway was sexy, sophisticated and elegant in her portrayal of Catwoman, a character who at the start of the film held no alliances with any character. Gordon-Levitt reminded us of the early day Jim Gordon, who was fierce and compassionate towards the people of Gotham. John Blake was the symbol of optimism through-out the film and Gordon-Levitt proved to be able to take on this character who often switched from a hard-ass to a soft-spoken understanding character depending on the scene at hand. Tom Hardy provided a physically menacing embodiment of Bane, but through-out the film it was the electronically altered voice that stopped him from being able to completely transform into the character the same way Heath Ledger did in the previous film. When you compare the two, Hardy did alter his voice slightly before it was distorted even further, but his mannerisms and the overall small subtle nuances of the character that Ledger brought to his version of the Joker were just not present. Where Heath Ledger completely transformed himself and took us away into the jumbled thought-process of The Joker, Tom Hardy just fell flat at being anything more than a physical force to be reckoned with. His dialogue was at times hard to comprehend and left me hoping Batman or others would Re-iterate what he had just spoken. At times there were flashes of brilliance from Hardy, where the altered voice didn’t affect the dialogue as much, and those were particular good scenes for Hardy to try and win over the audience. In the end, he does, but not for the same reasons villainous portrayals in the other two films have.

The Dark Knight Rises serves to be the most predictable of the series. We knew the back-story before the film, there were rumours circulating for months and even what was supposed to be considered the big plot twist seemed to have somehow been spoiled by the overall feel of the film. With a run-time of nearly three hours, and a first half that dragged on a slightly longer than it should have, it seems impossible to just let the predictably of the eagerly anticipated climax slide. This trilogy of Batman films will probably remain the best series of Batman films to ever be made, and The Dark Knight Rises is very much an entertaining film because it serves as the conclusion.

It brings the story of Bruce Wayne/Batman full circle, and those who have been on the ride of their lives with their favourite superhero will enjoy this flick for what exactly what it is, an homage to the great series of Graphic Novels the fans have been treated too over the years including the Knightfall and No Man’s Land. Nolan has done a perfect job of translating some of the greatest Batman works from the pages of the intricately written graphic novels to the big screen. His ability to keep the same well-structured characters and take out some of the things that are cheesy and unrealistic about the graphic novels and perfectly translate them into the modern day world while still maintaining the fact that it could be real is what makes him one of the best film makers of this generation.

The Dark Knight Rises because of how it represents the series is the movie of the summer. It is enjoyable, sophisticated and emotional to see a series of such magnitude end. Nolan was given a generation a trilogy worth celebrating for many years to come. The Dark Knight Rises, much like the two previous films is a top-notch big screen adventure, and will go down as one of the best films of 2012 when all is said and done. Here is too hoping that Man of Steel can be the next DC hit that offers them same satisfaction that The Dark Knight Saga has offered fans.

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Savages Review

Posted : 6 years ago on 12 July 2012 12:39 (A review of Savages)

Entrepreneur Ben and his best friend Chon have one of the premiere marijuana grow-ops in North America. Along with their shared girl friend O (short for Ophelia) they live comfortably and luxuriously. After the Mexican Cartel makes them an offer that the two men turn down, O is kidnapped and held until they agree to the deal. Ben and Chon being smart and resourceful begin concocting a plan that will get O back on their terms.

Savages begins with a narration from Blake Lively’s O and things get off to a rocky start, with some turbulent dialogue that does little to help establish O as the most important character of the film. There is never a sense of urgency in her words, especially when she says the line “Just because I’m telling you this story, doesn’t mean I’m alive at the end of it.” The narration continues to feel stagnant especially when the visuals are more than capable of showing the same thing she is saying. O remains the point at which the plot develops around, but as the film progresses she becomes less of a necessity and more of a liability.

It is everything else that seems to blend together just right for the R-Rated film. Very much intent on showing the ruthlessness of the Drug Cartel, Savages pulls no punches when it comes to violence, showing everything from brutal drawn out torture to quick and efficient murder scenes. Oliver Stone tries to balance the ruthlessness of certain characters, while completely reversing it for others. Del Toro’s Lado is bent on being a badass as he is involved in most of the scenes of brutal violence. Lado also becomes very much a contrasting character, where at times he was deadly with his words, and others times they played for awkward humour with his character. It felt at times as though his scenes with O were for filler space to simply remind us that there is something bigger on the line than just drugs.

With-in the mix of the over the top characters are Ben and Chon. Aaron Johnson’s Ben is the laid back of the two wanting to avoid the violence when it first happens. What really saved Savages a lot of the time was watching Aaron Johnson precisely show the right amount of anger, determination and fear. Ben was forced to go from confident and quiet to dangerous and determined and that fit really well with the situation being portrayed. Chon, played wonderfully as well by Taylor Kitsch started the film a hard ass and remained that way through-out, never questioning what needed to be done in order to save their love. Kitsch’s Chon delivered dialogue about accepting the idea of being able to fight for survival, and not since he portrayed Kevin Carter in The Bang Bang Club has Kitsch given a portrayal that really captures the essence of the character.

