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Monday, June 24, 2013

World War Z




"I did all I could do." 

My expectations were just met, I don’t know why I was expecting to be blown away... In the end I really liked it... It was a zombie movie that really should've been rated R and filmed that way... In fact ALL zombie movies should be rated R.  I think when I go to see anything Zombie I expect blood, guts, gore, heads being shot off, Zombies feeding on humans, you know, all the zombie movie staples.  That Pg-13 made them a lot of money but put a damper on all of those things I mentioned previously!  I hate to start out a B- review with criticism but I simply can’t help but wonder what could have been.  Let me organize my thoughts:

  • Mentioned early about the required gore in a zombie movie
  • The trailers gave away way too much of the movie.
  • I don’t mind the unexplained, especially in the midst of chaos, but some events in the main plot deserve some explaining so that the audience doesn't have to gloss over important details to try and stay in pace with the story.
    Apparently there was this great novel written by Max Brooks that I did not read or have knowledge of prior to experiencing this cinematic adaptation.  Like every book made into a movie there is so much detail that gets left out so that we aren't in the auditorium for 7 hours.  Normally I would not have a problem with that but its different this time.  I felt like the movie left a lot of character and plot elements out before I knew that a novel existed.  Listening to those who've read the piece by Max alluded to a grander scale of detail to many countries all over the world and how they responded to this crisis.  Some countries already at war going beyond the ‘rules of engagement before the break-out.  The zombies being the slower type which added to the tension. They mentioned a lot of things that enhanced the story.  Again, the movie is already 2 hours, even though it didn't feel like it. I'm thinking 'you can’t add everything.'

       However, I would've like to have seen the reasoning behind so many people risking their collective lives to try and protect one man.  I realize he’s an important man but in a state of chaos and anarchy it seemed odd.  Above all, and this bears repeating over and over again... Could the promotion team NOT show the storyboard in the trailer??!!  Really, there were few surprises because the preview showed the major points and in chronological order!

       Other than that I really liked it, I just wished it would have been a little better.  I feel like it was worth the money, however fans of the zombie genre beware: Unjustly as it is comparing every Zombie movie to the greatest one ever, I feel... It was definitely no Dawn of the Dead (2004), even if it wanted to be.

           letter grade: B-

Friday, June 21, 2013

This Is The End




"No, no... It's the Father, the Son and the Holy ghost they are all in one, it's like Neapolitan ice cream."

You already should be well aware of the comedy that you are going to get from Seth Rogan and crew.  If SuperBad, Pineapple Express or Observe and Report isn't your choice of broth... then you won’t like this soup.  If you are a fan of Seth’s deadpan comedy, or Jonah’s nice guy but awkward approach, or even Craig Robinson’s soft-voiced efficiently spewed sarcasm, then you may enjoy some of it.  The laugh-O-meter may have jumped twice throughout the entire flick for me,  while the chuckle odometer needle hardly moved.  

        Don’t get me wrong, This Is The End was original to me.  First movie that I can recall that stars real stars! Actors and actresses as themselves. Mix in the Apocalypse and the Rapture and you have something that could have been monumental, instead it was just cute.  The low review can come from the fact that the movie started off really good but couldn't sustain that level throughout.  It could also be that we, the audience, didn't feel like they were in a real direr state because the core group were in goof mode too often for “that “situation.  Or we could just feel that the jokes weren't funny and the ones that were went on way too long.  If you were ever in a joking session with your friends and they joked about something about you and everyone laughs and you reply with a joke of your own about them and you hear crickets but continue to roast them with the same joke louder each time and the joke just get’s worse... well it was kind of like that for some of the comedy in this flick.

        Not a total waste of a movie though.   Like I said earlier, it had its funny moments but that’s because I have a unique sense of humor.  Movies like this aren't supposed to be taken seriously so I didn't.  Everybody is not going to like this movie... can’t say that often enough.   However inaccurate, the semantics used for the rapture in this movie fit for the story.  Had they gone with the truth the movie would've been over before It got started.

