Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengence 3D

Even he looks mad about this movie.

Even he looks mad about this movie.

Does anyone remember the movies Crank/Crank 2: High Voltage? I do, and they were fun. Not this movie though. Directed by the same people who brought you Crank 1 & 2 (Mark Neveldine
Brian Taylor) & written by Recent Batman Movie Fame, David S. Goyer. I say this: In all honesty, MARVEL based comic movies are better movies minus maybe 5 movies which are arguably trashy, all of which aren’t even “Marvel Studios” made movies, but rather “Fox”/”Sony” made. BUT THIS MOVIE IS AN INSULT TO FILM!!

This sequel to “Ghost Rider” movie, was.. Well.. much less than I had expected,* Which wasn’t much, just like my “Chronicle” Review (seen here > https://t.co/bBXhMLCH)

“GHOST RIDER” is a Marvel Comics character. Here is a quick bio: Johnny Blaze, a motorcycle stunt performer in a traveling circus, sold his soul to one whom he believes to be Satan but actually is the demon Mephisto, in order to save his stepfather, “Crash” Simpson, from cancer. Crash later dies in a motorcycle accident and Mephisto attempts to take Blaze’s soul, only to be thwarted by Crash’s daughter Roxanne, who had learned of the deal and had prepared a counter-spell based on selfless love. Since Roxanne interrupted in the middle of the pact, Mephisto could only bind half the soul of a demon with Blaze, making him transform only at night Blaze then finds himself transforming into a demonic entity at nightfall, during which times he wields strange powers. He is called the Ghost Rider for his strange appearance. As time goes on, he is able to call on his demonic abilities whenever he wishes, not just at night. Blah blah blah.

Nick Cage reprise’s role as Johnny Blaze & minus the name, and the same lead actor, this sequel movie felt more like a reboot to a pretty pointless character with all the new faces, tools, props, settings, & overall tone. The story for this movie is Johnny Blaze, a man who made a deal with the Devil who called himself Roarke at the time, is on the run trying to make sure no-one is harmed by his alter ego, The Ghost Rider. He is approached by a Monk named Moreau who tells him that he can help be him free of the Rider, but first, he needs Johnny’s help to protect a boy, whom Roarke has plans for.

Starring:

    Nicolas Cage
    Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider

    Ciarán Hinds
    Roarke

    Idris Elba
    Moreau

    Fergus Riordan
    Danny

    Violante Placido
    Nadya

*SPOILER WARNING*

The movie starts out pretty decent. The scenery was very beautiful, even though it was short lived. Then we’re introduced to “Moreau” and he seems to have brought some unwanted guest to a random chapel, where we learn right off the bat that they are after this little boy. Some hell is then opened and a chase ensues, which leads to Moreau being flung off his bike, and turning (mid-air) like a Boss, to buss some shots into the attackers car. Love a movie that starts off with a crazy action sequence, or just action in general. But that really was the main highlight of the film. We are then treated to the WORSE ACTING Nick cage has EVER DONE IN HIS ENTIRE CAREER! ( I swear, his best moment was giving his son the name “Kal-el” aka Superman”)

Nick cage has been known to be “over the top, but really, He killed this movie in every wrong way possible. Elba’s acting skills & powerful voice couldn’t even help this movie. Maybe cause his english accent was clashing with his fake french one. Its sad that the best actor in a movie with some “legends”, becomes the unheard of child actor.

The 3D quality in the movie even became pretty crappy. The picture seemed very spotty and not as great with the depth as one would have hoped. That’s what you get when you convert to 3D in post production. The directors tried to make the movie a lot more like a horror movie, but with the crap acting, and the random cuts, & cinematography it just became pointless to deem this movie worthy of anything. Thank God I saw it with someone who could poke fun of it while watching it. This is as bad as “Catwoman” (the one with Halle Berry) if not worse.

Overall rating of the movie: 1 out of 5, Cinematography: 1 outta 5, Editing: 1 out of 5, Audio: 1.5 out of 5, Acting: 1.6 out of 5.

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace” and May the Force be with you!