Savages ultimately is an enjoyable film, where the small imperfections are easily forgiven because it is really just another simple film. There is no real connection with any character other then Ben or Chon, and for the sake of a film that at times is merely just violent for the sake of it, that is a good thing. As the film progresses it seems like the characters and who they are as people becomes irrelevant. The writers could replace these characters with any character of the same formulaic nature and it still would have been the exact same thing. That is not to say the actors didn’t do a good job, because they did. This fault is primarily on the writers. Savages definitely is not a stand-out in drug related violence films. Nothing about Savages is very hard-hitting. It tries awkwardly to be political and shift the focus to corruption within politics and police work, but ultimately that becomes just another plot line that is executed with no real urgency or pay-off.

Spoiler Alert, the quote mentioned above becomes something different entirely near the end of the film. It becomes a what-if scenario, a mere fantasy idea of the ending based on the fact O is telling the story. It does come to a conclusion that is very lack-lustre and predictable for all the characters involved, which is just one more reason why Savages is not a stand-out film.

If you are into violent R-Rated flicks, Savages is a film worth checking out. Stay for the acting and the R-Rated violence, leave when you expect it to get deep and impactful because that is the one thing it never becomes.

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21 Jump Street Review

Posted : 6 years ago on 24 June 2012 04:36 (A review of 21 Jump Street)

After botching a drug bust, detectives Jenko and Schmidt are sent back to high school in order to bust a new synthetic drug operation. They must adapt to the new ways of high school, having been out for nearly seven years. The pair is sent back to classes, where they must deal with new cliques and changing social circles. Their mission is simple, find the dealers and infiltrate the suppliers.

To be honest, when first looking into this movie, I believed that it was going to be a flop. It seemed too much like every other comedy movie Jonah Hill had been in previously; high cchool partying, explicit jokes and crude comedy. Jonah Hill is known for that, throw in Channing Tatum and it appears on the surface as though you have a very stereotypical comedy.

I was completely wrong in that presumption. 21 Jump Street is fantastic at capturing the modern high school life. Different cliques, things that used to be considered nerdy are now cool. Those who were once popular are now just considered ignorant jocks. 21 Jump Street took the conventional cast idea; the popular jock teamed with the awkward nerd and threw it for a loop. Hill’s Schmidt was the one who got accepted into the cool crowd, while it was Tatum’s Jenko that was left to hang with the science crowd. It provided laughs as they both learned each others former world. Both actors did a fantastic job in their roles.

It was Dave Franco, younger brother of James Franco who commanded his screen time with a presence that was undeniable. He has this slick on screen swagger, a very confident comedic performance from him. There are very few people who could have pulled off the role like he did. Dave Franco is just as funny and cool on screen as his older brother James.

Where the film seemed to lack was storyline, it seemed predictable. It is a comedy, and that sometimes can mean it comes with the predictability factor. It sucks to say that about an extremely well-acted and explosive action comedy, but it is true. With a little more development to the plot, a little less comedic set-up and more impromptu twists, 21 Jump Street could have been a much better film in both the comedic and action categories.

That being said, I really do want to give it all the praise I can. I found myself heartily laughing, and mustering up all the cheer I could find while rooting for these two misfit characters. Really in the end from a comedy that is all you can hope for. Situations and characters that are worth cheering for, worth feeling invested in is what make a good comedy.

Throwing back to the 80s series of the same name was inevitable; most of them were done right. From the mess up of the address to the cameos from Johnny Depp and Peter DeLuise, this film added its own brand of modern flare and still paid homage to the material it was derived from.

All in all, despite the minor flaws 21 Jump Street is a fantastic movie, full of solid laughs and well crafted comedy. I recommend seeing this movie; it will probably leave you laughing out loud when it is over. Check it out if you haven’t already. Certainly worth a viewing, if not more than one.

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Project X

Posted : 6 years, 1 month ago on 23 June 2012 03:32 (A review of Project X (2012))

Thomas’s friends Costa and J.B plan a party for him that they believe will be the best party anyone has ever been too. When they send out mass invites, people begin to start showing up bunches, leaving Thomas with a party that is getting out of control. When Thomas starts to realize he has lost control and starts to accept the idea of it being a “game changing” party everything changes, and the boys set out to make it the best night of their lives.

Project X is attempting to be The Hangover of college party movies, with over the top dramatics, and over exaggerated party scenes. This film takes the idea of an insane party and adds in all the extremes, which does make for good visuals. Project X is nothing but booze, boobs and horny teenagers. If that is your cup of tea then I suggest you check it out.

It does have its merits as a film, accurately depicting for the first half what a teenager looking to be accepted goes through. Every so called Geek or Nerd wants to be accepted by the hottest girl in school, and in this case Thomas almost had that. That part of the film is undeniably well written and well shot. It is the rest of the film that leaves a little to be desired. Some of things were way too over the top, like the flamethrower and the midget in the oven. All of that was just for the laughs, to get people to say something like “Holy Shit man, did you see what they did to that poor guy. Haha that’s so funny dude, imagine if we did that.” Cool, awesome job Project X, you succeeded in being the ultimate wet dream for those who never felt like they had any shoot at throwing a cool party.

