Quick Description

Hate movie spoilers? Good! You'll get straight to the point, quick, and spoiler-free movie reviews to help you spend your time and money wisely on movies. I'll give you the Good, the Bad, the Reason, and the Rating about each movie. ***Please disable any popup blockers***

Monday, August 14, 2017

Annabelle: Creation Movie Review


From time to time, I will be writing my reviews or articles for different websites. Since those websites technically own the review, I can't really post them here. However, I can still provide a link for you to read my review. So just click below to read my review.

Annabelle: Creation Review


My [Loosely based] Ratings scale
10-9 = A Must watch at any cost. 
8.5- 7.5 = Theater worthy 
7-6.5 = Matinee/rental worthy at best
6 = Watchable (If it's free)
5 - below = Avoid at all costs

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Detroit Movie Review


From time to time, I will be writing my reviews or articles for different websites. Since those websites technically own the review, I can't really post them here. However, I can still provide a link for you to read my review. So just click below to read my review.

Detroit Review

Podcast Discussion (Spoiler Alert)
Click Here to listen in on my thoughts on Detroit in a bit more depth as I guest starred on the Feeling Film Podcast.  This expands a bit more on my thoughts in the "Bad" section and it's worth the listen.

My [Loosely based] Ratings scale
10-9 = A Must watch at any cost. 
8.5- 7.5 = Theater worthy 
7-6.5 = Matinee/rental worthy at best
6 = Watchable (If it's free)
5 - below = Avoid at all costs

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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Atomic Blonde Movie Review


The Trailer:

The Good:
I think from the very beginning, it's apparent that you're going to be seeing a fresh and vibrant film with an 80's vibe to it. The look and feel of the movie tie-in perfectly given the time and setting that takes place.

Charlize Theron deserves a lot of credit in this action-packed role. One thing that I enjoyed about her character was that she was ruthless and efficient, but at the same time she showed signs of vulnerability. She wasn't some stone cold killer that was invincible.

Speaking of which, major props go to Charlize for obviously putting in a lot of time and dedication towards the training for this film. She was amazing in her fight scenes. You can definitely tell that it's Charlize throwing the punches and kicks in the film all thanks to how the director shot the scenes.

One of the most standout scenes in the film is a major fight and chase sequence towards the final act of the movie. Director David Leitch does an outstanding job of capturing this very long sequence of non-stop fighting and car chases. What made it so great was the fact that most, if not all, were captured in long continuous takes. That means there's little to no room for stunt doubles to come in or out. It's all the actors doing the crazy stunts. (At least that's how it appeared to be anyway.)

The Bad:
The only real issue I had with this film was the story wasn't very interesting. While this typically isn't always the case for most action films anyway, this movie didn't really feel like the usual action film either. It was a mix of espionage, mystery and intense action. However, the espionage aspect seemed to fall a bit short. (Maybe the time and setting of the Cold War didn't resonate with me due to my own ignorance of the time and events.)

There are some big twists that really don't feel that surprising; or better yet, they're kind of predictable. Then when you discover some of the other reveals later in the film, it almost felt a bit forced and underwhelming. I suppose it felt like they just did a "gotcha" type of reveal just for the sake of doing it. The mystery that is supposed to be unraveled in the film just feels like it takes a back seat to everything else happening.

The Reason:
Atomic Blonde was a decent film that is carried by an awesome 20 minute action packed sequence. Charlize Theron kicks butt in more ways than one, and proves that women certainly can carry these types of films with no problem. It's certainly worth the watch but I'd probably say more so as a matinee. If you waited to watch it at home, you may feel like you'd get a better payoff at the end of the day.

The Rating: 7/10
My [Loosely based] Ratings scale
10-9 = A Must watch at any cost. 
8.5- 7.5 = Theater worthy 
7-6.5 = Matinee/rental worthy at best
6 = Watchable (If it's free)
5 - below = Avoid at all costs

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Dunkirk Movie Review


The Trailer:

Spoiler Discussion:

The Good:
One thing that this film does with unquestionable precision is deliver really intense moments of suspense. Writer/Director Christopher Nolan does an impeccable job of communicating the sense of danger that the war created for the Allied soldiers. It felt as though there were rarely moments when the audience could really get a moment to breathe or be comfortable.

One thing that I appreciated with this film was that Nolan did not rely on over sensationalizing the effects of war with gratuitous scenes. We didn't have to see soldiers with their limbs cut off and blood everywhere. The look of depression and helplessness was written on every soldier's face.

On paper, Dunkirk gets the basics right from a technical standpoint. Nolan certainly put his camerawork to play with really engaging shots and angles that draw you deeper into the film in a visual sense. One of the best examples would probably be the scenes in the air fighter planes. So many times it felt as though I was flying the actual plane as the pilot.

Besides that, the score by Hans Zimmer was perfectly done. The music intensified in the face of danger, or lightened up during times of relief. The sound design of the film was also really well done. Almost every time you hear a gun shot or explosion it sounds as if you're hearing the real thing and not just some sound dub.

There were some touching moments in the film, but the ones that stand out the most may be Tom Hardy's scenes. I would say that while his role was not the biggest in the film, he certainly steals the movie. He's one of the few characters that audiences can connect with, and his scenes were some of the best highlights of the film.

The Bad:
Christopher Nolan typically masters the art of time elapsing in his films, but that's not the case here. While you may eventually catch up with the various time overlaps in the story, they simply did not appear to be well done in my opinion. It seemed a bit confusing because at one moment we're in "Time B", but then we go back to visit "Time A", only to see how "Johnny" later syncs up with "Time C". (Did you catch all that?) Maybe Nolan outsmarted some people with how he handles the time elapsing, but in my opinion, it just came off as poor editing.

As someone who's experienced foreign language films, I was surprised at how difficult it was to make out some of the dialogue. Some of the English accents were really thick, and it caused a bit of a distraction. Characters would convey important information in the movie but you may find yourself instead trying to decipher what they said in the first place.

I think this film's focus also hurt the story too. It seemed as though the film couldn't make up its mind in terms of having us focus on the collection of characters or the historical war event itself. Because of that, it became rather difficult for me to emotionally connect with either aspect of the film. While we have a few characters that appear to be the focus, we don't really get enough from them to become emotionally invested. Sure, we may be happy that this or that person may survive, but it becomes quickly forgettable at the end of the film.

Furthermore, this movie was intended to focus on the rescue efforts at Dunkirk. According to the director, this movie is not a "war movie" but more so a "rescue movie". If that is the case, then the very rescue moments in the film are quickly overshadowed by so many other things in the movie. Tom Hardy's scenes quickly erase and overshadow the rescue moments. There's also so much more time devoted to the perils of war, and not the rescue itself, that the payoff just felt very underwhelming.

The Reason
:

First of all, make no mistake about it. I am a huge Nolan fan. So in no way shape or form should anyone take these criticisms as me being cynical. The reason I say this is because for some reason there are number of critics and outlets suggesting that this movie is practically flawless. While I have no problem with people really liking the movie, it does feel a bit disingenuous to me that some would fail to find at least some flaws in this movie.

I think that Dunkirk was a technically sound movie. The visuals, the music, and the sounds all warrant for the film to be seen in theaters. It makes you feel like you've gone through a war-like setting by giving you that unique experience. On one hand, I think that Dunkirk delivers the expected intellectual aspects that a Nolan film should provide. On the other hand, it also lacks the emotional punch that most war films or even rescue films leave you feeling when the movie is complete. (I got more feels from Hacksaw Ridge)

I think Dunkirk is worth checking out in theaters, but with some caveats. If you're a Nolan fan and a film purist, feel free to go see this and make up your own mind. If you're a casual movie fan who's expecting a "war movie", then I'd say lower your expectations and maybe make this more of a matinee outing instead. As a Nolan fan myself, I'm disappointed that this isn't Nolan's best work, but Nolan's worst is still good quality compared to others.

The Rating: 7/10
My [Loosely based] Ratings scale
10-9 = A Must watch at any cost. 
8.5- 7.5 = Theater worthy 
7-6.5 = Matinee/rental worthy at best
6 = Watchable (If it's free)
5 - below = Avoid at all costs

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Friday, July 14, 2017

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review


The Trailer:

Video Review:

The Good:
I really appreciated the introduction of this movie starting off with a very quick and efficient recap of the past two movies. If you only vaguely remembered the previous Apes films, that recap gave you just enough information to get you all caught up.

Probably one of the greatest strengths of this film are its characters and their development. The most amazing thing about this movie is that you will become invested in almost every single character (ape or human). Even the deaths in this film will feel meaningful. Not only that, but the characters are not one-dimensional. There are very few characters that are bad just to be bad, for example. They're all complex and so are their motivations.

I loved how the characters and the plot were not entirely predictable either. Certain characters will appear to be motivated to do something, but then end up doing the complete opposite of what you may expect. Their motivations really drive the story, and keep the characters from being stale or boring. Don't be surprised if you have a difficult time in trying to choose a side to root for or support.

One character you'll have no problem supporting is "Bad Ape". He was most definitely the much needed comic relief in the film. I really appreciated how they didn't overdo his character by forcing him to be too funny.

Director Matt Reeves should certainly be deserving of some praise for this film. (Dare I say he needs award consideration too!) I never paid a lot of attention to a movie's musical score until I heard a bad one in All Eyez On Me. (TuPac's death scene with the random gospel song.) That's when I realized how the musical selection can potentially captivate or detach you from the emotional impact of a scene. This film played just the right songs to match the intensity of battle, or drama of an emotional moment. Besides the score, there are some really great scenes that are captured through some excellent cinematography.

While the majority of this film and characters are mainly CGI, Andy Serkis needs to be recognized here. He used facial capturing technology to play Caesar, and he delivered a spectacular performance with what I like to call "Facial acting". (Facial acting is when someone can perform and convey ideas with just their facial expressions.) Without even using many words, you knew and connected with almost every single one of Caesar's emotions and inner thoughts. I'd be disappointed if Serkis didn't get some award recognition during award season.

As far as the story goes, it was probably one of the most dramatic and emotionally driven tales of all the Ape movies to date. It touched on so many themes that explored the impact of war, survival, oppression, and revolution.

The Bad:
The length of this film, which is almost 2.5 hours long, is kind of tricky. There were a couple of slow moving parts in the film that probably could've been skipped. I think there are just a few large gaps between the intense-action scenes, which may make the film feel like it's dragging a little bit.

I think part of the issue with the slow pacing has to do with the fact that this movie is not the action-packed, war film the trailer makes it out to be.  War For the Planet of the Apes is like 80% drama and only 20% of actual fighting. (The last battle is certainly the best one.)  Similar to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (the 2nd Apes movie), there just wasn't as much action as the trailer may have portrayed. So expectations will have to temper down a bit if you were expecting a lot of fighting.

Maybe this is nitpicking, but I could've sworn I noticed some apes hearing sign language. (Yes, you read that correctly.) For example, there's a scene where an ape is using sign language behind Caesar (and Caesar isn't looking at him), but yet Caesar acts like he knows what was said. This is probably easy to miss if you’re too busy reading the subtitles.

The Reason:
I must admit, I was really impressed with this movie. I was a fan of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2011), but not so much of Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2014). War for the Planet of the Apes, however, is by far the best of the entire trilogy. This is probably one of the best emotionally driven films of the summer. (Maybe even the year thus far.)

This movie was so good that it made me start second guessing myself when I thought of the apes in the film. Like I started becoming more politically correct about what I thought about them. Saying "Oh, they're acting more human" just started to feel wrong or discriminatory. By the end of the movie I was saying to myself #AllApesMatter! (You may now commence judging me.)

This movie will be presented in 3D, but I don't think that it's necessary. There really wasn't anything in the film that popped out at you that really required it to be viewed in 3D. However, I would say that War for the Planet of the Apes is still a must watch. If a movie can grip your emotions, whether that be to hate certain characters or sympathize with others, then it has accomplished its goal. This movie achieves that and doesn't monkey around! (I welcome your tomatoes!)

The Rating: 9/10
My [Loosely based] Ratings scale
10-9 = A Must watch at any cost. 
8.5- 7.5 = Theater worthy 
7-6.5 = Matinee/rental worthy at best
6 = Watchable (If it's free)
5 - below = Avoid at all costs

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