The Avengers Movie Review

WOW… UM SIMPLY WOW. This movie rocks on all cylinders, Joss Whedon, PLEASE for the love of God stay on to make this movie’s future sequels. I WILL TRY NOT TO SPOIL TOO MUCH!!

Robert Downey Jr. Robert Downey Jr.
Chris Evans Chris Evans
Mark Ruffalo Mark Ruffalo
Chris Hemsworth Chris Hemsworth
Scarlett Johansson Scarlett Johansson
Jeremy Renner Jeremy Renner
Tom Hiddleston Tom Hiddleston
Clark Gregg Clark Gregg
Cobie Smulders Cobie Smulders
Stellan Skarsgård Stellan Skarsgård
Samuel L. Jackson Samuel L. Jackson
Gwyneth Paltrow Gwyneth Paltrow
Paul Bettany Paul Bettany
Jarvis (voice)
Alexis Denisof Alexis Denisof
Tina Benko Tina Benko
NASA Scientist

Director: Joss Whedon

Writer: Zak Penn and Joss Whedon (story) Joss Whedon (screenplay)

Every penny that was put in to this movie, which according to IMDB, is estimated at  $220,000,000–YEA THAT MUCH.

Joss Whedon directed this movie as well as wrote it (along with Zak Penn) and, as I’ve said previously with Cabin In the Woods, he really knows how to write. His expertise in character dialogue is second to none. He uses a lot of quick wit & exciting banter between all the cast, and not one character overshadows another. He’s a writer who has written for Marvel before in various comics, so he understands and respects the material and for the most part–thanks in part to the acting, all the characters are spot on with their delivery. “I’m not big on inside jokes…. I like people who’ve never seen the Avengers, to have as much fun as people who have been waiting for this movie their whole lives.”-Joss Whedon. That statement is so true about this movie. There’s a rule at Marvel Comics: Treat every issue as if it were someone’s first ever issue. The writers there all have to abide by that, and if you are a writer, I bet you can imagine how much of a challenge it is to do that on a monthly or even sometimes a weekly basis.

HULK: New actor, Mark Ruffalo portrays both Bruce Banner and the hulk in this movie. His take on it was more witty and determined, as Bruce, like he knew his role from the start. He is MY favourite hero for his brute strength and I’ll have you know, there isn’t much left out to show how strong he is. I WILL SAY however, I don’t like the new hulk design because in the Ed Norton film, he had more of a realistic body build. Instead of just muscle he had RIPPED, DEFINED muscle, and this one reminded me of the bad Ang Lee hulk movie. Basically, Ed Norton is a better Bruce on looks alone, Mark… well not so much. I didn’t like how they made him a bit more barbaric at times either, but we are yet again in a “reboot” phase for this character in a way. This though, is by far the best hulk we have ever seen, and I know I’ve contradicted myself a few times, but it’s a love hate thing.

Iron Man: If you ever felt he was just a dude in s suit, who early on [*SPOILER*] Captain America, thinks just the same thing, then you are SURELY MISTAKEN. He is used probably the most, but in recent comic history, this is about right since he is basically the brains of missions. Tony Stark is EVERYWHERE in this movie, and his witty banter with EVERY hero in this movie is dead on to his arrogance. Spider-Man is like that in a way, constantly making jokes, this is the kind of  Spider-Man I’d like to see one day. Basically, his role was improved upon to be more of a hero, but otherwise still the same old Stark

Thor: SORRY LADIES…no shirt off here, but he probably has the best entrance to this story, outside of Hulk where it was being constantly teased to the audience. He had a lot of the charm that he has in the comics in this film. His origin movie focused a lot more of the moral, but this time he is all action.

Captain America: THIS IS BY FAR HIS BEST SHOWING. I thought Chris did an amazing job in “Captain America: The First Avenger” but they got his role down pat in this movie. He was a leader, a tactician, a soldier, brave, out of touch with the times and very American (p.s. stay after the credits… just look at cap and think about it while keeping in mind where Bush sent troops). Chris Evans is an under rated actor, and even though most (critics) don’t take comic book movies serious, watching this should make you see all, if not  just the “Big Three” (Iron Man, Thor & Captain America) as good an actor as any.

Nick Fury:  Sam has done this role a total of 4 times previously (of course we aren’t counting his face being used to revamp Nick Fury in the Ultimate Marvel Universe where most of these films have been based on), but this is the first time we see him as a man who knows what must be done sees what’s he’s being told, but says that isn’t the smarter way of doing things. Basically we see why he’s the head of  S.H.I.E.L.D. and why Sam Jackson is still the most bad ass of all actors.

Black widow: Scarlett has never been more than a pretty face to me. She has both good and bad moments in this film, but more so good than bad. Her best scenes come from the first half of the movie, I’m not a fan of Black Widow so moving on.

Hawkeye: The archer was introduced during the “Thor” film, and I’m sure to many, was a highlight to the film. He has a “secondary” role, but was much like the bad ass that was seen in the”Ultimates”  (you really need to read these two volumes, it’s by far the best “Avengers” story you will ever read in your entire life). When the second half of the movie rolls out, you will know what I’m talking about.

Loki: Tom Hiddleston really understands how to use his face to drive a scene. I thought he had the best skill outside of Anthony Hopkins in the Thor movie. He may not have been the single best actor in this movie, but he definitely isn’t overshadowed by anyone else’s performance (this is, I’m sure, in part to great direction). He was on the verge of being a villain in Thor, but here he is CLEARLY someone that has lost his way, holds a jealous grudge towards his adoptive brother, and, just like in the comics, a very evil villain who likes to show off for sport.

In many recent years Marvel comics has had many brand cross over books from: Civil War, Secret Invasion & most recently, Fear Itself.  Seeing this movie reminded me of a lot of those movies and given a few tweaks here and there, I think its very possible to see the crossover stories on the big screen. I sure as hell hope if any story gets made, Civil War and World War Hulk gets done.

LASTLY, the camera work for this film is amazing, the use of the depth 3-D helps the movie in so many ways. I know many don’t like 3-D, but that’s in part to many not understanding it.Don Cheadle said it best, “Look, it’s me. I’m here. Deal with it. Let’s move on.” – Iron Man 2 – Rhodes. Many need to adapt those words to the use of 3-D. There is minimal shaky camera work in the movie, it mostly pretty clear minus maybe two fight scenes, though one is due to lighting which is why it’s not as great. I don’t know if this is my favourite thing about this movie, but I love  the fact that it is a full circle movie, everything brought up is then somehow mentioned again in a fresh new way. There are two “after credits scenes”, so be sure to stay and watch.

  • Overall rating of the movie: 4.8 out of 5,
  • Cinematography: 4.5 out of 5,
  • Editing: 4.5 out of 5,
  • Audio: 4 out of 5,
  • Acting: 4 out of 5,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Theatre in the best way you can (like Imax or something). Then blu ray, save up for a 3-D t.v. then buy the blu-ray 3-D version.

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

The Next Three Days Throwback Review

DirectorPaul Haggis

Writer: Paul Haggis (screenplay), Fred Cavayé

Russell Crowe
Elizabeth Banks
Michael Buie
Moran Atias
Erit
Remy Nozik
Jenna
Toby Green
Tyler Green
Jason Beghe
Aisha Hinds
Ty Simpkins
Veronica Brown
Female Guard #1
Olivia Wilde
Leslie Merrill
Alissa Haggis
Junkie
Daniel Stern
Meyer Fisk

In Pittsburgh,overwhelming evidence convicts Lara Brennan of killing her despised boss. For three years while she’s in county jail, her husband John cares for their young son and pursues appeals. When she loses, John decides to break her out. He consults a successful escape artist turned author, and he starts planning. He’ll need to disrupt jail routine, get IDs and passports, know how to evade a dragnet, find a destination, and squirrel away cash. Then, he gets word that Lara will be transferred to prison within the next three days– he’s out of time.

This was a movie I had wanted to see in theaters, but for one reason or another, I just didn’t get to it. so here’s my review.

The story is paced well I felt, with some moments here and there in the editing that gets this movie losing some points, but I shall get to that later. The movie starts off with a moment that is later played out in the film, and then back tracks (I’m not often a fan of those scenes but meh, it didn’t bother me too much). When we finally return to the main cast of the film, it’s at some bar and it’s a weird set of dialogue from the four characters about men and women and the work place. Then we cut to the next day, and kind of the ‘starting point’ to all the drama. Then it flicks to 3 years later, and then around the 20 min mark is when the ‘shit just got real’ moment happens. Russel Crowe’s character asks the question. ‘What if we choose to exist in a reality of our own making, does that render us insane?’ It’s at this moment I like to put myself into the story like ‘What would i do if that were me?’ That’s when you start to feel all the emotions really start to flow from Crowe (I’ll get to the acting next, bare with me). Once we get to the part where we learn he only has 3 days left, the story gets to be a lil more than one would believe, but still Hollywood enough for the audience to believe it is plausible. the story has an odd ending, but I’m going to leave that alone so you can watch it yourself.

RUSSEL CROWE CAN ACT! Since I saw him in Gladiator he has been in all these movies, and almost all have him acting at his best. He is so good at using words, facial expressions and body language to convey what he’s thinking, doing, and saying. Yes, the camera helps to emphasize these things, but it has to come from the actor first. The acting he gives us is nothing short of great like most of his other roles. I think it’s so hard to show believable affection to a kid that isn’t yours, but I would’ve sworn this kid was his they way he and the child acted with each other. Elizabeth Banks May be a good actor, but some of her moments weren’t all that. They just didn’t have the same emotion or any really emotion for that matter. She does have one moment that makes the audience really wonder what the hell? It’s when she “confesses” to killing her boss.. or was it just her insanity? The best actor besides Crowe, was Liam Neeson. Though only a cameo, it just had this essence of realism. The best acted moment is when John Brennan’s father discovers this will be the last time he says goodbye. John doesn’t know how or what his father knows, but he has the idea his dad knows this is “goodbye” and not “see you later, son”

The biggest problem I had in terms of editing and was, the time jumps. They weren’t bad, they just didn’t seem to fit well. It does give you a sympathy for John, but I feel that it could have been in terms of time jumps. There was a few random city shots that I felt weren’t needed in anyway. There wasn’t any shaky camera work that I noticed. There wasn’t any real noticeable meaningful camera shot. Yes, there were a few but nothing that was note worthy.

I don’t know how everyone else sees love, nor am I going to use this paragraph to explain my point of view on it totally. (Maybe I will in a rant or something) Love is shown in many various forms for each and every single one of us, but one thing we can all agree on, is that we know how much a person loves us by the lengths they go to, to prove it to us. Be it by simple loyalty, or by material things and everything in-between. But as I said, in these kind of movies, (drama movies really) I tend to put myself in the lead role to see if I’m actually willing to go those lengths depicted in the film for whatever the lead is chasing. It helps me connect to the film better. Its cool, I think, to see movies in that manner because then we, as the  audience, can realize our flaws as a person and where we could possibly improve. That didn’t happen so much for me because I know I’m pretty crazy when it comes something like this that I might actually do this. (Of course Might be screwed with that 72 hour curve ball.) Thats basically what this movie’s moral is. Just how far are we willing to go for our loved ones?  So if you watch this movie listen carefully to what Liam Neeson’s character says.

  • Overall rating of the movie: 3.6 out of 5,
  • Cinematography: 3 out of 5,
  • Editing: 3.5 out of 5,
  • Audio: 4 out of 5,
  • Acting: 4 out of 5,
  • Rent or Own? This one is tough but I think for the acting alone its worth an own.

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

The Raid Redemption TRAILER

The Raid: Redemption (Indonesian: Serbuan maut) is an Indonesian martial arts action film directed by Gareth Evans and starring Iko Uwais which is set for a 2012 release. This is the second collaboration of Evans and Uwais after their first action film, Merantau released in 2009. Both films showcase the traditional Indonesian martial artPencak Silat. The fight choreographers of The Raid are Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian who also worked on Merantau. The US release of the film features music by Mike Shinoda of rap rock band Linkin Park and Joseph Trapanese.

After its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), critics and audience alike hailed The Raidas one of the best action films in years.

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.

The Sitter Throwback Review

Todays entry is “The Sitter”. I wanted to see this movie for some time but never got around to doing it.  Directed by the same guy who brought us “Pineapple Express”, David Gordon Green It recently came out on Blu Ray and dvd, so I’ll be reviewing the Blu Ray copy.

The cover/case for “The Sitter” on Blu-Ray

Staring:

Going into this movie, I didn’t know much about it in terms of plot, and who was in it out side of Jonah Hill, which for some reason added to the lustre of me wanting to see the movie. The plot without giving away too much is:

(Possible *SPOILER ALERT*)

Noah is saddled with three kids, each of whom is dealing with his/her own growing pains. The night starts out badly enough, but when his dirtbag girlfriend calls with a request for cocaine and the promise of sex, he loads the brood up and heads out for an extended bout of child endangerment involving guns, bombs, fists and multiple thefts. But along the way, sitter and sittees mature in ways that no one expected.

Now I did my research and found out this movie is a “remake” of the 1987’s Adventures in Babysitting, though mind you, this movie differs greatly. Since this movie is a comedy I can’t really rate it as well as I would a “dramatic” movie or something in terms of acting. But Jonah Hill plays the same kind of character that we have seen him do basically since “Superbad”. Thats not so much a bad thing, let’s you know what to expect and I felt it fit perfectly to the movie. The kids though were the highlight of the film easily. The ones to watch is the daughter (Blithe Pedulla) and Rodrigo. Also WHY ISN’T Kylie Bunbury (as Roxanne) in more movies. EVEN IF YOU FEEL SHE CAN’T ACT, she is gorgeous, which is most of hollywood’s talent when it comes to acting (appearance versus actual skill)

The cinematography isn’t anything to rave about, nor was the editing. it was actually pretty disappointing. it makes up for it thought with great song selections most of which is hip-hop from the 80’s.

I was happy that even though there was a lot of jokes they were able to include a “moral” of the story without ruining the movie like so many comedic movies suffer from. The reason may be cause it wasn’t all done in the end like many others are, but spread throughout.

This was the last film before the weight loss Jonah Hill went through that can be seen in his newer movies like “21 Jump Street”.

The quality of the disc was pretty decent.

The Extra’s: The ten deleted (and/or alternate, otherwise extended) scenes run 26 minutes total, these in addition to a section entitled “Sits-n-Giggles” (three minutes), comprised of alternative takes and lines of dialogue tried on-set. The two-and-a-half-minute gag reel is for adults only, “The Making of The Sitter” is a fun a 15 minutes, complemented by the tongue-in-cheek “Jonah the Producer” (five minutes), and the brief “For Your Consideration” needs to be seen to be properly understood. All of these extras are in HD, and the Blu-ray also supports BD-Live.

Disc Two is a DVD-ROM with the movie in standard definition as well as a Digital Copy of the Unrated edition for iTunes, Windows Media or Android.


Product Details

  • Director: David Gordon Green
  • Audio Format/Languages: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (English). Dolby Digital 5.1 (French, Spanish, English Descriptive Audio)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rating: R/Unrated
  • Studio: Fox
  • Release Date: March 20, 2012
  • Run Time: 81/87 minutes
  • List Price: $39.99
  • Extras:
    • Deleted/Alternate/Extended Scenes
    • Gag Reel
    • “Sits-n-Giggles”
    • “For Your Consideration”
    • “The Making of The Sitter
    • “Jonah the Producer”
    • BD-Live
    • DVD
    • Digital Copy
 Overall rating of the movie: 3 out of 5, Cinematography: 2 outta 5, Editing: 2.8 out of 5, Audio: 4 out of 5, Acting: 4 out of 5. Comedy 3.5 out of 5

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

– Xavier


The Warm-Up [Video Mix]

So, yesterday I decided I was gonna play around in a program that I haven’t used in years. When I opened it I literally stared at my screen for a good 10 min thinkin “WTF?”.lol While sitting there trying to figure out how to use it, I thought all hope was completely lost for that program till everything came rushing back to me. Thus having the video y’all are about to watch. With that being said, scroll down and watch the video. I’ve also made it available for MP3 download as well, so you can listen to it while you do your little 15 minute work out.

With that being said, watch the video…like it…rate it…comment
You can also subscribe to our YouTube page (STARKMaDD Tube)…we’ll be adding some more video’s in the future

The link is on the side with the rest of the other mixes just click “The Warm-Up Mix” to download

Enjoy,
Courtesy of yours truly
Mr STARKMaDD

The Shining Throwback Movie Review

That Stephen King guy…. I tell you.

Now I’ve never seen this movie in my life. I actually went into this movie thinking it was a entirely different movie. But I digress, the plot for “The Shining

A novelist – Jack Torrance takes a job interview as winter caretaker of the isolated, Overlook Hotel. In the interview, Jack is told by the manager himself, that the previous caretaker – Charles Grady, chopped his family and later killed himself with a shotgun. Ignoring the story, Jack brings his wife – Wendy and his son Danny. Danny, sees disturbing visions of the hotel’s past using a telepathic gift known as “The Shining”.  Some of the visions come from Tony – “the little boy who lives in Danny’s mouth”. Danny meets Dick Hallorann  – the hotel cook on their first day arriving at the Overlook, who also has this “Shining” and he warns him about the hotel and the sinister Room 237.  Later as Jack Torrance, is underway in a writing project he slowly slips into insanity as a result of cabin fever and former guests of the hotel’s ghosts, turning more and more aggressive, at the point that Danny and Wendy gets convinced that Jack might try to do the same thing, Grady did.

Starring:

  • Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance
  • Shelley Duvall as Wendy Torrance
  • Danny Lloyd as Danny Torrance
  • Scatman Crothers as Dick Hallorann
  • Barry Nelson as Stuart Ullman
  • Philip Stone as Delbert Grady
  • Joe Turkel as Lloyd the bartender
  • Anne Jackson as Doctor
  • Tony Burton as Larry Durkin
  • Barry Dennen as Bill Watson
  • Lisa and Louise Burns as the Grady girls

Now I wanna get to the acting before anything. Shelly Duvall RUINED THIS MOVIE IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY. Her poor choices as an actor and the failure of the director, Stanley Kuberick A.K.A the man who “thinks too much and feels too little” to notice her poor performance. (The director gets a next rant all his own.) She goes around with her  half assed running for a lot of this movie, if not just the end. now she’s not entirely to blame, the writers are just as bad, for I read that the script was changed almost everyday of production for this movie. I also read she had many arguments with the director so maybe she acted so poorly knowing they couldn’t fire her which would result in a delay of the movie.

The director now. He should have stuck to the original source material and kept what happens to Jack more supernatural than from within Jack’s mind. It would have made the ending make more sense. Even though the audience is aware that something is wrong and Jack is seeing ghosts but, You REALLY have to guess that is what’s happening. The entire time I was so lost, and bored I felt like I was going insane myself.

The pace for this movie is so slow, its redundant. Though I’m told that is purposeful so that you “sympathize” with Jack. But I did that already when I seen who his wife was. Danny was ok… really can’t judge a child actor if they aren’t Dakota Fanning. Due to the pace you never really actually feel that he goes crazy. and the time jumping also ruins the movie and any message it was trying to convey

The quality of this Blu-Ray is amazing for a re-master is shocking. A lot of the re-masters aren’t always as great as could be, but this one was well done. Makes the opening ariel shots so breath taking.

Which brings me to camera work, which is probably the only saving grace of the movie outside of Jack Nicholson’s acting ability. The use of steady cam (This camera rig thats is set up on this vest , which is on a person, thats connected to this unipod like mount so that a cameraman can walk around and the camera doesn’t have the bob that is natural from people walking) is HEAVY in this movie. It makes everything so creepy. Like when Danny is on the plastic big wheel, it just feels so terrifying . I feel like they copied “The Omen”. 

The special features are only really cool if you’re a film buff, student, no deleted/alternate scenes.

Overall rating of the movie: 3 out of 5, cinematography: 3.9 out of 5, editing: 3 out of 5, Audio: 3 out of 5, Scare Factor: 1 out of 5. Rent-Own? RENT. But watch it with someone, helps to keep you awake.

The Woman In Black Movie Review

Hello all.

Today’s movie review is as the title says, “THE WOMAN IN BLACK” starring Harry Potter… Whoops I mean Daniel Radcliff. His first movie, since ending the eight movie franchise “Harry Potter”.The story for this remake is: Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) is a young lawyer who is depressed by the loss of his beautiful wife after giving birth to a son. His son, now grown to a toddler, draws pictures of him with a sad face. He is assigned to prepare a large house for sale on a marsh and travels to an obscure village where he is shunned by most of the townspeople. He visits the Eel Marsh House, the estate of the late Alice Drabow, to look it over, but finds his job has grown more perilous as it is haunted by the ghost of a woman scorned. He learns from the villagers that the ghost of the woman in black seeks revenge against their children because her child was taken away from her. Kipps is befriended by Sam (Ciaran Hinds) and his wife Elizabeth (Janet McTeer). They, too, have lost a son, and they help the lawyer to investigate the background of the estate and what happened.

starring along side Radcliff is:

  • Ciarán Hinds as Sam Daily, a local landowner
  • Janet McTeer as Elizabeth Daily, Daily’s wife
  • Sophie Stuckey as Stella Kipps, Arthur’s wife
  • Misha Handley as Joseph Kipps, Arthur’s son
  • Liz White as Jennet Humfrye, The Woman in Black
  • Daniel Cerqueira as Keckwick, the carriage driver
  • Tim McMullan as Jerome, the local solicitor
  • Aoife Doherty as Lucy Jerome, Jerome’s daughter
  • Roger Allam as Mr Bentley, senior partner of Kipps’ firm
  • Victor McGuire as Gerald Hardy, a villager
  • Alexia Osborne as Victoria Hardy, Hardy’s daughter
  • David Burke as PC Collins, village constable
  • Ashley Foster as Nathaniel Drablow, The Woman in Black’s son
  • Jessica Raine as Joseph’s Nanny
  • Shaun Dooley as Fisher, village innkeeper
  • Mary Stockley as Mrs Fisher
  • Sidney Johnston as Nicholas Daily, Daily’s son

This remake from the 1989 T.V. movie seems to sway away from the old one slightly with characters and plot. (Fyi, if you ever seen the Potter movies, the man who plays “James Potter” plays “Arthur Kipps” in the original the “son really becomes the father” lol.)

*SPOILER ALERT*

Now even though I’m not a big fan of horror cause for years now, most have been VERY shitty, I gave this movie a chance cause I was hearing good things and I was curious as to how well Radcliff would do post the Potter series. He didn’t really impress. Now I never thought he was a superb actor, but he seemed to be decent. Mind you, we all basically seen him in one role, unless you noticed him as “Edmund” in “The Simpson’s”. But I digress, I got scared maybe a total of three times. That’s no record or anything. But in my defence, I REALLY DIDN’T SEE IT COMING when I did get scared. The first one was roughly around 20 or so minutes in. Then again two more time around the 50 minute mark.

Acting wise, Radcliff and crew, as I said, were ok at best. Nothing to brag home about.

Cinematography and effects were decent as well. It felt like the camera was always moving and for some reason I really enjoyed that. It wasn’t shaky cam so it wasn’t annoying like other movies. But other than that, the only shots that stood out were something like this. Think of a cartoon where you see someone dreaming and theres that dream bubble just over their head. This picture is just the same thing almost.

The only issue I had with this movie was how Arthur Kipps character story arc is wrapped up. I won’t ruin it but, heres a hint…. “Drag Me To Hell”.

 

Overall rating of the movie: 3 out of 5, Cinematography: 3.6 outta 5, Editing: 4.8 out of 5, Audio: 4 out of 5, Acting: 3 out of 5

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

– Xavier