Project X has some decent acting; the three leads try and bring amicable traits to their respective characters. Thomas and J.B are alright characters, but Costa was always just a little bit too much. His cocky, smart mouthed attitude to every single person just didn’t click with me. Thomas and J.B didn’t strike me as the type of people, on screen or not that would realistically hang out with someone as self-righteous and for lack of a better term “douchey” as Costa was.

Very much a film for people who enjoy the type of lifestyle displayed on the film. Yes, we have all been too a party, but this is not the type of thing most people would want to celebrate. I’m not entirely sure if the film was designed to be a comedy or a valuable lesson to be smart about how to party. There were some funny bits, but for me even seeing the destruction on film it didn’t overly strike me as something to be calling “badass” or “game changing”.

What Project X will end up being for too many people is the ultimate party film to define a generation that is known for throwing excessive extravagant parties, with too much booze, any kind of drug you could name, and enough scantily clad women too fill an entire house. Being a fan of film and the stories told through film, I guess I will never be able to say that Project X is anything but just another film I’ve seen. It could have been more, a valuable teaching tool, that shows the upbeat, insanely fun side of a party, but it could have also shown the dark dangerous repercussions of losing control of said party. Instead the writers of Project X decided to make the ending a positive one, which is a made for Hollywood type ending.

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Posted : 6 years, 1 month ago on 29 May 2012 08:54 (A review of Warrior)

Tommy Riordin (Tom Hardy) returns home, seemingly unannounced, and he begins to train at a local gym. After sparring with local talent Mad Dog Grimes, and easily defeating him, the video goes viral and Tommy becomes the talk of not only the town but people everywhere. Tommy must deal with the past, including his alcoholic father and a military service that ended in a way Tommy would rather forget. At the same time his brother Brendan Conlin (Joel Edgerton) faces bankruptcy and foreclosure on the house he shares with wife Tess (Jennifer Morrison) and his two daughters. Brendan decides, much to the dismay of Tess that getting back into fighting may be the way in which he can make up the money his family needs. The two brothers find themselves in the Sparta tournament, where 16 men fight, one vs one, until only one man is left standing and can be called the best fighter in America.

Well structured, Warrior finds itself making it all about the struggles of the two main characters, way before you see them in the ring. Tommy has pills in his hand, struggling to ease the pain of a past he would rather forget, and Brendan is talking to a bank manager who tells him that he has less than three months to find the money or his house will be taken. Brendan gets even more bad news, when he is suspended from his high school teaching duties for being apart of a fight card. Both men are forced into the ring, one to vent aggression and the other to try and provide for the only people he cares about. Both men look to be incredible shape, Hardy and Edgerton packed on the muscle and definitely spent time training for Warrior. Not only are they both at peak physical condition, but they are both at the top of their game as far as acting goes as well.

Warrior is more about them as humans then it is about them beating the hell out of people in the ring. Tommy is a ruthless animal in the cage, knocking out every opponent in less than one round, where Brendan is smart and tactical waiting for the right opportunity to strike and make his presence known. Both men have been unable to forgive their alcoholic father (Nick Nolte) for the way in which their family was always divided. Tommys past is much more secretive then that of his brothers. Brendan fell in love with Tess and made a life for himself, where Tommy always struggled to do that, even when he joined the Marines.

What Warrior does so well, is it mixes the heart of a fighting champion, with the heart of two real-life people who have suffered through painful experience. The pain they feel in the ring is just the beginning, the pain the feel within is much deeper and more crippling than any injury sustained while fighting in the ring. They both have nothing more to lose, Brendan will lose the house if he doesn't win, and Tommy will lose his chance to help out someone who lost everything.

Tommy does happen to be the better written of the two brothers, simply because some of his past is left to be realized as the film progresses. With Brendan, all the cards are one the table, he was fighting for Tess and his daughters more than for himself. With Tommy, he was made out to be a selfish, take no sh*t kind of guy. Later on, we the audience realize he went through a traumatic experience, when he was the only person of his Squad to survive a friendly fire incident. It is at this time we learn Tommy is trying to distance himself from his days in the Marines so he does not have to deal with the fact he deserted.

When the film is not slowing down (with what could be called near perfection) it is a fast paced, relentless in your face fight movie, with scenes that look like they came straight from the latest UFC fight card. The fight scenes are incredible, as are the in between rounds scenes, where Brendan is in the corner talking to his trainer and trying to keep his composure through some physically gruelling fights.

As the two brothers start to head down a path that leads to both of them in the final, they are forced to deal with the pains of the past, both choosing to do so in different ways. Warrior is a film that is a bit predictable, but it is the only in which the story could be told so elegantly without compromising the integrity of the characters.

One of the best pictures to capture the realism of the sport on display, while still capturing heart wrenching performances from the main actors. Warrior is a solid movie, full of heart and soul. You will be cheering for both of the brothers, even though you know in MMA there can only be one winner.

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