Logan: Film Review

“Nature made me a freak. Man made me a weapon. And God made it last too long.” – Logan


Writer: James Mangold, Scott FrankMichael Green Director: James MangoldRun Time: 2h17m, Full Cast

To watch this film you don’t particularly need any of the franchises former film’s back-story. It works completely on its own as it doesn’t tie into other stories in great detail. It does pick small items from the solo and group films. Example: The an adamantium bullet was introduced in the first solo film (Origins). There were a few articles going in that said this isn’t in the same universe as the other films based on the merry mutant bunch.

It was established in the comics “Wolverine Origins“, that Logan is, at his core, a man who is both troubled, brings on trouble to those around him, and those he loves and cares about. In this film, we get the clearest view of who and what Logan is. He’s an animal who wants noting more than to be left alone. He also, under all his tough bravado, simply wants a place to belong and for once to be considered human. Being a mutant is no different than being black, gay, native or any other outsider/minority group. But, at this point, he’s come to terms with it all and just wants to ride off into the sunset.

But Kids always have a way of changing you. Enter Laura.

She represents a second chance at life Logan can never get back. He tried to fight the obligation he knows Charles will put on him. And does so for most of the movie. The film isn’t about how he vanquished evil, but how he beat himself into breaking the mold he made of/for himself.

The first act of this film is super strong.  It doesn’t try to load up on complicated plot beats; and even if something does go over your head, the simple idea of ‘little girl needs saving’ is more than enough to drive the story. The manner in which the film starts with Logan… was simply to let you know this isn’t the same Logan we have seen thus far. It doesn’t truly stop being that sort of high-octane film until you meet the nice rural family. Then there’s much needed peace and time to dispense some quality exposition. Those entire groups of scenes are my second favourite one succeeded by the entire final act (yes, the whole act). While suspended in disbelief, you almost buy into the idea this rural family moment is a perfect time to use the real-world washroom only to find out that Logan’s luck wasn’t far behind him. Then to find out that all the chaos was caused by X-24 (aka all of the violence in Logan, none of his self control or compassion… aka Sabertooth). It’s sad. Because though he has seemingly beat all the other villains before him in his heyday, he was never able to break that mold of what others always wanted him to be. A controlled, raging animal.

Again, enter Laura.

It was great to see Patrick Stewart play a strong, rational, old man. I’m sure everyone has an elder person in their life who knows they are nearing their end and as a result don’t care about the common etiquette they may have displayed in their more youthful years. Many disliked that He curses but, given the situation and whom he has to deal with, it was rightly justified. his demeanor helps to shape the world we enter. His realization of what he did in Winchester was some of the best acting he’s done in the whole mutant franchise.

Enter Laura.

From her first action sequence to her final moment before the credits, she was outstanding. She didn’t out act anyone. But she was a decent addition to the cast and I fully want to see her get her own movie or series on HBO one day, for this character. If not, she may just be able to be a fit in as a co-star. But she’s new. Time will tell how far she goes. It’s weird (read: scary) how good kids can be at being crazy sadistic violent beings.

What more can be said of a guy who became a break out star from this role? It’s unfortunate that he’s been in a lot of movies that bombed as the character: as it leaves a bad taste in your mouth as you recall your favourite moments from his time. But, except for “The Wolverine”(previous film), he acted tremendously in every outing he’s had. I think it was a cool idea to have Wolverine be the secret weapon against Logan. We are our own worst enemy after all. Though I might be reaching at straws here, but he decided he was done with the role after all.  I’m glad he was able to do this film and that they made it in the way that they did. It was a great send off for him.

I’ve never seen a movie in all my years that I really wished was in black and white. There’s countless scenes that are so great, in that photography composition way. I’m glad they are re-releasing a black and white version. It was also interesting how play like the scene was when Logan goes to give Xavier the pills in the fallen water tower. It was a well acted and directed scene.

The complaints I have was that it was too little too late. Hollywood ultimately ruined the entirety of the mutant universe. Wolverine shouldn’t have to be on the verge of a reboot in order to get what fans have been asking for since X2( where is his yellow and blue spandex?). I think, since we know most in these genre of films will eventually have a sequel, it’s a bit of a let down to know there’s going to be a new actor and creative team behind whatever is in store for the character. I do hope that they keep this version of Logan alive with his intensity and rage. And also that they develop a fighting style other than what looks to be arms flailing about. Lastly just more use of the word bub.

Bottom line: The perfect Swan song for Hugh Jackman (and Sir Patrick Stewart). He brought a lot of heart to a character that otherwise could have been reduced to some comedic muscle (read as hulk). It’s great however you wish to watch it. If there’s a classic list being made for super hero films, Logan is in the top 10 without question.

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  • Overall rating of the movie: 9.5 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 9.5 out of 10,
  • Editing: 9.5 out of 10,
  • Audio: 9.5 out of 10,
  • Acting: 9 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Not sure if I’d pay money to watch it at full price again. But on a Tuesday, the re-release would be a worthwhile watch if you have the time to kill. Definitely worthy of ownership but, only with the black and white version included. Otherwise, watch it on Netflix.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: Film Review

I am one with force, the force is with me.

I would argue there are only a few things you’d never expect many Star wars fan to say. Chief among them being “The prequels were good”.  Well this was one hell of a amazing prequel.

Writers: Chris WeitzTony GilroyJohn Knoll & Gary Whitta (story). Director: Gareth Edwards. Runtime: 2h 13min.

I’m a firm believer in not seeing trailers for films I REALLY want to see. I’m glad I did that here. Everything about this film was great from start to finish. It’s easy to make comparisons to the format of this film. It does follow a format of the “Hero’s Journey”. It also could be argued that there’s some level of it being political. Though I feel the later stems from our own fears of each other rather than having real merit to the claim. But that feeling of it being one remains. With all that said I still loved everything about this film. I loved that it had all these different ways of receiving the motion picture. I think as far as films go this year, that are in the nerd/geek culture, it was the best of the year. I loved that we got to finally see a world were most if not all the hope was gone, where everyone felt like this could very well be the last day alive and in many ways, it was. People are willing to do almost anything to stop a tyrant. Throughout a bulk of the film the feeling of any optimism is lost. Nothing about the first half of the film feels hopeful. Which is fitting since the sequel to Rogue is called A New Hope. The highlight to this film is Vader.

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Vader is who he is. But if you’re strictly a fan of the “Original Saga”(OS)  then this was the film you have always wanted to see. In the OS, Vader was badass, but he never fought like one. Just kinda did stiff fencing moves. He was a Villain of the times and technology. But that’s also part of his charm in those films. I do think its safe to say that this movie got the one thing every Star Wars fan hoped for, right. A Vader worthy of his name’s reputation of why he is, and will always be, the greatest villain of all time. When He came on screen the 8 year old me was overjoyed. Every. Single. Time!

There is a lot of conceptual material for these Star Wars films generate that don’t get used as part of the overall narrative. Sometimes they show up in later mediums like shows, novels or comics. This film builds on that truth. SPOILER. That unnamed planet is indeed Mustafar. There’s a lot that film makers can build upon from what I’ve seen and read. However, that is for another day.

This film is refreshing for every aspect of what makes up a movie. They took our modern day look of tech and mixed it well with that old desperate look of the OS. The film achieved a happy cohesion between the actual Prequel Saga and the OS. Shout out to the production coordinator.

 

The few issues I have with this film were the timeline of events. For Instance the two trouble makers in A New Hope show up on an ill fated planet. Though this was annoying I did appreciate it as a fan. but as a critic and film buff it really just through me off. Additionally, I wanted more Vader. But what good thing hasn’t been the victim of someones greed?
I feel as though everyone was well casted minus Forrest W. He is a fine actor, but I feel like his contribution to the story was rather pointless. like that weird squid thing that he used on the rogue pilot… only to have him have NO effects of it later felt like a giant waste of about 30 mins. Definitely the most under developed in the film. I feel since he’s in both the rebels and Clone war cartoons, they used him hoping people knew about him. but I feel like that was a mistake on their part.

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With the recent passing of Carrie Fisher, the final 20 mins of the film felt like such a great way to send her off as. In no way was it meant to be that way, but it felt nice knowing and seeing her in the manner we do in the end. Her face brought this feeling of hope that she will forever be known for in this series.

Leia has to be the strongest of all the Skywalkers.When you think about all she’s had to endure and how she’s remained so full of hope, its hard to not picture her as the strongest considering everyone including her kid has lost their way to some extent at least once… chief example of this being her Father, Anakin.

Bottom line:
To see this movie is love it. It’s dark, its fun, and K-2SO is by far the best droid since R2-D2. if ever you wanted to see the other side of Star Wars out side of the Skywalker Saga, wanted to see the most bad ass Vader scene of all time. Wanted to feel the desolate feeling that part of the galaxy experienced during the Empires reign, Then look no further. It will surely leave you feeling hopeful at the end like you don’t already know how this ends.

  • Overall rating of the movie: 9 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 8 out of 10,
  • Editing: 10 out of 10,
  • Audio: 9 out of 10,
  • Acting: 9 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? DEFINITELY see it in theatres… Then at home. No need for Imax. It is better on a bigger screen.

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

 

Dr. Strange:Film Review

Dr. Strange.
It’s officially the best time to be a comic book, movie loving, nerd. Of all the secondary, second tier, silver/bronze age heroes from comics… we got the best of the mystical controlling characters of the said mediums on the silver screen.

Director:Scott Derrickson, Writers:Scott DerricksonJon SpaihtsC. Robert Cargill, The cast Run Time:1h55m

Dr. Steven strange was reportedly created to reach the mass few who delved into the psychedelic, paranormal mind altering activities or the few who got there from vice favoured substances. Over the years he’s had books launch and cancelled and has even switched roles for a time. He even served as an ‘Avenger’ as recent as B.M.Bendis’ run on the aforementioned comic title.

Whatever your reason for liking Dr. Strange as a character, he has always been more of a lurking in the background character. Which works to his benefit as seen in this film.

Director Dickerson, Cumberbatch and Co, treated him and his story in what felt like two halves. It felt as dark and gritty as the Netflix stuff with his origin/ first 40 or so minutes and then more like the Marvel films, dubbed MCU, has been known to have.

This may or may not be a spoiler but I thought it very interesting how on the surface they kept everything, namely his injured hands, in the foreground. I thought they would’ve had that healed up by the half mark. But for the dramatic effect of his character it was one of his core challenges. (Side note: has Cumberbatch always had a lisp?) Cumberbatch did a great job from being a dude with his head up his ass to learning some humility. Its reminiscent of the first Iron Man & Thor film. Though as fun as the jokes were. I just feel it could have done with less but that’s just my strict personal opinion. After seeing the trailer above you’d think there would’ve been a darker tone to entire film. For me it takes me out of the dire need to save the day if you’re constantly laughing.  In no way is it a comedy, but there’s just a few too many on the nose jokes for My liking. Let serious moments be sometimes.

