Raid Redemption Review

Director/Writer: Gareth Evans

Starring:

Iko Uwais Iko Uwais
Joe Taslim Joe Taslim
Doni Alamsyah Doni Alamsyah
Yayan Ruhian Yayan Ruhian
Pierre Gruno Pierre Gruno
Ray Sahetapy Ray Sahetapy
Tegar Satrya Tegar Satrya
Iang Darmawan Iang Darmawan
Eka 'Piranha' Rahmadia Eka ‘Piranha’ Rahmadia
Dagu
Verdi Solaiman Verdi Solaiman
Budi

Deep in the heart of Jakarta’s slums lies an impenetrable derelict apartment building which became a safe house for the world’s most dangerous killers and gangsters. The rundown apartment block has been considered untouchable to even the bravest of police. Cloaked under the cover of pre-dawn darkness and silence, an elite team is tasked with raiding the building in order to take down the notorious drug lord who runs it. But when a chance encounter with a spotter blows their cover and news of their assault reaches the drug lord, the building’s lights are cut off and all exits are blocked. Stranded on the 6th floor with no way out, the unit must fight their way through the city’s worst criminals to survive their mission.

This movie is remarkable. Never have I gone to a movie during the week, a movie that has been out for roughly two weeks, and have people still be cheering and gasping in awe. The audience was doing that and it wasn’t it even a super hero movie on opening night. Anyway, here’s my review.

*[SPOILER ALERT]*
The story is pretty simple and typical, but I didn’t care for it (yes, I know, movies need a good story or it just becomes dreadful to watch. But that’s only 90% true). The opening of this film is nicely done, it depicts what “Rama” is fighting for and how he plans to win, all without drowning the audience with all the rushed emotional moments that action movies tend to do at the start of a movie. It gave him depth at just the right pace. The writing, editing and direction is very well done for this scene. As I said the movies story is pretty typical, it’s nothing you can’t expect as it happens, but it isn’t so much a flaw to the movie (in my opinion anyway).

The Biggest flaw story wise, was that you couldn’t really tell who was who because for one, they all had a swat uniform on, and two, when the swat assignment leader started to list who to look out for, it was like he was saying it all for the very first time. Also, the director of the movie didn’t show us who he was referring to, so we had to guess who was who once inside the building and there weren’t many names used once the movie started (Not to be rude or anything). The other big flaw in this movie was the plot holes, but if you don’t think about it and just let it go then it doesn’t take away from the overall scope of the film. The ‘Moral of the story’ here was Family, Love, Understanding of ones circumstances and choices. The moral wasn’t as up front as Wrath of the Titans was, but it was detectable throughout. The other issue I had with the story was the ending.

The Acting, well.. since I didn’t understand anything that was spoken in what I will assume is the native tongue of the actors, I can’t really say it was good acting because all I had to judge was just the faces, which isn’t really enough to base anything off of. But for the most part, it was decent. The Stunt work/fight choreography, however is the highlight in terms of acting.

The stunt men & actual actors in this movie, like any other action movie (my Favourite genre by the way), is where the real acting comes from to sell the sequence. During each fight scene most to all actors involved were wicked in selling it. The flow of punches, kicks, knees & elbows, at times seemed staged, but other times, the consistency, and flow was just mad impressive. Rama has this raw, loose to his style. I don’t know if that’s from Muay Thai or just the actors style. A lot of the fight scenes have or ended in RUTHLESS kills that if you blink when the fighting starts you might miss it or something else. With that said, each level/floor they advance, and every new fight scene just ups the intensity of the fight with new challenges, settings, and fighters.

The cinematography had two ‘meaningful camera angles’ that are note worthy. The first came from inside the swat truck. The shot is a dolly to the man giving the briefing. The next one that was memorable was the first kill of the movie. Other than that it was slightly annoying when it came to the fight scenes. It was a mix of full body shots and the dreadful ‘shaky camera’. Yes, it brings intensity to a scene at times, but after a while it becomes tiresome. There was one point in the film, where the saying ‘shit just got REAL’ is visually said (the swat team is in some kind of stairwell), that it helps the scene. But the they enter some apartment, and its still going. It ‘works’ yes, but personally, they felt safe, they left the stairwell & blocked the doorway, so the shaking could have been reduced or stopped all together. Some fight scenes suffered from this effect which is sad. (Go watch the movie Ip Man, that’s how you shoot a fight scene).

Overall, this movie was well done. I don’t know the budget, but it worked, It has flaws, but so does The Dark Knight, and that’s probably the best movie made in the last couple of years. There isn’t much to complain about with this film, the flaws aren’t THAT noticeable but because I’m to review these movies, I notice these things. It’s a nice treat before the movie of the year “The Avengers” (yes. I believe that it will be).

  • Overall rating of the movie: 3.8 out of 5,
  • Cinematography: 2.8 out of 5,
  • Editing: 3 out of 5,
  • Audio: 3 out of 5,
  • Acting: 3.4 out of 5,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Theatres for sure.