     Not worth your hard earned money.  Maybe if you just hit at Bingo or you get a Monopoly style windfall then yes... Other than that, I would wait for it to come out on video.   

         letter grade: C


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Man of Steel




Clark Kent - age 9: The world's too big, Mom.
Martha Kent: Then make it small. Focus on my voice. Pretend it's an island out in the ocean. Can you see it?
Clark Kent - age 9: I see it...

    Man of Steel accomplished everything that it set out to do.  Wholly ‘apart’ from any Superman movie in the past.  Which is why, I believe, they didn’t use the words ‘Superman’ in the title and hardly in the story... I digress. Darker than your conventional Superman movies, although I didn’t feel the word “dark” is truly accurate.  It was a more desolate or outcast type themed that really worked.  Competitive; If Marvel truly wanted competition, it has it.  If DC COMICS decides to combine just the two, Henry Cavil & Christian Bale, for an answer to Marvel’s  Avengers movie(s)... well, I shudder to think.  Man of Steel alone matched all the action in Avengers plus some.  Even as I type this fresh out the theater I still see residue images of destruction and planetary chaos involuntarily skating around in my brain. I shake my head to focus on what I’m writing but it remains... terrible part is I like it.

        The imagination and ingenuity used here is just amazing, specifically on planet Krypton. The sheer wonder saturated me to the point where I almost lost myself and may have missed some of the story.  Re-watch value really didn't need any help but I just added that onto the list for a second reason to visit the theater.   

         Just when you thought you’ve seen everything you realize that you haven’t.  All you've learned in the past is just a precursor to what the future holds: limitlessness.  The work done with CGI, especially on the planet Krypton, is just unbelievable! The function between science, design, physics, form  all looks and feels foreign, alien and not an ounce of human or earthly familiarity resides in those scenes besides the actors and actresses themselves.

         I liked the direction of the story but did not love it.  I feel some character introductions may have been too short.  Most of the collateral characters barely got established before they were thrust into the peak of the plot but again, the course that the film took to get from beginning to middle to close justifies the minimal personage build up.

     I have to talk about the score music.  Again, being a film void of any prior franchise influences the music had to be original.  This will mark the first Superman movie since Superman(1978) that didn’t use any of the original score music from the great[est] film composer John Williams.  The baton now rest in the very capable hands of Hans Zimmer.  He is, right now, my most favorite composer and it is not going to be fair to compare the two.  As iconic of work Hans did for the Batman movies he just barely fell short of a great, or should I say, ‘classic’ sound for this new Superman series under Zack Snyder.   Don’t get me wrong, the music was powerful, riveting, and extremely good... just not great.  At least not yet, perhaps I should give it some time.

                 Is Man of Steel worth your money? Emphatically yes!!!  I can see myself not only going back to theater next week to view it without the 3D but purchasing the bluray the very Tuesday it get’s released.  

            letter grade: A

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Now You See Me





" Catch up agent Rhodes... Catch up"

I   found Now You See Me very intriguing and fun to watch.  From the very beginning this movie reels you in with some very good and one incredible magic trick that literally got me!!  Yes in the auditorium, in Michigan... as it will impress you wherever you are at.  The character build up was short and sweet for every main character so that they can keep us in suspense while dangling on their line.   Around the time they took the metaphorical ‘hook’ out the jaw, I was semi-disappointed. Nice twist, but I was still left empty.  The reasoning for the elaborate stunts is still baffling to me.  A distant departure from very promising & impressive opening scene(s).

         Who was the lead in this movie? I had trouble deciphering between Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson.  I know, at least I think I know... Jesse was the leader but Woody's character had all the attributes of a leader.  Maybe Woody just stole all the scenes he’s in because of his superhuman charisma, it wouldn’t be the first.  Anyone remember how tense No Country For Old Men was until he popped on the screen; Or maybe Friends With Benefits?   In each of these pictures he was not the main character but when his scene starts, you simply cannot not engage.  This power is a good thing especially with his character's occupation in this movie along with the dynamic of this super group of magicians.

    This movie is very much worth watching in the theater.   A treat, especially in the wait for the summer’s real blockbuster giants: Superman Man of steel, Thor 2 and others.  Something tells me that it won’t be as good on home video... *shrugs*

          letter grade: B-