I think its cool how even though he could have ended up like Johnathan Prangborn in the film, he was so amazed by this new world, that he gave up the life style he had in NYC to become something more.

Chiwetel, I feel, out acted Cumberbatch and arguably everyone else. But not  in a better or for worse way; Just in more sincerity to convince me/the audience on his take of his character, MordoMads Mikkelsen’s Kaecilius was very under developed though. He has his moment of explaining his plan to Strange, and he begins to cry, and for the life of me I couldn’t fathom why. I get his mind has been opened, but I did not care. the best core acting scene was between McAdams and Cumberbatch in the “I don’t need your pity scene”. Additionally I felt like Christine was poorly developed as well. I think this movie could have used an extra 30 minutes.

A shame the film was shot in the manner it was as they opted for a more thrilling ride than arguably stronger shots. I think they should have pushed for some pop shots and to tease us with some other parallel known universe, from the comics, when he was traversing time and space.

His transformation from pretty boy doctor, to desperate man, to sorcery supreme was very well crafted by the hair makeup and wardrobe/costume departments. Every characters look in the film felt authentic and probable for the universe and the individual franchise. The amount of colour that came from each frame of film, especially during the astral planes of existence. It’s arguably 2nd for all time colour film of the mcu*. The production value for what we got was pretty great. Only wished less green screen was used for more of the films simpler things.

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Bottom line:
It’s a good film but the character development was missing either in the edit suite or the actual script. There could have been some great moments but I feel as though the powers behind these films are pulling too much of the strings to give us great films. I’m happy they made this movie as it helps pave the way for more riskier characters to be given the light of day. I just hope the next one gives characters like Mordo, Wong & Christine more to do.

  • Overall rating of the movie: 7.3 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 7 out of 10,
  • Editing: 7.5 out of 10,
  • Audio: 5 out of 10,
  • Acting: 8 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? fun in Imax especially with the Dormammu stuff. it will be a worthy add to any collection of the MCU once its hit home viewing.

*(Avengers for 1 and a tie for 2nd between GotG and Dr. Strange for most colourful)

 

Creed: Film Review

You don’t have to be the product of your environment. You don’t even have to be a product of your family name.


Director:  Ryan Coogler WriterAaron Covington & Ryan Coogler Runtime: 133m Cast

After some six Rocky films the question, as always, remains, how do we keep the franchise fresh? With the seventh in the franchise you had to wonder can we listen to Rocky’s inspirational quotes… again. The answer is: of course.

Being the son of globally known parent can’t be easy. The relentless pressure from the media to take up what the father (or respective parent) is doing can be unbearable. But so can trying to fit in when your heart belongs else where. The film explores both those aspects; but for the sake of the story, it does favour one more than the other. On the surface it’s an origin story, it’s a bit of a redemption story, it is actually quite a few things. The best one being that it’s a great film consistently. I worried if knowing about the previous films would become a problem while watching. It wasn’t. The story is pretty favourable with respect to the franchises’ history. They do make mention to previous moments but I imagine they were for both older fans and for those wanting more of Rocky. There are some cliche moments but I’m sure it won’t be as cliche for the typical viewer. I will say I miss the use of training montages.

creedpostersmallMichael B. Jordan is really on the come up. Aside from the recent Fantastic Four, there hasn’t really been in a bad film. At least not one I’ve seen. His dedication to his craft is amazing. This is arguably a better performance than the one he gave in Fruitvale Station. I don’t say that as one being bad, simply put, they are both excellent performances, its hard to say which I liked more. One of his better moments have no sound, yet is so powerful in its delivery. Even though his character starts out in a shady place you root for him not so much as underdog, but for seeming going thru some sad situations. I really loved his story arc and characterization. His best and most emotional line comes in the final fight. That scene had me near tears. The limited screen time with Rashad had me wanting more. I think the two would have great chemistry on screen. Shame she didn’t have a bigger role.

Stallone has been playing Rocky for some 40+ years now and if this be his final send off, I’m okay with it. There was such a humility that he brought this time around (I’m not sure if it was always there in previous films). He’s somewhat of a man out of time both literally and figuratively. He comes off as a guy waiting for his time. I thought the extra element of his health a bit too much on the nice but I liked the contrast it created for team Rocky. Its quite amazing how much you can give a viewer beyond the surface. I hear rumblings of this being the new direction for the franchise, if that be true, the manner in which he was written was stellar. I have a great amount of respect for Stallone. His acting for the type of character he needs to be was spot on.

Relative new comer and scene stealer, Tessa Thompson, brings a lot of depth to her role. Aside from being eye candy (its hard to deny how beautiful she is), she… Its hard to sum up her performance. But I will dare to say she was one of those dream, chill girlfriends that are a level headed and very supportive(I probably insulted someone, my bad). I loved her character, I wished they used her flaw a bit more.

The cool thing about the movie is that they used real boxers. It added a level of realism. The first big fight was seemingly shot in on take. I love that. Long takes are awesome when the action inside of the take is elaborate.

We all watch movies to be entertained. But sometimes you watch a movie and it just moves you. Or the story is so good you apply it to you life in a way that is so profound, it shocks you. That happened to me and I get that in this day and age we are all rather desensitized to the one another that emotions are odd when shown. But in the case of the performance from MBJ, for me, it was hard not to connect to his reason for everything. You don’t even have to connect to it on the same level. But when you’re given a shot, a chance… at something and there’s people you reasonably look up too; its hard to not feel that pressure of being that lead that makes up the spelling error. It’s your determination to do the best you can that leads to you overcoming that fear.

The biggest upsets for me came down to editing and/or the on set supervision. When Rocky’s health begins to deteriorate, the inconsistency bothered me to no end.

 

Bottomline: If this film does start a new franchise, Count me in. I loved it from start to finish.

 

Rating 8

  • Overall rating of the movie: 8 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 8 out of 10,
  • Editing: 6 out of 10,
  • Audio: 8 out of 10,
  • Acting: 9 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? It’s definitely worth seeing on any platform.

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Mission Impossible Rogue Nation: Film Review

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How do you keep a franchise fresh? Not by doing half of what this film did.


Writer: Christopher McQuarrie Drew Pearce DirectorChristopher McQuarrieRuntime: 131m Cast

I showed this simply because it was exactly what was wrong with the start of both of these films. Films are much better when you don’t know what’s going to happen. When you have no idea what you’re about to see. If you get all of it in the trailer or in leaks or whatever, you don’t really have a reason to watch it. At the start of this thing, the editor decided (or the studio) to do a two minute montage of a lot of what you’re about to see. It ruins the film. Furthermore, the most daring stunt I think I’ve seen any one do that isn’t Jackie Chan, is right before the opening credits. Now this may have been to set the tone but, nothing you do as a director/actor, in any movie, will be as daring as having your key talent, hang off the side of a plane. With no green screen… No… Anything. That was actually Mr. Cruise. If you’re gonna do a stunt like that. Don’t open a film with that if nothing else is going to be as daring. That one scene is impressive when you factor in his role, and that he’s 50. Anything could have gone wrong. Thankfully it didn’t.

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Anyway. You know who this movie was missing. Paula Patton. I’m probably going to say that again.

The story was rather expected. But the intensity was is what kept the story on its edge. It definitely was missing something from M.I. 4… which was probably Paula Patton. But seriously, in M.I. 3 there was a villain who jxust hated Ethan Hunt and you secretly cheered him on for how relentless he was. I’m not saying he had to recreate that flair but it would’ve been nice to just have a villain to really see get taken down or out. Sean Harris’ overall villainy just seemed flat. So much so, that I don’t even believe he was the end game villain as his role intended. There was so much time spent on being accountable for the amount of damage the IMF cause(in the film), that the American political brass seemed more of a threat than Solomon Lane.

Le Sigh…

The film brought in a new group of talent that these films tend to. The lead female was very good at her role. If I didn’t know what I know, to see her  forthcoming deception, I would have thought her performance brilliant (another reason not to show scenes before its time). Nevertheless I saw past it and saw a decent performance and arguably one of the best female leads this series has seen. Definitely not the hottest… Hi Paula!

Tom Cruise was great. He did his usual running and yelling gig. I feel he’s reached the top of his limits within this character. I’d be lying if I didn’t say his age was revealed a few times in this. Not that it hurts him, but it’s just so much on the surface. Now, I’m not trying to witch hunt him out of a job, but I’d be totally ok if he said his wife or something had a kid and he trained him in the IMF as it’s all he knows. Then that said child carried on the franchise. I just think we all know he will stop at nothing to protect us. I will say having him doubted like that, both visually artistically, was a cool dynamic to add.

THE one thing about Tom Cruise, is that he runs. No one in film will have a better run than him. Not shooting it correctly is a tragedy. even though they have shots of him running, they often had it in the wrong angles. The best one he has is during the opening sequence. The under water scene was outstanding. I caught myself inching to the edge of my seat.

 

 

Go figure I didn’t like it, it was as obvious a movie as Iron Man 3 was.

 

 

Rating 4

  • Overall rating of the movie: 4 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 5 out of 10,
  • Editing: 2 out of 10,
  • Audio: 6 out of 10,
  • Acting: 5 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? It’s cool in Imax but the bad taste in your mouth after wouldn’t justify paying to see it there.

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Terminator Gyensis: Movie Review

I should listen to me own theoretical rules more often.

DirectorAlan Taylor, WriterLaeta KalogridisPatrick Lussier, Runtime: 125m, Cast & crew(<link)

Credits etc.

This is now the 3rd movie post Cameron,… I really wish they would stop butchering the franchise. I was all stoked for this but I just can’t shake the feeling that this was just another failed attempt at recreating the same lightening in a bottle that was brought on by the Canuck director. The first film was a huge success for many reasons. It was a made to be a horror film with ties to the sci-fi genre. The second is one of, if not the best, action movie of all time (Yes, even now).

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This movie seemingly came to light, as in its concept, right out of a scene in its own movie. Spoiler alert, it comes in the form of a what if (pay attention if you still plan on seeing it to the words what if). What if we could see how our fate turned out. What if we could know years in advance the day we were to receive our true love . As a parent, how would we feel knowing our child becomes the proverbial villain of the story. What if… It’s an excellent question to explore. Do you ally yourself with the child or do you debate how to end him or her? It’s a great question to ask a viewer. Now this would have been the seeds for a great movie if it wasn’t named Terminator.  It would also be better if it wasn’t written by someone who sounds like they only studied the originals and took a year if screen writing. At least the 3rd movie had a tad bit more depth in it. I mean come on. We know everyone who “owns” a ‘nator, tries to get him to fit in. We don’t need that explained. The story for me, dialogue wise and the rules of time and space continuum seemed like just something to be skipped over. Having Sarah Conner speaking like Edward Furlong like in T2 all over again was a weaker choice than the director.

Now I’m not knocking all his choices. But I feel like after we saw his big budget version of Thor in Thor the dark world we all agreed to just let him handle Game of Thrones and nothing else. Thor was one of his first outings since Thrones, and being what that was; him, being selected for this, was a shocker. I think I said that somewhere. I do applaud the key set designers and craftsmen who were able to create the world we were entering. But a set can only be a good as it’s utilized.  I did enjoy the makeup department in its accuracy, if he did have a hand in that then good choice. I like continuity. I will say the aspect of 3D was much better here than it was in his Thor film.

Han Zimmer wasn’t as strong this time around. The musical score just didn’t live up to the hype of the movie or the rep of the composer.

The new talent was interesting. I thought the humanizing of the robots was a relatively smart move but also what did the movie in. As I said earlier having robots just scare the crap out of you  is awesome, but so is knowing that a robot has justified reason to fear you. Some of the new talent were underused. I just wished we saw more of them as their potential to, at the very least, frighten, or lead ,or do anything, was very promising..

Bottom line.  It’s a creative look at all the elements and aspects asked but not explored in the predecessors, but ultimately it’s not something we needed to see on the big screen for the franchise. If they don’t show the future war in whatever comes next. Just don’t Watch it. No alternative story of a Conner being saved is needed. It’s all been done.

  • Overall rating of the movie: 5 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 7 out of 10,
  • Editing: 7.5 out of 10,
  • Audio: 6 out of 10,
  • Acting: 5 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Kinda cool in 3d, but if you can just rent it.

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Jurassic world: Movie Review

The year is 199… I mean 2015. And dinosaurs are still a huge box office draw. $520,362,305 and counting (this is only domestically).

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Director: Colin Trevorrow Writer: Rick Jaffa, Amanda SilverColin TrevorrowDerek Connolly Runtime: 124m, Cast and crew.

There’s a lot to like about this movie. The story is pretty layered when you look at what’s given and the type of movie it is. It’s a movie that knows what kind of film it is (summer popcorn flick) and knows how to ultilize that to its own advantage. It first glance it’s a film about another trip to the cursed park which has become a world (think Disney). Deeper than that, it’s about family, man vs nature, when man tries to control nature (which I would like to believe is a running theme), rightfully a respect of nature. And that’s still the tip of a T-Rex. Now  for those who just want to go see a cool movie, trust me when I say it’s there a lot to like it’s not like Wrath of the Titans where it’s really over-bearing. There’s a lot of fun in the story. Yes, some of it is expected, but in many ways, movie goers are much smarter than they were some 20 years ago. But the serious playfulness of the feature made it fun to watch for fans of the franchise, new younger viewers and those who are avid movie watchers.

I quickly want to say that the lack of John Williams music did draw me away from the overall enjoyment. But that’s because John Williams is just a musical god in cinema.

Spielberg (the ep on this, & original director)has been known to tell stories for/centred around children ad they have the most to discover and it’s the same here. The main kids acting isn’t oscar worthy in the slightest, but it’s not hard to believe their respective choices. I would have liked less of them as their personal stories added seemingly odd drought to the film. Ms. Howard was awesome. I loved she wasn’t a bimbo broad. she’s a head of a billion dollar company (I would hope considering what they do). She wasn’t wonder woman but she wasn’t Marggot Kiddie Lois Lane either. I did enjoy the different elements she brought to her role.  And she’s way sexier than I remember lol. Mr. Pratt was just bad ass. Hollywood’s current it actor is building a portfolio I doubt even he expected. I wouldn’t say he’s been type casted but him being a offbeat hero is exciting to root for. Again nothing crazy oscar worthy but he came off totally unique in his performance. I didn’t necessarily believe his character’s back story, given the actor; but I wouldn’t put it past him. His chemistry with Ms. Howard considerably added more than it did to distract. I personally don’t like his voice. Nothing against him just at times I feel like his voice lends to him being more comedic than serious. One rarely gets his cake to eat too, I suppose.

My nitpicks are slim. I didn’t enjoy What seemed like a repurposed Terra Nova set. That said I believe a lot of what was shown on screen was amazing. Props and sets were massive and made you feel there. Which is every set dressers goal I would imagine.  The kids didn’t seem to get hurt. I can think of many reasons why but I feel without any real harm done it took away from how fearsome these reptile replicas were/are. The made up Dino, seemed like the early years of superman where he just had all these crazy powers.. because… like why not, it’s superman, right?! The Raptor bond was kinda random. Not in the sense that it was out of the blue. Just didn’t quite gel with me. They do set it up, just not as over arching as it would of liked to have been done. The use of 3d was good but again a missed opportunity to use the pop out feature in the medium. One of the cool things about the original park film, was they used robotics to create the dinosaurs. The truest reason was because the cgi wasn’t totally there to create them like it is today. I counted, maybe, 3 times it could have been used if it indeed wasn’t. I miss the use of robotics in movies. It helped to add to the playfulness of the medium but we live in a very digital age now, I guess.  Lastly, I just hate it when movies try to lie and say women can survive a real disaster in heels. I didn’t believe it in Transformers 3 I don’t believe it at a theme park that really shouldn’t be a theme park.