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Cabin In The Woods Movie Review

Starring:

Kristen Connolly Kristen Connolly
Chris Hemsworth Chris Hemsworth
Anna Hutchison Anna Hutchison
Fran Kranz Fran Kranz
Jesse Williams Jesse Williams
Richard Jenkins Richard Jenkins
Bradley Whitford Bradley Whitford
Brian White Brian White
Truman
Amy Acker Amy Acker
Lin
Tim De Zarn Tim De Zarn
Mordecai
Tom Lenk Tom Lenk
Ronald The Intern
Dan Payne Dan Payne
Mathew Buckner
Jodelle Ferland Jodelle Ferland
Patience Buckner
Dan Shea Dan Shea
Father Buckner
Maya Massar Maya Massar
Mother Buckner

Director: Drew Goddard

Writers: Joss WhedonDrew Goddard

First off I’d like to just say, JOSS WHEDON is frggin amazing. He co-wrote the script with the director of this amazing picture, Drew Goddard & the two craft an amazing story if not a good horror story, with a twist, and A LOT of wit. If you know what “Torture Porn” is, then you can understand the frustration the two previously mentioned, share with what the horror genre has turned into these days. As I said in my Shining Review, I’m not a big fan of horror/scary movies. Not because I’m a chicken or anything, I just don’t care to watch poorly acted movies on purpose (let’s face it, no one goes to see good acting, but good human mutilation in a typical horror movie). And maybe because when I got into film school, a teacher of mine said “Horror movies can only be two things; It can be really good and execute with scaring even the most  stone walled person, or it can be terribly funny from the story, or how bad it actually is.” (Think Jason Goes to Manhattan) Now lets get to this review.

*[SPOILER ALERT]*

“Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin in the woods, where they get more than they bargained for. Together, they must discover the truth behind the cabin in the woods.”

YES, I JUST GAVE YOU THE PLOT SUMMARY, SUE ME. I did that so that you can enjoy the twist if you watch it. If not keep on reading. I will eventually “ruin” it for you

So the movie itself blew me away. That may be in part to my rules about movies as I said in my “Chronicle” review, I don’t watch many promo’s for movies as to not ruin anything about the movie, Though, I did see one trailer for this movie, it didn’t look that good.

 As I said, Joss whedon is such a GOOD writer, it was one reason I was even remotely interested in this movie, and I wanted to see more of his style since he’s directing the biggest movie of the year, The Avengers (He wrote and directed that one too, I may have a “rant” of all this years summer movies if I feel for it before May 4th)
*[BIGGER SPOILER ALERT]*
I’m side tracking, The movie is, in a sense, like the Scary movie series that the Wayan’s brothers started and then got tiresome by time the 3rd instalment rolled out. I felt it was a visual “FUCK YOU” to what horror movie are these days (if not always have been) in a way, the film is saying: “This is what makes a movie scary good and stupid at the same time. THESE PLOT POINTS.” There was a lot of homage to previous horror movie horror movie antagonist which was cool to me as a fan of movies. (Oddly enough, I knew quite a few of them.) Its hard to say/classify what the movie was trying to be exactly. But the trailer plays it off more like a typical horror movie so that is good marketing to get avid horror fans into the theatres to see this film.
 The acting though was, as expected, BAD (But that may have been intentional. Most notably from Kristen Connolly. She just didn’t deliver her lines with any real talent or emotion. I don’t think that was the fault of the director. Sometimes you just have to go with what the budget can provide. The story’s “meaning and delivery” was much bigger in the scope of importance anyway. The best performance came from “Marty” (Fran Kranz) maybe because he was the only one aware of the “Puppeteers” lol.
There was maybe Four continuity errors that I might have noticed and can remember. Not much in terms of “meaningful” camera angles. It was pretty straight forward movie.
Just Remember:

  1. If an old man warns you not to go there… make fun of him.
  2. If you hear a strange sound outside… have sex.
  3. Quaint abandoned property… sold.
  4. You think you know the story.
  5. If something is chasing you… split up.
  6. If a door opens at random… IT HAS to be the wind.
  • Overall rating of the movie: 3.3 out of 5,
  • Cinematography: 2 out of 5,
  • Editing: 2.7 out of 5,
  • Audio: 3 out of 5,
  • Acting: 2.8 out of 5,
  • CGI: 4 out of 5.
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? If you have a “cheap day” for the movies, then go to see it on that day, if not then if you’re an avid Horror fan, or agree with what I said, You may want to own this movie, but I can’t see too many owning this movie.

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

April Gets a Captain

Recently I blogged about the director change for Captain America’s sequel and now we have a date. Unlike most of Marvel’s previous movies, the sequel to “Captain America: The First Avenger is scheduled to be released on April 14th, 2014.

The sequel will continue where the highly anticipated “Marvel’s The Avengers” leaves off, as Steve Rogers continues his affiliation with Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D and struggles to embrace his role in the modern world. As of right now, the only cast and crew known to return is Chris Evans and screenwriter Stephen McFeely who’s notable screen writes are the Narnia movies and the upcoming Michael Bay picture, “Pain and Gain”.

 

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

City Of Scars

As I said, this is the first video to “Batman Seeds of Arkham in what I’m guessing may become a trilogy or even webisode styled. DC/(the)WB really needs to contact this guy and get him to do some work for them.

This story takes place out of continuity as I said with the other video.

“When the Joker escapes from Arkham and murders the parents of a young boy, Batman recalls the pain of losing his own parents as a child. He is pushed past his limits to the point where his focus becomes revenge on all who stand in his way, including many of Gotham’s underworld. Finally, Batman is forced to look at the psychological profile of his own mind and accept the consequences of his life to find resolve.”

If that isn’t a good Batman story for the live-action medium, I don’t know what is. So watch it, enjoy it rate and comment on it.

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

– Xavier , @CoolyoNgeLEW

Bat In The Sun’s New Movie, Batman Seeds of Arkham

This is the second video to what was started in “City of Scars” that features “Batman” that’s totally fan made and for the most part, well done. It has nothing to do with Batman outside of the principles that make Batman who he is, and the characters, it won’t mess with any continuity from the  comic books or  the Bale/Nolan movies that have been released and are to be released (one such film being “The Dark Knight Rises). It follows the shocking end of the first video and introduces three new characters, Richard (aka Dick grayson aka the first robin, who now he has become “Nightwing” like he has in the comic books.) “Poison Ivy, and Killer Croc. ENJOY.

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

– Xavier -@CoolyoNgeLEW