Xavier

Chronicle

Boys will be Boys

Boys will be Boys

Today’s review is “Chronicle. I didn’t have an opinion about this movie either way, I saw one trailer for it and was impressed. I didn’t see any other ad for this movie. I think that may have helped. I didn’t have a mind set entering this movie before hand. That’s the best way to watch movies, go in with a clean slate, and almost any movie will impress you. Go ahead, try it the next time you see a movie.

The plot is as follows: Three high school friends gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery. Soon, though, they find their lives spinning out of control and their bond tested as they embrace their darker sides.

The cast: Dane DeHaan as Andrew Detmer, Alex Russell as Matt Garetty, Michael B. Jordan as Steve Montgomery, & Michael Kelly as Richard Detmer (Andrew Detmer’s father)

*SPOILER ALERT*
So since I didn’t have a mind set about this movie, other than this director is being sought out as the new director for a possible new Fantastic Four movie, I was curious to see his style (which I have a little faith in his ability to do that project after seeing this film). Anyway, as I was saying, the plot felt bland. There wasn’t much really holding you to the characters, and the introduction of one female character was HORRIBLE (I’ll get to that in a moment).
Andrew Detmer is the typical out cast student who happens to buy a video camera to record everything that goes on around him. We then are introduced to his cousin: Matt Garetty, which was, again, a horrible introduction. The only good introduction was of Steve Montgomery. We first see him on a poster ad, running for class president, making him seem like the most popular kid in school. Funny contrast showing each level of popularity and how its mentioned later that none of them should really be friends. The girl’s introduction (who I honestly feel should have been left out entirely) was so weak. It was never made clear if she had a history with Matt or Andrew. Within the first 40 mins of the movie they get their powers. The testing of their limits is one of the few best parts. The highlight being when they try and learn to fly. If you were ever a kid & saw the FIRST EVER SUPERMAN MOVIE, you can understand what I’m saying when I say that looked really cool, maybe because it was shot PoV style. I don’t know, but it looked amazing. The CGI object movements were.. Ok. The next highlight came from Montgomery with “Say it with ya chest” that had me laughing (see Kevin Heart). Most of the remaining running time felt like a really long episode of Smallville. (For you Smallville fans, think Warrior Angel). The next & last highlight came from the entire conclusion of the film. Now I know many don’t like it but, it reminded me a lot of Star Wars Episode 3 (Revenge of the Sith) which was my favourite of the saga thanks a lot to how it ended. The conclusion is Matt vs. Andrew and just the (weak) acting skills of emotion mixed in with the action that was happening. The last scene seems to have been “open” to ignite a sequel if the movie does well. Though, everything is wrong with that scene. I am just saying, he didn’t appear cold!

People love to watch a “B rated” movie, & this is the best b rated movie that will be released this year! Mark my words.

My major complaint is that when it was PoV shots, particularly at the house party, the camera angles WERE WAY OFF! And at one point Andrew & Matt get to talking saying:

Andrew Detmer: “Apex predator..”.
Matt Garetty: “What?”
Andrew Detmer: “I’m an apex predator!”

Would have liked them to go into this topic a bit more. Lastly the excessive use of the handheld camera’s got annoying. At times it wasn’t needed. But I think that was the point of it being called “Chronicle”.

Overall rating of the movie: 3 out of 5, Cinematography: 2 outta 5, Editing: 3.5 out of 5, Audio: 4 out of 5, Acting: 2.6 out of 5

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace” and May the Force be with you!

Xavier

Terminator 2: Judgment Day Throwback Review

Welcome,

Along with my “new” movie reviews, I’ve decided to do throwback movie reviews. Much like in the way my friend Jordan does his throwback album, & artist profiles. (See link: http://bit.ly/xaoe91). I’ll try to keep it short though; I’ve chosen to do Terminator 2: Judgment day (T2) as the first throwback, which will play out as follows: Cast/actors, director, plot & the clarity of the plot, quality of the disc & or features, and of course the ratings of the movie. So let’s get to it (fyi, the version of the film selected will always be Blu-ray disc, unless stated otherwise).

The year was 1991 & Wayne Gretzky scored his 700th goal against the NY Islanders. In the 41st NBA All-Star game, the East beat the West 116-114. The four police officers who beat Rodney King are charged, and “Terminator 2: Judgment day” was released in North america on July 4th.

Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick, & Edward Furlong as John Connor (teen) and T2 was directed by the Avatar visionary, Canadian born, James Cameron.

11 years after the events in the original Terminator movie, Sky net an “evil” super computer from the future, has figured how to send back one of its infantry robot units, a T-1000 to the year 1995 to kill the leader of the resistance… While he’s still a child. Hearing of this, the resistance send back a reprogrammed T-800 back as well to aid in the protection of the young man. It’s Terminator vs Terminator.

The plot seems to be executed well. In my opinion it has two halves that I call “Hunt & kill John conner” which is roughly the first 90mins and “prevent the deadly fate of the future” in the remaining running time of the film. The cinematography in the film is pretty damn good. THERE’S NO SHAKY CAM! Cameron directs this movie so well. the actors for the most part portray the characters with such depth, in particular Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor. You could tell she knew how her character was to be feeling every moment she was on screen. This had to be the best performance of Rob Patrick’s a career. He has limited lines but you can tell he enjoyed the role. The contrast between Arnold’s rough body builder frame, to Patrick’s sleek, toned, slim, agile frame worked perfectly for the movie. Think of your first cell phone (or the first one you ever saw)and compare it to the one you have right now; It’s smaller and sleeker than its predecessor. Even Furlong as John Connor was good. His voice is annoying, but he’s 10, cut him some slack. He really played that 90’s troubled youth kid well. If you watched the Simpson’s in the 90’s you know exactly what I’m talking about; He was as close to a live action Bart as we’re ever gonna get. The film loses a bit of its luster when we’re at the Creator of Sky net, Miles Dyson’s home. The acting feels forced, and not practiced. Action wise, T2 has approximately 9-10 action sequences/scenes, and all executed with the best imagery/ camera angles possible. Damn, I love this movie!

The most referenced run in film history happens twice, 30 or so mins in & 54 or so mins in..then.. There’s Cyberdyne action sequence… To say it Clutch is an understatement. Then.. The factory scene.. MY GOSH! Just go watch it please! ‘Nuff said!!!

The version of the T2 blu-ray I have is just commentary with nothing else on the special features menu. There is another version however on both dvd/blu ray called T2: “Sky Net Edition. It has more features and limited edition box case. And updated sound quality & picture (better picture being on blu ray of course).

Overall rating of the movie: 4.9 out of 5, cinematography: 3.6 out of 5, editing: 4 out of 5, Audio: 4.7 out of 5, Effects: 5 out of 5.

Hope you enjoyed my review of the great action/adventure/sci-fi film of all time. (Be that bias or not.) Sorry for the length

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace” and May the Force be with you!

Xavier

STAR WARS EPISODE 1: The Phantom menace: 3D Movie Review

At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi

At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi

Well folks if you didn’t book the little easter egg to this here film review in the first review (seen here: http://bit.ly/xnngeZ), then.. Well you missed it!

The time was 1977 males, nerds, geeks, & the women who love them, around the world were all talking about “Star Wars”. It was a surprise hit that no one could have expected. Fox didn’t even have any faith in it, they basically let director, George Lucas keep all the various rights to Star Wars. Fast forward to 1999 and you have a new generation about to travel to a time long ago. To a galaxy far, far away.

This is the prequel to the original Star Wars saga that started with the story of Luke Skywalker, his sister Leia, and her soon to be husband, the cool as ever Han Solo. This saga is about Lukes Father, Anakin Skywalker, fated to be the greatest fictional Villain of all time, & pop culture, DARTH VADER!

This review is going to be more about technical quality since the movie has been out for years, and re done to fix minor bugs, minus the least favourite character, Jar Jar binks. Yes, he is in 3D too. So with this re-release, we’re treated to the best kind of 3D. Many never seem to know the difference. There are two kinds of 3D, “depth”, and “off the screen” 3D. For “Depth” 3D, think of the new TTC trains for you Toronto readers, or a hall way, or even a pop up book. The book is on your lap, but the “pop up” portion is coming at you, while the book is still where it has always been. The off the screen stuff.. Think of the 3D rides you’ve ever been on or what you think is to happen.. Got it? Good.

So with this movie as I was saying earlier is the best kind of 3D, depth. It by default makes the motion picture a better experience. (In case you were wondering which “release” this film was its the blu-ray version, as will be the other 5 movies.) Now 80 % of this movie works well with depth 3D being that its set in a fictional world. And mostly everything you see is CGI’d (Computer Generated Imagery) into the movie.

Some scenes to note that were best in 3D: the pod Race PoV (Point of View, think first person shooter games) shots, the intro, the senate scene, any PoV shot really, Anakin in space, and the Darth maul fight in its entirety.

Ps. Anyone who hates jar jar binks doesn’t understand that the purpose for him was to get children into it. Even the choice to start Anakin as a child. Though, I don’t know why you’d start him anywhere but at the earliest point possible.

My only two dislikes is the editing with the Darth Maul fight, I had always wished there was more of the fight, or less cuts to the other stories being told simultaneously. The other, being that with 3D tech, you have a chance to really do something special, that Pod race scene, even some of the space battles could have been redone with some extra PoV shots.

Overall rating of the movie: 3.5 out of 5, Cinematography: 3 outta 5, Editing: 4 out of 5, Audio: 5 out of 5, 3D: 3.5 out of 5

THAT IT! Cheers “To Peace” and May the Force be with you!

Xavier

Safe House Review

WELCOME ONE AND ALL TO THE LAND OF XAVIERS MOVIE REVIEWS *David Rudder voice*. (Lol) I actually started this review fresh out the movie theater.

In this installment I bring you “Safe House” starring Denzel Washington & Ryan Reynolds.Denzel has been m.i.a. from movies, I believe, since the movie Unstoppable. In this movie, he gives us one of his best performances since maybe “Training Day.” Denzel really got into the character, “Tobin Frost”. Denzel didn’t have many lines, but.. HE DIDN’T NEED THEM. He ended up using his face for majority of the film & I’m glad he did as it lets the audience really grasp what his character is feeling, thinking and making him appear to be a bit of an asshole. I, personally don’t know much about Mr. Reynolds but his portrayal of the character, Matthew Weston was a lot better than what he gave us in Green Lantern. (Which, again, I believe is his last known movie). He had a set of dialogue & delivered 90% of it very well. I believe he tried to out do himself more due to the presence of Mr. Washington.

*POSSIBLE SPOILER WARNING* The title “Safe House” is used as metaphor, and I argue, the driving force of the movie.

The movie plot summary is as follows: “Matt Weston has been frustrated by his inactive, backwater post in Cape Town, South Africa. A “housekeeper” who aspires to be a full-fledged agent and has been waiting for an opportunity to prove himself. When the first & only occupant he’s had in a year, proves to be the most dangerous man he’s ever met, Weston readies for duty. Tobin Frost has eluded capture for almost a decade. One of the best ops men that the CIA has known, the ex-intelligence officer has given up assets and sold military intel to anyone with cash. As soon as Frost is brought in for de briefing, attackers unknown to Weston, the CIA agents guarding Frost, and Frost himself, are sent to kill anyone in the way and retrieve Frost. Barely escaping, the two form an unlikely partnership & must discover who is attacking them & why.”

As I mentioned the title is not just the ACTUAL safe house he is in and has to guard (Reynolds), but his mind is a safe house, as is his home country. (America in the movie since he’s actually Canadian folks) What happens is Foster, broke down the walls Weston deemed safe, both mentally & physically. The entire movie is like a Padawan learning from his Jedi teacher. There are clues in the movie so subtle that play major factors in the film towards the end.

The plot seems to have been executed very well.. The editing now, along with the cinematography, is where any real complaint can be made. Shakey cam.. Is, yes, a skill, but so is normal camera work. This movie suffers from the camera work. For example, the main and first physical fight scene becomes a joke because of how it’s shot & edited. If you have motion sickness, you may want to skip this movie. The overall editing is good, but because of the shaking camera, it loses any kind of greatness it could have had. Though I must add at times I did not notice it, but when I did, it was very bothersome. There were not as many “Hidden messages in the shots” as I had hoped for, but that’s just a film student/lover critique.

Overall rating of the movie: 4 out of 5, cinematography: 2 out of 5, editing: 3 out of 5, Audio: 3.5 out of 5.

THATS IT! CHEERS “TO PEACE”, AND MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!

– Xavier