The director of Photography really did a tremendous job of covering different angles and perspectives. 3d aside, I felt I got a lot of different views that were organic to the overall enjoyment of the picture. From soldier cams, to monitor screens, right down to the theme park goers. Every aspect felt necessary to it all. And there was shaky cam but it felt better in a pov than it did when you’re watching action scene like in Bourne.

Bottom line: even tho its fairly graphic, it’s not a movie to miss this year. It’s not made for adults only, but everyone. There’s something g for everyone and it’s definitely a treat to be remembered by all who see it. I would possibly suggest imax on a Tuesday however.

  • Overall rating of the movie: 8 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 9 out of 10,
  • Editing: 9 out of 10,
  • Audio: 8 out of 10,
  • Acting: 7 out of 10,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Great in Theatres, can’t wait for it to hit blu-ray.

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

For your own viewing pleasure click> https://youtu.be/fGyH8KRyC3A

Interstellar: Movie Review

Christopher Nolan. You sir, are a creative machine of brilliance. Well minus The Dark knight Rises.

Full castDirector: Christopher Nolan. Writer:  Jonathan NolanChristopher Nolan. Run Time: 169 mins

The ones who I talk to on the regular, know I talk about space and it’s findings often. I love nebula’s, the cosmos show, comets. All that stuff. I also like time travel and multiple dimensions of the space time continuum. This movie has all that. It is a tad more sophisticated than it let’s on to be in the trailer. But that’s on purpose with trying to create a compelling story. At that, a compelling dramatic space story.

Matthew McConaughey delivers one of the best acting jobs I’ve seen all year. I fully believe he should be the front runner, rather winner for the top actor Oscar more  than any other. Unless Leonardo DiCaprio has a movie I don’t know about on the way, I fully expect Matthew to win it. His character’s reasons for leaving his family are greater than one could perceive and or relate to given how much we may take for granted but the dynamic of the worlds population at the brink of extinction and the possibility of losing his little girl (and ultimately his family) something any parent, much less, a father ultimately fears the most. Whats the saying? “Mommy’s little boy, Daddy’s little girl”? His constant reminder of what and why he agreed to the mission works well even as a way to show the passage of time. Its definitely a “best part” of the movie acting wise. That young child had great direction from Nolan when her father inevitably leaves. That scene sells everything even in the trailer.

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Michael Cain is showing age. But that’s only physically. He plays a more hidden agenda version (in a sense) of Matthew’s character. I’m sure to show the contrasting elements usually needed to tell a story. I will say his limited screen time either suggest the actors age or was simply story tightening. His later scenes seem to lack something.
I honestly feel, though good, Anne Hathaway’s character was under utilized. it was a missed opportunity on the creative crew’s part in that regard.

That all said, I feel the strongest aspect of it all, is the writing. I’m no science wizard, but I felt like I learned something about space, the space/time continuum, and things of that matter. Apparently they had an astrophysicist on set to ensure authenticity to the words. It helped if true. I will say just to wrap this up, as great as the writing is for about an hour 30, its absolutely ruined by that last bit. I would say its a matter of trying to be too deep and too “poetic” to have that end be a likely outcome. It’s not outside of the realm that Nolan and crew set up, its just kinda like…

Really, that’s where you want us (the audience) to go? Ok sure there buddy.

Anyway, bottom line,  its great thing to watch, but the last 20 minutes or so are rough. Sometimes not every journey has a great end. But a journey is usually fun all the same. This is that scenario.

  • Overall rating of the movie: 8.3 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 9.8 out of 10,
  • Editing: 10 out of 10,
  • Audio: 10 out of 10,
  • Acting: 9 out of 10,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Definitely worthy of picking up on blu-ray. Time to get a bigger T.V. however.

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Top 5: Movie Review

Top Five.

Full castDirector: Chris Rock. Writer: Chris Rock. Run Time: 102 mins

So I will come right out and say I have no idea where top five, as a thing, fits into this movie. As far as raw black movies go, this is probably the best one out (editor’s note *I haven’t seen Dear White People). Now this isn’t  your typical black (comedy) movie. It’s not about somoking weed every day and doing hood shit. This is a, dare I say, romantic comedy that is smart and something that transcends race. If you took away the black jokes, this could easily fit anyone (or race). It is simple that way, which I argue is what makes it so brilliant.

Chris Rock and Rosario Dawson are the headlining talents of the film and that was enough for me to go to the movies. The pair make for an interesting dynamic, I found, on screen. Rock, comes from a comedic background which is exactly his character on screen. His character is grounded in numerous ways. One being abuse of alcohol. Its a easy way to make a character relatable and when rock delves into that side of things, his acting seems more real than another aspect. Rosario is a flawed, mysterious journalist. Personally, I feel like this is one of her better roles and I hope she does more like this, or more with Rock. She came off veey much like that girl you could kick it with and seemed very wholesome in her personal life. Her flaws are on the surface but do not define her. She was tremendously written to give off enough visually and to have the viewer assume correctly the type of person she was.

An aspect of movies I don’t usually go into is costume and character looks, but if done for the movie and not just a look she had for product placement, her entire wardrobe and her house and everything she was, were all so well thought out. Yes she not make it on a hot list in say “People Magazine” but for her character, I was captured by her and everything about her.

Chris, Rosario

The story isn’t anything new. Well maybe till the end but since I’ve  probably already said that like 7 times, I will give my opinion on what bothers me. Most of the scenes are funny and well thought out but the first complaint I did have was from the Houston sex scene. The lead up to it was great. But then the brief four play was just so random and seemed out the blue, out of context of the story till that point. Granted, I’ve seen worse things. Hell, I’ve heard of worst stories like a girl giving a bj inside of an apartment garbage room. But that scene totally  made me believe I was watching a movie (at that a very tacky one)versus watching a screenplay or a story that was real; which is what I feel each movie is charged with doing. The other comes from my opening line. Top five. In most socially acceptable scenario’s, it means that you have to give someone your top five of any given subject. Being this is a black/urban movie, hip-hop is the subject. But by the end of this thing, it just left you really lost as to how it relates to the overall, overarching theme/story. The last thing I will say as a form of a complaint is that Chris rock tends to write stories centered around jokes, versus stories that contain jokes. This movie has that, but probably not as much as his earlier work(s) like Down to Earth.

My favorite moments of the film are the urban moments where he gets back with his “roots” and family. There’s a moment with his father who you don’t know is so, until the conclusion of the scene. It was well crafted. When he reaches his old apartment, the feel of those seemed so authentic, satirical, and made the entire story seem believable. They were well acted, shot written, everything.

Bottom line: For what society says is urban culture and cinema, this is tremendous story telling and not your typical “black” film. For film students, This is great story to screen. For everyone else, this is a great holiday movie and a great anytime film.

  • Overall rating of the movie: 7.9 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 7 out of 10,
  • Editing: 8 out of 10,
  • Audio: 10 out of 10,
  • Acting: 8 out of 10,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Definitely worthy of picking up on blu-ray. great modern classic, but it probably won’t be.

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Movie Review

TMNT-TeaserThe Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles first appeared in the comic book medium, published by Mirage Studios in 1984. The concept arose from a humorous drawing sketched out by Kevin Eastman during a casual evening of brainstorming with friend Peter Laird. Using money from a tax refund and a loan from Eastman’s uncle, the young artists self-published a single-issue comic intended to parody four of the most popular comics of the early 1980s: Marvel Comics’ Daredevil and New Mutants, Dave Sim’s Cerebus, and Frank Miller’s Ronin. Fast forward to the early 90s, and the first ever TMNT is released (1990). The film was live action and required animatronic heads for the actors to wear. This continued for 2 more movies. In 2007 a total cgi spirited sequel came along. Then in 2012 Michael Bay said he was producing another film and that the turtles would be from space.

Full castDirector: Jonathan Liebesman Writer: Josh AppelbaumAndré NemecEvan Daugherty. Run Time: 101 mins

I was never really a GIANT fan of TMNT but I did like the simple nature of them. I think my real attachment in them came from the video games on the super NES console (aka the greatest of all time!). So for me, the mythos was never really important. Though having ninja turtles was already a stretch, having say, a race of ninja turtles from some distant planet was a stretch just too far out. Lucky for the success of this film it didn’t happen as the trailer above shows. That aside, the changes here are on the cool side of the creative spectrum. It’s a little “hollywood“(I will explain in a moment) but its not the worst thing of all things.

Above anything else this movie is just a family friendly film. STOP WORRYING ABOUT KILLING YOUR APPARENT CHILDHOOD. Those childhood favourite movies still exist in its respective home video source.. and then there’s pirate bay. This movie is great for anyone who has kids now, who once grew up with this as their favourite movie as a kid. it has a lot of elements of family, brotherhood, and loyalty; which is something sort of lacking these days in modern cinema as we live in an age of “gritty” blockbusters (Thank you Chris Nolan). That is what i loved most about this movie. It was childish and mature. Not in a sexual way but, just in a manner where it isn’t far too cartoony. The themes were very evident and I personally enjoy that sort of thing.

TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesShredderheadlinecropLSParamount_article_story_largeHollywood… I love you but sometimes you take an idea just way too far. Not everything should be copied from what is currently “selling”. That said, Nice job! Shredder just looked, in my opinion, way too much like a transformer/Iron Man hybrid. Its not bad, its just why did he honestly have to be suited in a armour suit that throws knives? Why couldn’t he just be a samurai looking individual, who fights like a bad ass. I did honestly enjoy that his new suit could do so much. It was a cool looking (on camera) improvement to the character (and mythos).

Unrelated to Hollywood, the stylistic choice behind the face of the turtles, threw me off. I figure if for any reason, it was simply see the actors faces, since this isn’t the same animatronic movie of childhoods past. It just felt like they had a giant miscue with that. I did however like the added items to enhance the characters personality. Like Donatello, he had more of a nerd/geek look as he is traditionally a nerd geek toe and likes inventing.

 

The start of the film is a bit of snore fest I will say, but once it gets going, it goes. The stunts are terrific and smart in relation to the turtles.

Bottom line: It was just a great popcorn flick that gives both children and parents (or just the average adult). They didn’t entirely bastardize the source material, which many thought would happen. This… is a great movie!

Ratings for all movies will now be out of ten

  • Overall rating of the movie: 8 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 7 out of 10,
  • Editing: 9 out of 10,
  • Audio: 9 out of 10,
  • Acting: 7 out of 10,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Definitely worthy of picking up on blu-ray, maybe on boxing day/black friday. Especially if you have fidgety kids.

