Now You See Me: Movie Review

Now you don’t (I had too).

Director: Louis Leterrier
Runtime: 115mins
Screenplay: Edward RicourtBoaz Yakin

now_you_see_me_xlgThis movie I awesome, I honestly wanted to see it for two reasons, it was the first true movie since the Avengers movie for Mark Ruffalo and I really like the pace of the director (note that this director, helmed “The Incredible Hulk” and is now working with the current hulk for this one)

This movie deals with a lot of magic yes, but oddly enough it’s not entirely on the forefront of the movie. It’s very much based on the story and the cat and mouse game all while making the viewer guess just what the hell is going to happen next. My best friend and Essenex co-founder saw this movie and did a review as well so peep that. [be nice to link him here

He tweeted and said it was the best movie of the month (May) and I didn’t believe him, but after seeing it I was easily swayed to agreement.

The movie relies heavily on the viewers’ suspension of disbelief to be really effective in executing its magic. But it also has the “viewer’s” angle in the movie in the form of Morgan Freeman. He’s the truest skeptic in the movie. Mark Ruffalo is the guy who is assigned to bring the magicians to face justice, and he honestly gets really into his character I felt. Then you have Jesse Eisenburg, who is much like the guy in Facebook. I wouldn’t say it is a typecast but I wouldn’t say he isn’t either. Going back to my acting class, the best actors play themselves my teacher told me so if it works for him, by all means continue. Oddly enough, it’s very fitting for his role.

The director, Louis Leterrier has a characteristically noticeable  way to change between acts and it’s no different here. Each major magic show is the cue for each act. and it helps to pace the movie. if you remember the incredible Hulk (with Ed Norton) each fight scene was the closing of the act and helped to pace it. It’s great when a movie has a good flow between dialogue and action.

And here is where I complain… It is a movie of course that the magic works. Being a film student, I had a bit of a hard time believing what was on the big screen. But the story was so strong I let the story kind of take over. Towards the end of the second act and even the explanation ending I was a bit confused so that alone had me really liking the movie… I couldn’t guess what was about to happen. Everyone always complains that there’s no originality in Hollywood anymore. Which may be true because a lot of how this movie started felt like Ocean’s Eleven.

Bottom line you’re probably going to have to watch this movie twice to fully understand where the twists came from.

Rating:

  • Overall rating of the movie:  9 out of 10
  • Cinematography: 8 out of 10 (camera stunt work is decent),
  • Editing: 9 out of 10
  • Special effects: 7 out of 10
  • Audio: 8 out of 10
  • Acting: 10 out of 10
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Much better to watch at home so you can really understand it. Worthy of a rental, in my eyes. But it would look nice on a shelf if you have friends over.

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace” . Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Oblivion: Movie Review

Another apocalyptic film, this time starring Tom Cruise.

DirectorJoseph Kosinski WritersMichael DeBruyn (screenplay), Joseph Kosinski(graphic novel original story),

Cast:

I saw the trailer online, thought the concept was ok, but I didn’t care for it either way… I wasn’t in a rush. That aside, my general feeling for this film is one of mixed feelings. Personally, I find that it didn’t know what kind of movie it wanted to be. From the early stages, it’s definitely an apocalyptic love story with some action. Well, more of a haunted love story and a really grand optimistic view on a dark reality. I say haunted, not in the horror/scary movie sense, but just simply by a moment in time before this the end of the world. Then it turns into a fight for the power, but it’s very short-lived. In a 124 minute film, a good percentage is spent on the love story side of it all. Then the rest, roughly 45 mins, is all “kill the slave masters” (yes, I’ve been watching way to much Spartacus).

Tom Cruise.. He runs in all of his movies so if he didn’t do that, I would say that this movie really sucked. But, this role didn’t have him as hero bad ass, as his last installment, “Jack Reacher” would imply. But, he did run, and, surprisingly enough, he made his co-stars seem very much believable from his acting skills. Now that’s some talent. Andrea Riseborough I didn’t like, I don’t know her, by face, from any other film/role, but she creeped me out the entire time she had any screen time. Her role seemed to be the most organic, however. The main love interest, with the help of Cruise, also seemed to be very believable. She comes in late, but you kinda care for her once it’s all said and done.

The biggest highlight to this motion picture, was the cinematography. It just has these great use of camera angles and meaningful ways to convey hidden messages. There’s a bit of a Peter Jackson/Lord of the Rings style with showing a lot of landscapes as Tom Cruise’s character, “Jack Harper” travels the barren wastelands. They found great ways to get images to work in their favor. Apparently, they used a projector lamp to get some of their final shots. They took HD images of what they wanted, placed it behind  Jack Harper, who was in front of some kind of projection screen. It actually comes off pretty nicely. Typically, a director would just use some kind of “green screen” (so far I’ve seen purple, blue and the traditional green for effects of this nature). One thing I was disappointed with was that this movies seemed to be a movie worth a bigger scale. It could have easily been an Imax movie (after it’s all said and done of course) or looked just that much better in 3D. Truthfully, I can only guess why a movie isn’t in 3D these days.

The general story line gets mucky after the character Julia shows up. It just doesn’t flow as it once did. The audio for some actors isn’t entirely crystal, so when they speak, you hear them, but you can’t entirely hear what was being said. Now, that could have been due to the theatre of choice and then the theatres choice of auditorium (I saw it in an AVX theater for those of you Canadian/Toronto folks). the story also very predictable if you rationalize everything. The details point to a very clear “twist”, then by the end of the feature, you’re kind of left wondering how it all started, even with the explanation at the beginning.

Bottom line, it’s a good movie. If it happens to be in IMAX, for the cinematography alone, it’s worth the price. But, ONLY, on a cheap day. You really aren’t missing much that you need to pay for.

Rating:

  • Overall rating of the movie: 2.1 out of 5,
  • Cinematography: 5 out of 5,
  • Editing: 3 out of 5,
  • Audio: 2.1 out of 5,
  • Acting: 2.5 out of 5,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Honestly, just download it when it gets to be a blu ray rip, & used the money you just saved on the soundtrack.

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace” . Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: the “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Olympus Has Fallen: Movie Review.

The start of the blockbuster movies is early this year. With the release of Olympus Has Fallen, it’s the worst day in American fictional history.


Director: Antoine Fuqua, Writers: Creighton RothenbergerKatrin Benedikt Run Time: 120 mins

I saw this trailer and the title a few weeks back and loved the idea. Olympus being the golden jewel of Roman/Greek mythology, the place where gods would sit and control mortals fates and destinies–which happens to be sort of what any and all governments are. But, this isn’t in any way a brain teasing movie. This is Gerald Butler kicking ass, short of kicking a man down and instead saying this is the White House! /this is America!

I thought the idea of this was crazy, and from the trailer above, the action would be too. And it is. This is bringing back solo, gun-toting heroes to the forefront once again, like back in the 80’s-90’s; A one man army goes and saves the day, the way action movies should be. But it’s not only great with action, everything seemed very plausible. The stunts weren’t crazy and over the top, nor were they under performed. In all honesty, if you’re a gamer and have played Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, this is the movie you wanna see. It really has a drastic effect from the minute the crisis starts until the end credits.

Not only is it heavy in action, but the two-hour long (on the dot) story is well written too. Some time passes in the movie, and the way they catch you up is beyond natural. Seamless even. Oh, and there are one liners. What’s an action movie without one liners? Morgan Freeman has a very bad ass moment, one you wouldn’t expect. But again, it’s very logical and evident of the times. The cast was very believable in each role.

The  flaws I noticed, was a minor use of CGI. The place setting for this movie is in Washington D.C., and I can only imagine the hardships faced to film a story like this there. That being said, for one scene there’s a CGI modelled scene and it’s honestly lazily done. Also, given the clear holidays of in the movie, I wonder if releasing it now was the best choice.

Bottom line: This is one of the movies that wrap you in and make you wanna clap in the climatic battle. Is it a movie that leaves you guessing? Of course not. You’re not gonna have the white house under siege and have the bad guy win. But for the story, the potential to relate to characters, and the action/entertainment value, this movie is well done. Probably the best of its class (class being terrorism in America type action movie).

Rating:

  • Overall rating of the movie: 4.3 out of 5,
  • Cinematography: 3 out of 5,
  • Editing: 3.7 out of 5,
  • Audio: 5 out of 5,
  • Acting: 4.3 out of 5,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray?  Worthy of every penny for entertainment value. would suggest adding to any action movie lover’s dvd/blu-ray collection.
I just found this trailer looks like well be seeing more horrific White House stories this year.

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW