Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category
Michael Bay’s “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” received terrible reviews from critiques but praise from audiences. Scoring a 38% and 90% respectively on RottenTomatoes.com
While Michael Bay’s “big film/big budget formula” may not appeal to all it does attract a crowd, making $162.1M at the box office so far. The movie was everything I expected awesome special effects, lots of action, and not much story. Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon was better than Transformers 2: Revenge of the fallen in all but once capacity (I miss Megan Fox). Do not watch this movie if you are expecting Shakespeare but a must see if you like senseless action packed block busters full of special effects.
We learn that mankind’s first mission to the moon was intended to investigate an alien space craft that crashed on the dark side. This ship, “the Arc,” carried the Autobots last hope to our solar system a long time ago.
Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), who earlier saved the world but now has a job in a mail room, and Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), who is his sexy girlfriend. There are also such characters as Mearing (Frances McDormand), a government official; Bruce Brazos (John Malkovich), Sam’s anal-retentive boss; Carly’s boss Dylan (Patrick Dempsey), whose classic car collection upstages every robot in the movie; the FBI manipulator Simmons (John Turturro) ; the peculiar Jerry Wang (Ken Jeong), and the expert warriors Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and Epps (Tyrese Gibson).
J.J. Abrams’ Super 8 film recalls those old great summer movies. Particullary those of the films producer, Steven Spielberg. Abrams’ long-awaited science fiction drama is in one word awesome.
The trailers give very little to draw from, Super 8 from the start lays a foundation of mystery to the story and for once it didn’t give too much away. And while the mystery is intriguing in its own right, it says something about the strength and conviction of the storytelling when the movie works in spite of it. The tension surrounding whatever escaped from that train car will lure people into theaters, but it’s the human elements that will stay with them after they leave.
A period sci-fi thriller set in 1979, around a small Ohio town. The film follows a group of middle school students making a zombie movie on their summer vacation. One night, while shooting at an empty train station, a pickup truck drives onto the tracks and collides with an oncoming train. The kids survive and discover the truck’s driver is one of their own school teachers. He points a gun at them and tells them to run away just before the military arrives. It happens that their film camera was running the entire time and caught footage of some very confidential cargo. When the locals start to disappear and even the inquisitive deputy can’t come up with answers, suspicions emerge. As the truth finally comes out, no one is prepared to learn what now stalks the unsuspecting citizens of this once quiet community.
A solid piece of family entertainment, the plot of Super 8 is but an engine for a greater emotional story.
X-Men: First Class, the prequel to the X-Men movies, fills in the back story of charcters you have grown to love or lays the foundation to a start loving them. So weather your a mutant guru or you know little about the franchise, X-men First Class stands on its own. Powerful performances, good story, classy direction, and a top notch cast infuses a fresh breath of life to the old X-Men franchise! It has all the right ingredients for a super hit movie.
You might not have guessed Professor X would have been a lively, charming guy who flirted a lot, or that Mystique was actually like a sister to Professor X before joining hands with Magneto. Magneto and Professor X were as close as brothers when they were still known as Erik Lehnsherr and Charles Xavier. The movie not only showcases the origins of the X-Men, but also the intricate and interwoven relationships shared by the central characters.
The movie begins with how Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr get to know of their powers, the way they grow up, understand their abilities, and learn to control them. Then the movie goes on to show how they join forces with the government to avert a nuclear holocaust during the cold war period, there is not a single dull moment. It is Interesting to see how they have woven the real world with the “X-Men Universe” and give good reason to set the movie in the 1960. Strong dialogues and repartees between the characters feel as if taken from real history, some gems like “Peace was never an option”, and “Mutant and Proud!” would be good examples of this.
James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender do complete justice to their roles as Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr respectively. Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw, the nefarious scientist who heads the hellfire club which seeks to end the human race, is menacing. Director Matthew Vaughn has ensured that the viewer gets to feel the anger in Erik’s eyes, and the compassion in Xavier’s voice, on a personal level. The racy narration and non-stop action keeps the viewers riveted to their seats. X-Men: First Class answers all questions that a person would have had after watching the earlier X-Men movies, and it ensures that it is a perfect prequel in the sense that it leaves no loose threads and establishes a solid platform for the unraveling of the X-Men universe.
Chris Hemsworth gives a breakout performance as fallen Norse god Thor in Marvel’s summer blockbuster, which co-stars Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins.
The Marvel universe moves into the cosmic realm with the 3D Thor, the mighty god of thunder. It’s a noisy, universe-rattling spectacle full of sound and fury with a suitably epic design, solid digital effects and a healthy respect for the comic-book lore that turned a mythological Norse god into a founding member of the superhero team known as The Avengers. A Shakespearean play of feuding fathers and sons. The movie’s dramatic arc falters amid the constant shifts between earthly and celestial realms.
The ultimate accessibility of Thor’s fantastical world is due in no small measure to the good-humored direction of Kenneth Branagh, a man knows his way around an epic tale, and a star-making performance from Chris Hemsworth. The ladies will love 6-foot-3 Hemsworth, he brings a lusty Viking charm to his rumbling Olde English line readings, a towering physicality and biceps that look forged in a furnace. The man is ripped, can’t say I wasn’t a little jealous.
Thor crashes into being in a desolate stretch of New Mexico desert, his face planted inelegantly against the windscreen of an RV driven by Natalie Portman’s storm-chasing scientist Jane Foster.
As Jane, her mentor Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) and sidekick Darcy (Kat Dennings) puzzle over his provenance, we whip back in time and space to the floating kingdom of Asgard, where Thor’s father Odin (Hopkins), the ruler of all nine realms, fills in decades of back story in voiceover.
Back in the desert, we get some solidly amusing fish-out-of-water antics as the mighty Thor struggles to adapt to his mortality and a world of Facebook and iPods, but scriptwriters Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz and Don Payne working from an effective origin story by J. Michael Straczynski and Mark Protosevich, have their eye on a bigger prize.
The action pinballs between Asgard, the desolate ice planet of Jotunheim, and Earth, where a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent from the Iron Man films (Clark Gregg) is making it difficult for Thor to retrieve his magic hammer and save the humans and the kingdom of Asgard from the forces that would destroy them.
Opening to many mixed reviews Hangover II still managed to rake in over 137 Million this Memorial day weekend. It was one of the most anticipated sequels of the summer. And while some may have been disappointed by this “just like the original, transplanted to Thailand” the general consenses were not. (Only 33% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes going into this weekend. But moviegoers gave the pic an “A-”.) Hangover 2 opened after midnight Thursday in a wide 2,600 locations with $10.4 million. That set the record for the highest grossing R-rated midnight show. (The previous record was Paranormal Activity’s $6.3M.) And is the biggest 3-day weekend comedy debut ever, beating The Simpsons Movie’s $74M.
Doubling down on the formula that made “The Hangover” the most successful R-rated comedy ever, “Hangover II” leaves no avenue unexplored in its relentless quest to assault sensibilities, and breach taboos. The premise is pure deja vu. On the day following a bachelor party for Stu, he awakens alongside Phil and Alan in a decimated hotel room. The men have pounding heads, physical disfigurements of mysterious origin, amnesia about what went on the night before, and no clue where the fourth member of their party has disappeared. This time it happens in Thailand and the AWOL friend — Stu’s teenage brother-in-law-to-be — isn’t entirely gone. He left behind his college ring, with his finger still in it. Paraphrasing the line immortalized by Catherine O’Hara in “Home Alone 2,” Phil moans, “It happened again!”
And how. Repeating the structure of the first film beat for beat, writer-director Todd Phillips keeps things fresh by going sleazier and more depraved, a litany of pain and suffering played for laughs. It’s one part comedy to four parts juvenile delinquency.
They discover neon-lit shopping districts the Bangkok Tourist Board doesn’t publicize. They’re terrorized by underworld types, shot at by motorcycle goons, saddled with a corpse, mocked by the police, beaten by a Buddhist monk, loved up by a showgirl with unexpected attributes, and serenaded by a former heavyweight champ who perpetrates some of the worst singing ever recorded. Their only friend is a chain-smoking capuchin monkey, and tobacco is the least of its oral fixations.
Ken Jeong’s fey, obnoxious gangsta-talking crime lord Mr. Chow also makes a return. He reprises the role here, taking it to wilder reaches of insanity, posing for a still photo in the end credits montage that is so appallingly tasteless in its recreation of a historical outrage that it’s nearly genius.
So although it lacks the suprise element the first film had, it is still a great time. While some sequals get lost in trying to hard to be unique, this movie losses its pow being to much the same. It instead attempts to one up everything from the first.
In The Hangover Part II, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), Alan (Zach Galifianakis) and Doug (Justin Bartha) travel to exotic Thailand for Stu’s wedding. After the unforgettable bachelor party in Las Vegas, Stu is taking no chances and has opted for a safe, subdued pre-wedding brunch. However, things don’t always go as planned. What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but what happens in Bangkok can’t even be imagined. — (C) Warner Bros
Although Super8 film projectors are now beyond absolute, that did not stop is Camera nut Friedemann Wachsmuth. His painstakingly constructed a fully functional Super 8 Movie Projector using only Lego Technic (well almost). The only non-Lego parts are the lens, the reel spindles and the lamp. Lego projector runs at 24fps without mangling celluloid, not bad for only the most minor use of non-Lego parts. A labor of camera geek love.
The projector uses just two engines and is fully featured with automatic feeding, 24 fps, fast rewind and 120m reel capabilities. A decent LED flashlight makes it pretty amazingly bright.
“May the 4th be with you.” is the quote on StarWars.com, but what could it be? In classic LucasArts style the big reveal set for 6:00am PST has left me wanting. The tease countdown that promised ”All will be revealed” today, revealed very little.
Lucasfilm was tight-lipped, and secrecy was the whole point. I think more because there is not much to be said about the “big reveal” than to be secretive in itself.
So whats was this big seceret? what the hoopla about?…
“The Complete Saga on Blu-ray September 2011.”
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Thats Right, all that for something that is coming out in SEPTEMBER!!! I facepalm at you Lucas.
The wheels have yet to come off this car-crazy franchise and the fifth installment, set in a much grittier Rio than the recent screen version. A Smash-’em-up heist film sturdy enough to please much of the franchise fans.
Fast Five (Fast and Furious 5) director Justin Lin, back for his third go-around, opens it up in top gear; 30 seconds in and the first screech of tires hits the air. Former cop Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) and girlfriend Mia (Jordana Brewster) along with some friends bust Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) out of a prison transport bus.
On the run in Rio de Janeiro, unlike the typical Rio location film, filled with the famously underclad residents and luscious beach backdrops. We get favelas and back-street garages and gun-toting bad guys. Still eye-candy did not lack; for we are given beautiful women (Jordana Brewster, Gal Gadot, Elsa Pataky) and many beautiful cars.
After making a mortal enemy of the city’s reigning drug lord, Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida), Dom and company find themselves in a jam that makes illegal street-racing look like kids’ stuff. With tank-like federal agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) hot on their trail and Reyes’ henchmen blasting at them with rocket-propelled grenades, Dom decides the only way to buy freedom is with $100 million of Reyes’ money.
So he assembles a dream team, calling in franchise favorites including Tej (Chris “Ludacris” Bridges), Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Han (Sung Kang) and Gisele (Gal Gadot) for “one last job.”
Big crashes, beautiful women and roiling testosterone, not to mention the addition of The Rock as a fire-and-brimstone federal agent – there’s plenty to pull in the audience that’s followed over a decade the turbo-charged adventures of a gang of street-racers.
There’s something endearingly old-fashioned about a love story involving a beautiful bareback rider and a kid who runs off to join the circus. What makes “Water for Elephants” more intriguing is a third character, reminding us why Christoph Waltz deserved his supporting actor Oscar for “Inglourious Basterds” (2009). He plays the circus owner, who is married to the bareback rider and keeps her and everyone else in his iron grip.
Based on the best-seller by Sara Gruen, is told as a flashback by an old man named Jacob (Hal Holbrook), who lost his parents in 1931, dropped out of Cornell University’s veterinary school, hit the road and hopped a train. Played by Robert Pattinson as a youth, he is naive and excited, and his eyes fill with wonder as he sees the beautiful Marlena (Reese Witherspoon) on her white show horse. The owner August (Waltz) is prepared to throw him off the train until he learns young Jacob knows something about veterinary medicine.
Scre4m – Movie Review
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Horror
Synopsis: In Scream 4, Sidney Prescott, now the author of a self-help book, returns home to Woodsboro on the last stop of her book tour. There she reconnects with Sheriff Dewey and Gale, the newscaster who is now his wife, as well as her cousin Jill (played by Emma Roberts) and her Aunt Kate (Mary McDonnell). Unfortunately Sidney’s appearance also brings about the return of Ghostface, putting Sidney, Gale, and Dewey, along with Jill, her friends, and the whole town of Woodsboro in danger. The newest installment in the acclaimed franchise that ushered in a new wave of horror in the 1990s is written by series creator Kevin Williamson and directed by suspense master and director of the first trilogy, Wes Craven. The film stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox-Arquette, David Arquette, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Rory Culkin, Anthony Anderson, Adam Brody, Mary McDonnell, Marley Shelton, Nico Tortorella, Marielle Jaffe, Kristen Bell, Anna Paquin, Lucy Hale, Shanae Grimes, Aimee Teegarden and Brittany Robertson.
For a franchise that is based on charcters knowing the rules and order of horror movies, such as who will die next. They sure don’t know when to let one go. Please just let the Scream series die already. The first was epic in its’ concept, but its getting old now, they are trying way to hard.
It opens with a clever series of horror scenes that emerge one from another like nested Russian dolls. All through the movie, “Scre4m” lets us know that it knows exactly what it’s up to — and then goes right ahead and gets up to it.
Neve Campbell returns as Sidney Prescott, a hometown girl who has written a best seller and has returned to Woodsboro. A town which has already seen so many fatal slashings, why anyone still lives there. to promote it. My own inclination would be to stay the hell away from the location of the killings in the original “Scream,” but hey, that’s just comon sense which has no buisness in horror films. The body count in “Scre4m” mounts relentlessly until you wonder whether everyone in the cast is going to be killed, with the movie ending on an empty room (with the phone ringing).
Sidney’s cousin Jill (Emma Roberts) has a posse of fellow teenagers who spend most of the time picking up the phone and answering the door when they absolutely shouldn’t. They know that in a horror movie when you walk past a dark doorway something is likely to jump out at you. But when they get a call from someone saying “my face will be the last sight you see,” and then the doorbell rings — do they answer it?
Maybe that’s the point. Perhaps Craven and Williamson are making an ironic and cynical comment on the bloody tradition of the genre. “Scre4m” provides exactly what its audience will expect: one victim after another being slashed, skewered, stabbed, gutted and sliced, with everyone in on the joke. Maybe that’s your idea of a good time.
Synopsis: A teenage girl goes out into the world for the first time – and has to battle for her life. Director Joe Wright weaves elements of dark fairy tales into the adventure thriller Hanna, filmed on location in Europe and Morocco. Hanna (played by Saoirse Ronan) is 16 years old. She is bright, inquisitive, and a devoted daughter. Uniquely, she has the strength, the stamina, and the smarts of a soldier; these come from being raised by her widowed father Erik (Eric Bana), an ex-CIA man, in the wilds of North Finland. Erik has taught Hanna to hunt, put her through extreme self-defense workouts, and home-schooled her with only an encyclopedia and a book of fairy tales. Hanna has been living a life unlike any other teenager; her upbringing and training have been one and the same, all geared to making her the perfect assassin. But out in the world there is unfinished business for Hanna’s family, and it is with a combination of pride and apprehension that Erik realizes his daughter can no longer be held back.
‘Hanna’ is a first-rate thriller. It opens to a teenage girl killing a deer with her bow and arrow, as she’s gutting the carcass, a man sneaks up behind, “You’re dead!” She engages in a fierce hand-to-hand battle with this man, who turns out to be her father.
Gradually most, not all, of the details come clear. Hanna has been taught advanced and ruthless killing skills as a means of self-defense against her enemies. Her father, Erik, fears for her safety and his own. He is apparently an agent whose skills and knowledge are so formidable that a CIA officer named Marissa (Cate Blanchett) is obsessed with capturing him — and the child.
We know that Marissa has found the house in the woods. Hanna and Erik don’t know that, however. Erik decrees it is time for Hanna to test her survival skills in the real world, but when he sets her free, they’re both quickly discovered by Marissa’s CIA hunters.
Consider how hard it is to be Hanna. You have never known anyone your own age. You have apparently never met a woman. You speak several languages fluently. You are the master of martial arts and adept at many weapons. Your dad has drilled you to memorize every word in a one-volume encyclopedia that looks like it came as a free gift for opening a new account at a savings & loan. So you are all topped up on facts but have no knowledge at all of the real world.
It’s quirky, has something to say, a certain wit and a command of the visual poetry of action. There is nevertheless something disturbing about the conversion of little girls into ruthlessly efficient fighters who can kill dozens of people and not give it a second thought.
Joe Wright demonstrates that action movies need not be mindless. There is a role for creative choreography in them, even in largely CGI scenes like a chase sequence involving shipping containers on a dock. Even when human bodies are not really there, their apparent movements must be choreographed, and that sequence is a beauty.
“Hanna” is good, sound filmmaking. It depends on stylistic order and discipline, a clear story map and ingenious action sequences. It is not all banging and flashing. To see a movie like this is to gain a new understanding of the mindless confusion of something like “Battle: Los Angeles.”
“Source Code” is a genius thriller wrapped in science fiction, but even though it involves a lot of time travel and quantum physics, it is still easy to follow and comes together in the end. It feels claustrophobic at times, with in the confines of a train trough out most of the movie. There is a definite sense of doom and dread right from the beginning.
Jake Gyllenhaal plays the role of Capt. Colter Stevens, who has been entered into a government project dubbed the Source Code. Colter is thrown back in time, on board a Chicago-bound train that was destroyed by a terrorist bomb, killing everyone on board. Over the course of the film, we slowly learn a bit more about Colter, and why he is an ideal candidate to be part of the Source Code program, and his motivation for carrying out the mission.
Colter has about eight minutes to solve the mystery of where the bomb is located and discover the identity of the terrorist and prevent a larger explosion that could destroy Chicago. But like the movie “Groundhog Day,” he can keep replaying the scenario on the train, over and over, until he finds his answers.
Joining Colter on the train is Christina (Michelle Monaghan from “Eagle Eye” and “Gone Baby Gone“), who banters and flirts with Colter. Another key role here is Capt. Colleen Goodwin (Vera Farmiga), who works for the Source Code project, navigating Colter back and forth in time. Goodwin is pivotal in helping this story play out in the end.
The film can’t help but be compared to the time-hopping movie “Twelve Monkeys,” starring Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis. In that film, Willis is sent back in time to find the cause of a virus outbreak years earlier. Other easy comparisons are underrated films “The Jacket” and “The Butterfly Effect,” also about time travel but a bit confusing and can make the viewer lose interest.
“Source Code” on the other hand uses enough just enough sci-fi to keep viewers informed without losing their interest. In short this is a sci-fi movie with a good plot and script, unlike many of its “sci-fi cousins” which rely too heavily on special effets.