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Guardians Of The Galaxy: Movie Review

This might have been the best summer movie.

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-IMAX-poster-700x1024


Writer:  James GunnNicole Perlman Director:  James Gunn Runtime: 121 mins

Cast

I had posted about who the Guardians of the Galaxy really are and its a fair bet not many knew prior to seeing the flick. This is probably the utmost reason this movie excels. Aside from my fellow brethren who know full well about the sci-fi/realm of space side of  the Marvel Universe, NO ONE cared about these guys. and that is very much a factor in the film. One of the constant mentions people keep saying is: “If you had told me a talking racoon would be a “star” character in a movie, some 10+ years ago, I would spit out my drink in laughter”. Well those folks can all now still spit out a drink in laughter and then some, cause not only does “Rocket Racoon” nearly steal the show, he, voiced by Bradley Cooper, makes you feel for the character as if he was a “human”. The film really does achieve a lot in its 2 hour run time but never once does it feel beyond whelming. Its most remarkable element was being able to blend both drama and comedy seamlessly all while never taking itself too seriously while still remaining true to being a “Comic Book” movie. I feel that is one of the problems so many other studios have with their comic book properties. They try to be a comic adaption while being true to the medium of cinema and the integrity of the director’s imagination/creativity. I believe that on some level you have to have one more so than the other(s) and never falter… But, as I say, everything is situational.

Another aspect of what makes this a great film, is the soundtrack and for once I don’t mean the musical score. The soundtrack boast some of the best music from era(‘s) past. Its even on US Billboard at #1 for this week (week ending Aug. 15th, 2014)

The soundtrack to Marvel Studios’ latest blockbuster, Guardians of the Galaxy, has topped the midweek US Billboard chart, and is the first soundtrack comprised entirely of previously released songs to reach the No 1 spot.

The soundtrack seemingly works on various levels but, really giving the Lead, Peter Quill, his only real tether to Earth and his childhood when his mother was in his life. For that aspect, it works tremendously in this film to keep it relatable to viewers. Let’s face it, we all have that one (or several) song(s) that remind us of days past (couldn’t resist).

This film boast a another crazy cast as any other marvel movie. Benicio  Del Toro, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, and more; Take on their first roles in the superhero genre.  Given the roles Del Toro has had in past, I was shocked he took on the role of “The Collector from back in Thor. I fully enjoyed new comer Lee Pace as Ronan. The costume design was great even if they went for a more obvious, dark = bad guy tone. It very much resembled his look in the comics. The only characters/actors I question in terms of acting were Zoe’s, Josh Brolin’s and Karen Gillian’s characters (Gamora, Thanos, and Nebula, respectively). I felt as though they were underplayed in various ways (i.e., Thanos didn’t give me that menacing performance one wold hope from a man known as the “Mad Titan”). And even though their back stories were explained and even hinted at, I felt as though we were still short handed in respects to what we deserved from those listed and more, from a story aspect. We all know Zoe can act, and I love her as an actress (she’s skinny and kicks everyones ass, that is awesome defined!), but I can’t help but feel she didn’t give us the best of her talents. Its not in anyway, shape, or form a bad performance, just maybe a miscue in direction/communication. The cool thing about the movie is that having Vin Diesel voice act allows him to be in future movies if even as a bodyguard or something, same with B.Cooper. . Aside from the acting, due to (maybe) the quality of the image, the aliens didn’t all feel like aliens so much as humans in costume.

Which leads me to my next point of the use of 3d, cinematography, and use of effects as a whole. Right from the start you feel like you’re in the 80s. Whats nice is the tint to give it that retro feeling. Then it movies into more 3d expected territory, which was in damn good quality. This post conversion stuff is really getting better. The 3D helps to enhance that idea that you’re in a whole new world/environment. However, I feel that the use of both depth and traditional out/oFf screen effects would have served this movie better. The action, as plenty but was kinda lacking in any great shot in personal opinion. Thankfully it was mostly clear and easy to see thanks to the colourful cast. But it never gets distracting throughout the film. Which is better. I will say the ending “battle” was my favourite bit with the use of the camera.

There were a lot of easter eggs in the film, from both the BTS side of things, to things right out of the comics and throughout pop culture. I noticed a few from the comics and pop culture, but heres more.

This movie is nothing, if not well put together. nice blend of the medium. it excels mostly because of its obscurity. The tremendous control over the time and place(meant) of comedy, action, and a dramatic moment is superb. I wouldn’t call this an adaption, as much as I would call this movie. The characters are all losers, and people you’d bet against in the right conditions, but with the tremendous writing and character understanding, this movie really captures the essence that would this band of merry folks just really don’t want to die unless its by their actions. Most superhero movies tend to go the ay of this is my problem i have to fix it because i created the villain. this story didn’t feel like that. Has some of those elements yea, but in actuality its a great neutral bad guy vs good guy(s) story here. It’s really hard to hate on this movie outside of nitpicking. For my chosen nitpick, how on earth did they get on to the ship with Yondu and get new costumes for everyone (the all red, scarlet ones) including Rocket Racoon?

9.7

Ratings for all movies will now be out of ten

  • Overall rating of the movie: 9.7 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 8 out of 10,
  • Editing: 9 out of 10,
  • Audio: 10 out of 10,
  • Acting: 8.9 out of 10,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? It’s not bad in Imax. Definitely worth picking up to truly start phase two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW