Paddington (2014)

Paddington Movie Review

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Paddington Movie Review

Paddington is a 2014 British family film directed by Paul King and, although the trailers weren’t promising, it proved to be quite a good film and even magnificent in its own right.

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This family needed that wee bear every bit

as much as he needed you. There. Said my piece

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Paddington Movie Review

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The first thing I noticed about this film is how old-fashioned and traditional it is. It reminded me of all those feel-good family films of the nineties that I grew up with. And the story is, although quite predictable and familiar in that fashion, nevertheless extremely entertaining and engaging from start to finish.

The technical aspects in this movie are absolutely terrific and they definitely help elevate the film to the next level. The direction is surprisingly good, but the art direction and production design is simply astonishing. The Muppets meets Wes Anderson – that’s what this film has been called by some. I honestly think that might be true, but it has to be more of the former, because I absolutely hate Wes Anderson’s films , they are just not for me, so that connection definitely seemed odd to me. But the evident attention to detail that went into this production is amazing to behold and all those wonderful details help the film feel like such a well crafted and rarely well thought-out children’s film.

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Paddington Movie Review

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The next big thing that is certainly a huge plus for this movie is its humor. Wow, never would I expect something like this. The humor is so charming, endearing and filled with so many goofy moments and great lines that can really make you laugh. What of course makes it so good is the fact that this movie can be enjoyed by people of all ages and that is due to the inclusion of various kinds of humor that range from goofy slapstick to British dry humor to pop-culture references. Add to that some excellent messages and wonderful characters and you’ve got a beautiful distraction for the whole family.

Speaking of the characters, the character development here is dealt with surprisingly well. The protagonist is simply endearing, the whole Brown family is interesting and the villain is somewhat funny. But the relationship between Paddington and the father is what drives the film and makes it so human with all the nuances in his character. The acting is also pretty good, not fantastic, but fine nevertheless and serves the purpose.

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Paddington Movie Review

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The pacing and editing are also quite good, but the action is overwhelming and while I know that today’s audiences like that, I dislike too much action and this is the same problem I’ve had with the Toy Story trilogy in that the story, characters and everything is so good, but there is not nearly enough quiet, character-driven or emotional moments to compensate for all that overwhelming action. But that, along with familiar storyline, is the only big flaw I found in this film. Everything else is unexpectedly phenomenal and charming.

All in all, Paddington is a proof that a family film can still be done if it is made with proper care, right amount of humor with all of its kinds, effervescent characters and charming tone and details. It is one of the biggest surprises of 2014 and one of the year’s best films for children.

My Rating – 4

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Life Itself (2014)

Life Itself Movie Review

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Life Itself Movie Review

Life Itself is a 2014 documentary film directed by Steve James and it tells the story of one of the most famous, probably the most famous, film critic of all time Roger Ebert.

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All I require of a religion is that it be tolerant

of those who do not agree with it

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Life Itself Movie Review

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This film is so masterfully well crafted and directed and that is evident throughout the whole movie, right from the beginning. It combines the personal life of Roger Ebert with his work along with his relationships and friendship with Gene Siskel. Speaking of Gene, that is the aspect I liked most in the whole movie, their troubled relationship. When it started, it was quite troubled and they honestly did not get along well which was somewhat evident in they work together. But, it became very beautiful and sad when Gene died and when Ebert talked about him when you see how much of a friend he was to him and how much he cared for him. That was the film’s most beautiful moment in my humble opinion.

Although there is less of the criticism parts in this film, those are also terrific. Every movie they chose was excellent and every point others and himself made really made you think. There are some really thought-provoking lines and thoughts here about the filmmaking and movie reviews. The interviews are also great and there is just enough amount of them in the film along with pictures and footage which really makes you realize how perfectly edited the movie is.

I honestly had a couple of problems with the documentary, two to be exact. First is that there is not enough footage, pictures or talk about his earlier career and life. And second is that the movie can jump too many times from time to time, from his early reviewing days to his illness days. But those two are the only flaws I found in this otherwise remarkable picture.

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Life Itself Movie Review

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Life Itself is, along with being very insightful and definitely engaging, also very emotional and even heartbreaking sometimes. The later scenes when his illness progressed are definitely hard to watch, but also inspirational when you see how strong and full of life he was as a person, even in the darkest hours. His relationship with his wife and the interviews with her are truly beautiful and extremely sad as well. It is all so heartwarming and sad without ever going to maudlin territory.

In the end, Life Itself is a truly magnificent piece of filmmaking, a movie that captures so many aspects of Ebert’s life and really makes you understand and care for him with a wide variety of interviews, footage, thought-provoking points, emotional as well as intriguing and even funny moments. It is very well crafted and directed, wonderfully made all around, involving from beginning to end and it is, without a doubt, one of the very best documentaries of 2014.

My Rating – 4.5

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Kong: Skull Island (2017)

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

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Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island is a 2017 monster film starring Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson and Brie Larson among others. It is a pretty solid, entertaining blockbuster.

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This planet doesn’t belong to us.

Ancient species owned this earth long before mankind.

I spent 30 years trying to prove the truth: monsters exist

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Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

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Its story is actually quite solid which I did not expect. It is a remake of the 1933 original, but the time period is changed to 1973 and it is obviously influenced in style by various Vietnam War movies. It can of course never be compared to the classic original, but I never expected it would come close and it is in the end pretty solid and fun in its own right so it is successful in my opinion.

It is fun because it is so adventurous. The plot is typical, but at least present and well executed. I loved the twist with John C. Reilly’s character and I absolutely loved his entire story, so well done and fascinating, not to mention moving. I now have to see 2014’s ‘Godzilla’ because this MonsterVerse piqued my interest to be honest. That is because its end-credits sequence is really well done and intriguing, but the movie stands on its own and isn’t too connected to other things to come which is why this is definitely the first successful movie universe to come after the MCU, at least for now.

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Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

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What I didn’t like about Kong: Skull Island is of course the character development which is so incredibly weak that it hurt the movie so much. I don’t know what is the point of having all these great actors, and surely this ensemble cast is amazing, if you’re not going to utilize on them properly. Only Reilly’s character is well developed and I really liked him with all of the others being so weak.

It is disappointing to see that Brie Larson did not get a better role after her unforgettable performance in ‘Room’. Her character here is very disappointing and forgettable. Jackson’s character is somewhat better, but still a far cry from his other roles. Tom Hiddleston did not get much to do as well and John Goodman only got one good scene. As I said, the characterization is so weak that it was really troublesome to me personally.

That is also because Kong: Skull Island is just way too frenetic in pace and it didn’t have enough time for either of its characters because the storyline is too ambitious and it wanted to check a lot of the boxes and introduce a lot of the creatures. Certainly that made the film very exciting and hugely entertaining, but rushed and the running time should have been longer for sure.

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Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

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I really liked the use of score as the famous songs from the early 70s were very utilized into the whole picture. The film is very well made technically and I absolutely adored its cinematography. I loved the special effects work here, certainly one of the year’s best. Kong himself looked excellent, I loved his fight with Skullcrawler whose role I did not understand as much, but the fight was great and I loved his final reigning scene. All of the creatures look magnificent and are fascinating here, but also have soul and are superbly used in action scenes. The effects here are the kind of effects I love – light and colorful and pleasing to the eye.

Even though it is way too frenetic in its pace and thus the characterization is mediocre and I did not get why they assembled this great ensemble cast if they were not going to utilize them properly, Kong: Skull Island is so incredibly entertaining to watch that it ultimately succeeds as a solid remake. I loved its adventurous tone, the action was great, the creatures were fascinating, the end-credits scene was intriguing and the film looks fantastic owing to amazing special effects.

My Rating – 3.5

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Tangerines (2013)

Tangerines Movie Review

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Tangerines Movie Review

Tangerines is a 2013 Georgian-Estonian war film directed by Zaza Urushadze and it is about a 1992 war in Abkhazia and was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars.

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They are fighting for the land.

For the land where my tangerines grow

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Tangerines Movie Review

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The story follows Ivo, an old man who finds two wounded men and takes them in the house and forbids them to fight which they want because they are from the opposing sides. It is a solid, if typical and seen countless times plot. But what makes it very enjoyable and an above average experience is its cleverness in its execution and likable and very well realized characters. All three of the characters are sympathetic in their own way and the relationships between them as well as their characterization are great. However, the eventual coming to peace with the two enemies is very clichéd and of course as always unrealistic, more especially because it happens so incredibly fast and feels very rushed.

But the approach is good as it is more subtle than in-your-face whereas the direction from Zaza Urushadze is very good and quite professional. The three act structure is well executed, but is rushed in the last act and the ending feels contrived. As for the visuals, they are solid as is the cinematography, but nothing too remarkable and memorable.

But the acting is absolutely superb with each and every one of those three performances being incredibly good and it definitely helps the movie overall and brings it such a polished feel that it certainly possesses.

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Tangerines Movie Review

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The message is simplistic, but of course highly needed and it is great to have an anti-war film any time. The ending is incredibly good, the finale actually with such a warm and endearing resolution to the characters’ journeys. It is definitely the highlight of the whole movie.

With quite good character development, engaging story and incredibly good, warm and heartwarming ending, Tangerines is a pretty solid film that, although is very simplistic, sometimes rushed and has a very typical story, is always interesting to watch, has a good message, nice relationships between the characters, fantastic performances and very good directing leading to quite a solid film and a respectable anti-war movie.

My Rating – 4

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Wonder Woman (2017)

Wonder Woman Movie Review

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Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman is a 2017 superhero film directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine. It is such a good, unexpectedly competent movie.

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I will fight for those who cannot fight for themselves

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Wonder Woman Movie Review

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This movie is so good because it succeeds in various areas. It has a good backstory and fun action and thus succeeding as a pretty remarkable superhero flick which is wonderfully old-fashioned and traditional which I adored. It also surprisingly enough succeeds as an exceptionally strong romance film as the relationship between these two is simply fantastic. And in my opinion it is a pretty competent World War I picture in its own right. So you have three movies in here and all are very good.

Diana Prince is simply great. I finally realized why so many people love this character as this movie showcases that brilliantly. She succeeds in large part thanks to Gal Gadot whose performance, although far from great, is actually pretty solid for an amateur actress. But her charm and evident charisma carries this entire movie through and she is so wonderful and with such an infectious smile. I loved her here, but the character development is superb for her. She learns throughout the movie the true nature of humans and how complex they are and thus becomes much more mature instead of idealistic and naive which she was before.

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Wonder Woman Movie Review

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Chris Pine is excellent, though obviously typecast, as Steve Trevor and is very funny and energetic in the role. Their romance develops naturally, it is sweet and playful and his eventual death is impactful and proves to be essential for her winning the battle against Ares. The power of love is here repeated in a similar fashion from Harry Potter, but it still works.

Robin Wright’s Antiope is tough and memorable, Doctor Poison is also pretty interesting and of the comic reliefs, all of them are typical, but solid nonetheless. I honestly thought that Ares was a solid villain in that old-fashioned sense and he was pretty competent and tough to beat which was great. But I do think that her realization that there was no Ares and that humans are responsible for the war was so fantastic that the movie would have been better had it stayed in that more realistic and character-driven territory. But that realization sequence still remains the best of the entire movie.

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Wonder Woman Movie Review

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So Wonder Woman is very well acted and superbly directed by Patty Jenkins who deserves everything she gets after this movie. Her direction is the reason why it is so good as she took the cues from previous superhero movies of the last century such as ‘Superman’ and made the movie feel old-fashioned, yet modern at its core.

Another problem besides the last bombastic act is the action. It would have been terrific had it not been for the extensive use of slow-motion which really got on my nerves. I guess some of it was cool, but it became overly abundant and annoying quickly and the action is otherwise so well executed that the choice to slow it down and make it “cool” hurt it in the long run.

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Wonder Woman Movie Review

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The score is absolutely amazing and her theme is brilliant. I thought the humor was excellent and the film made me laugh quite a number of times. I loved some of its hilarious lines and the playful, more innocent tone made it a winner in my book as most superhero films today are way too dark and serious. Its anti-war message is very strong, it makes use of a less popular war superbly and I just loved how emotional, human and ultimately powerful it was. It truly is the only worthy DCEU flick thus far that can for sure rival the best of the MCU.

Wonder Woman has more than a typical bombastic ending and the extensive use of annoying slow-motion really hurt the action in the long run, but other than that, this is such a great, stupendous superhero flick which I adored and which was hugely entertaining. Its playful, comedic tone is refreshing, it has a wonderfully old-fashioned approach to the genre, it is emotional and with a very strong anti-war statement, the music is simply fantastic with her theme being instantly recognizable, Gal Gadot is so charismatic and wonderful in the role and the movie succeeds as a superhero, World War I and even a strong romance film.

My Rating – 4

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Life (2017)

Life Movie Review

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Life Movie Review

Life is a 2017 science fiction horror film directed by Daniel Espinosa and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson and Ryan Reynolds. It is a pretty solid sci-fi horror flick.

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I know what I feel is not rational,

not scientific. I feel hate.

I feel pure fucking hate for that thing

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Life Movie Review

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So the six-member crew of the International Space Station discovers the first evidence of life outside Earth and they take the sample from Mars to the station to study it, but it eventually develops into a bigger creature and starts killing everyone. Of course Life is a very unoriginal film as it is very much an ‘Alien’ film with some traces of ‘Gravity’ in it as well.

That unoriginality’s obvious and baffling and the biggest problem the movie just never overcame. Another problem is the plausibility of the film’s plot as sometimes the alien acted way too cleverly and was basically indestructible to the point of it becoming ridiculous. And of course the ending is beyond obvious and I saw it coming from miles away.

However, I still liked Life despite all of these shortcomings because it is such a fun film. Yes, its thrills are definitely predictable and somewhat typical, but I have to say that I felt them as I was captivated by the film and I don’t know if the film was that competent in the horror/entertainment department or if I am just that big a fan of sci-fi horror flicks but at the end of the day I enjoyed watching it immensely.

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Life Movie Review

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This cast of actors and actresses is surely remarkable. The film is very diverse and I liked that as it wasn’t on-the-nose but was well played out and thankfully the black man did not die first. His character is quite good, though a bit typical of a scientist. But him being in a chair was refreshing to see.

Hiroyuki Sanada did a nice job, but his role wasn’t as memorable as the rest here were. Olga Dihovichnaya is much more memorable and her character is wonderfully competent and brave. Rebecca Ferguson did a great job in her very good role and it is nice that she got this gig after killing it in ‘Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation’. She is quickly becoming a talent to watch.

Jake Gyllenhaal is as great as he usually is and I really liked his performance and his character here. As for Ryan Reynolds, he plays himself and is good in the role, but I didn’t like that he had to die first as he was the funniest, most energetic person here and that energy was afterwards lost. Plus it really was ridiculous that they killed off their biggest star so soon.

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Life Movie Review

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Life looks great owing to terrific special effects. The alien creature or Calvin looks fine, but unoriginal as an octopus-like alien has been seen before (‘Arrival’ first comes to mind). But at least he did not look like Xenomorph. I liked learning more about his physiology but apart from those scenes and a couple of solid discussions, the film is never really clever or sophisticated and it relies almost purely on horror spectacle. The ship looked great, the action was excellent and so well executed and accompanied by a very good score that it eventually succeeds as a good, if not great genre flick.

Life is an entirely unoriginal sci-fi horror flick that also has an obvious ending, but it is still a solid and incredibly entertaining ride with very good genre thrills and it is fun to watch and really flies by. I also found its score and special effects to be excellent and its cast is obviously great with everyone doing a very good job in their roles. It is far from great, but it is a perfectly solid, competent genre film.

My Rating – 3.5

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a 2014 science fiction film directed by Matt Reeves and starring Jason Clarke, Andy Serkis and Gary Oldman. It is a fantastic sequel.

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I always think… ape better than human.

I see now… how much like them we are

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

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This movie is so great and actually kind of incredible because it manages to be better than ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ which was already a fantastic film. But this one is even better and sequels are rarely better. It is great because it prolongs the story and we see the beginnings of the conflict between the apes and humans and it serves as a perfect middle chapter in what I hope is going to be an amazing trilogy.

So the biggest reason why this movie is so incredible lies in its nature. Whereas its predecessor was a science fiction film that started the whole story, this one not only continues the plot, but it also changes its tone and setting. It is much more action oriented, much darker and much more ambitious but still being moving in its tone. It is very much a sequel to ‘Rise’, but it is also kind of its own thing and that is what every sequel should strive for.

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

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Caesar is a phenomenal character and here he becomes absolutely fantastic and one of the all time greatest blockbuster protagonists. Yes, he is that good. We see his struggles with his fellow apes as the leader, but we also see his relationship with humans which is wonderful and he is such a wise, but incredibly strong ape too.

Malcolm is very good and the relationship between these two is beautiful. Dreyfus is somewhat of a typical villain, but still very well realized mostly. Alexander and Ellie should have been better developed, but Koba is of course excellent as the one responsible for the entire war that is now brewing between the two species.

Jason Clarke is likable in the role, Gary Oldman is as good as he usually is and of course Andy Serkis steals the show entirely. His performance is breathtaking and he honestly should have been Oscar nominated for this role as it is that good.

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has a bunch of memorable sequences and I am going to list some of my favorites now. Loved the opening and that bear fight scene was amazing. The chimp baby scene was adorable, of course the scene where Caesar reminisces his time with Will is emotionally resonant, his fight with Koba is exhilarating and of course the entire ending is majestic and the emotional moment Malcolm and Caesar share is just beautiful to witness.

The movie is very well directed by Matt Reeves, very well edited and paced and once again featuring splendid special effects. It looks amazing and sounds great, but the apes themselves look real that it really is one shining example of what CGI could accomplish nowadays. I usually don’t love CGI, but here I did as it was put to brilliant use.

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

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I thought the action was excellent and never felt overwhelming as it was so well done. The emotion is evident from beginning to end and it is the biggest reason why this newly restored franchise is great as you feel for its characters and fear for their lives. But because the script is so good and the dialogue is excellent, you’ve got one whole beautiful package in here. It also seemed realistic and I loved that the apes used sign language and the use of subtitles is great. The film shows us the roots of evil so well and how connected to intelligence it really is.

Evil is born along with evolution and it is a necessary negative aspect that comes from intelligence and leads all wars; the society needs to have cooperation and trust in order to progress – those are the statements that Dawn of the Planet of the Apes makes: a movie which is very intelligent and incredibly emotional (the final scene is beautiful) while still containing a bunch of great action scenes and absolutely superb special effects. It also has one of the best ever protagonists in Caesar. It is one of the best films of 2014 and one of the best sequels as well as blockbusters ever made, the one which trumps even the absolutely amazing predecessor and which raises the bar for the finale leading to what definitely could be one of the best, if not the very best, trilogies of all time.

My Rating – 5

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Ballerina (2016)

Ballerina Movie Review

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Ballerina Movie Review

Ballerina is a 2016 animated musical film. It is a solid, but deeply flawed and ultimately quite disappointing film.

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I will take you to this dance school

and you will become the greatest dancer ever!

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Ballerina Movie Review

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A poor orphan girl dreams of becoming a ballerina and eventually achieves her dream and beats the other girl and dances in front of the crowd. Very clichéd stuff and actually this is one of the most clichéd animated films in recent memory. And also the most predictable as I knew everything that would happen in each and every one of its plot points. This story is well told, but in an overly familiar manner and thus ruining the potential to become truly meaningful and touching.

The characters are also pretty typical. Felicie is such an annoying protagonist and I just did not care for her. Odette is much better and much more likable. Victor I disliked at first, but he grew on me later on. His sidekick friend can be pretty funny here. Of course Camille is typical and especially her mother is awfully clichéd as this over-the-top villain.

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Ballerina Movie Review

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The voice acting is one of the worst things about Ballerina, quite mediocre. I guess some are fine here such as Dane DeHaan, but others such as Elle Fanning are very weak, uninspired and just the voices themselves were overly modern. The entire movie suffers from being too hip where it should have been more traditional to go in line with its time period.

Ballerina is definitely very well animated and its animation is certainly the best aspect here. I liked the characters, but the interiors and especially the nature and the city were all gorgeously animated. The dance movements are also fine and of course I loved those aerial scenes. The film does look really great.

I also liked its score. It is too modern, but still pretty solid. It does sound and look good, but I just wish that the dialogue wasn’t as uninspired and as simplistic as it turned out to be. Some of the lines spoken here were awfully corny. But the humor is actually pretty solid as the second half has its funny moments.

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Ballerina Movie Review

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This is a Canadian-French co-production and, just like ‘The Little Prince’ from the year prior, it was done in English with their voice talent. I disliked that so much here as the film revolves around Paris and thus French would have suited it much better and the film would have been infinitely better had it been in French. But besides from that, it is a solid film. I gave it a hard time for its immense clichés and somewhat typical characters, but still some of those characters are very likable and the film is very entertaining and it definitely won me over near the end. It could be quite charming when it wanted to be and some scenes are just very beautiful, not to mention gorgeously animated. Had the script been better, it easily could have been great, but this way, it ended up being just solid.

Ballerina has some likable characters, but others are overly typical. The plot is beyond clichéd and predictable, but the film is entertaining and charming to watch. The voice acting is pretty mediocre, but the score is good and the animation is frequently gorgeous. In the end, it is a film that is perfectly solid, but just never as good as it could have been.

My Rating – 3.5

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

Rise of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a 2011 science fiction film directed by Rupert Wyatt and starring James Franco and Andy Serkis. It’s such a fantastic Apes reboot.

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Caesar is home

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

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I love this movie so much and it is definitely one of my favorite blockbusters ever. The film is somewhat of a remake of ‘Conquest of the Planet of the Apes’, but it’s mostly its own thing and the definition of a successful reboot as it breathes new life to the long gone and dead franchise. It follows Dr. Rodman and his relationship with Caesar who by accident becomes very smart and eventually leads an ape rebellion where they escape to the streets.

The structure of the film is phenomenal. The first half of the film is a great, slower build-up with a more scientific, not to mention emotional approach whereas the final part is an all-action, bombastic spectacle. But it works as the spectacle is great and of course the entire storyline is excellent and told in the best way possible and with a superb direction from Rupert Wyatt who really did a masterful job here.

I liked the main character and he is a wonderful man, but Caesar is fantastic and such a phenomenally well depicted ape who feels real and with genuine emotion. That is mostly achieved through the work of Andy Serkis who is always great, but is here especially phenomenal in a performance that was worthy and should have been nominated for an Oscar.

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

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James Franco is also quite good in one of his best roles, but Freida Pinto is not the greatest, but her role is at least small. John Litgow is excellent per usual in such a moving role and it is nice seeing David Oyelowo here. He was very good in an interesting role. All of the other apes are memorable and great and of course I loved seeing Tom Felton as he basically played Draco Malfoy again here which was hilarious, but fitting for this character and story. You just love to hate his guts.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes features a bunch of memorable sequences such as the bridge fight which was exhilarating in its action as well as the scene where Caesar first visits the forest. I loved the rebellion sequence and the final scene in the movie is so emotional and simply wonderful. The character interactions and relationship between Caesar and Rodman drive this movie and is the heart and soul of not only this film, but the rest of the franchise as well.

The direction and acting are excellent, but the score is also quite solid and at times even memorable when accompanying the action scenes which are all very good and superbly executed. The film is entertaining throughout its runtime, but never too action-packed or rushed owing to great pacing as well.

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

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The script is great and the film is thankfully devoid of any camp which plagued the previous Apes films. The special effects are marvelous and the motion-capture performance from Andy Serkis is absolutely brilliant. The film sounds and looks good, it’s realistic and fueled by very good dialogue and script for blockbuster standards. It truly is a beautiful film which even trumps the original which says quite a lot, but it is slightly inferior to its successor.

Filled with many truly moving scenes, excellent character interactions and a huge heart at its core, Rise of the Planet of the Apes also has a stellar script, excellent direction, superb acting with Andy Serkis killing it in such a great role, such good characters and marvelous special effects and action scenes. It is a textbook example of how to properly do a reboot and it’s one of the best blockbusters of all time.

My Rating – 5

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Split (2017)

Split Movie Review

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Split Movie Review

Split is a 2017 thriller horror film directed M. Night Shyamalan and starring James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy. It is such a stupendously good horror flick.

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The broken are the more evolved

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Split Movie Review

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It follows a man with a multiple personality disorder (he has 23 personalities and a potential 24th) who kidnaps and imprisons three teenage girls in an underground facility. The plot is pretty good and actually very original. This disorder is tailor-made for the horror genre and I am glad that Shayamalan realized that and made such a good use of it.

I thought the first half was excellent, very intriguing and quite suspenseful. I really liked all the different scenarios and it was a lot of fun watching all those different personalities emerge. However, the second half disappointed me. I did like the ending as it connected this movie with ‘Unbreakable’ so well and left a lot of room for a possible sequel to both movies. But what I didn’t like is the film’s refusal to show us the other personalities and not just the eight or so out of 24. That was a missed opportunity.

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Split Movie Review

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I also didn’t like some of the typical horror trappings that prevailed in the third act. Of course the protagonist survives and she was the toughest physically of the three and the other two girls were typical disposable teenagers so they had to die. I also disliked those flashbacks as they were kind of pointless.

So the girls I disliked more or less and that old lady psychologist was also frustrating because she was too much of an idiot and I really didn’t want her to die. But Kevin is great and he more than made up for the troublesome female characters. Such a fascinating character, so well established and developed. Of those different personalities, Hedwig is the most memorable and of course The Beast was quite menacing.

James McAvoy gave one of the year’s finest performances in Split. He is absolutely fantastic and again proves how hugely underrated and talented he is. He sold every single personality here and was believable in every single one of these roles. He killed it in such a difficult, multiple-part performance and is the standout of the whole movie. I also liked Anya Taylor-Joy here, but she was much weaker than him for sure.

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Split Movie Review

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So Split is pretty well directed and is actually my favourite of the director’s films. The dialogue is solid and the film deals with a lot of interesting issues and even though it doesn’t quite manage to explore all of them, it still provides for a rich, intriguing and clever experience. It succeeds as a pretty good thriller and it is even more so a thriller than a horror as the second half really didn’t feature enough scares, but at least the first one had some pretty atmospheric scenes. It doesn’t quite utilize on this winner premise to the fullest degree, but it succeeds more often than not and it was mostly a pretty satisfactory little film.

Split definitely is a missed opportunity in its second half as it doesn’t showcase more of those 23 personalities plus it suffers from some typical horror trappings there, but the first half is very good and the ending is quite interesting. The premise is amazing and the main character is so fascinating plus the movie deals with some interesting issues. But the biggest reason to see it lies in James McAvoy’s performance which is absolutely fantastic and he crushed it in such a demanding role, proving how talented and underrated he is in the process.

My Rating – 4

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