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Movie review rant

Discussion in 'Zoo Cafe' started by nanoboy, 19 Jun 2012.

  1. nanoboy

    nanoboy Well-Known Member

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    Is there another thread for movie reviews? Bah! If there is, now there is another. :D

    Did you see any new movies recently? Do you want to share your thoughts and recommendations?

    In the last two weeks, we saw 'MIB3' and 'Prometheus'.

    I can write a passable hotel or zoo review, but for the life of me, I can't seem to be able to write a movie review, so I hope you folks are better than I am at it.

    MIB3
    I just can't figure out why we had to wait 10 years for the third instalment in the Men In Black series! If you enjoyed the first two movies, then you will be blown away by MIB3. By extension, if you aren't a fan of MIB and MIB2, then don't waste your time and money to see Agent J and Agent K battle aliens again. MIB3 answers a few lingering questions from the other movies, so you really should watch the movies in chronological order for full enjoyment.

    I'll not bore you with a synopsis of the movie, but I strongly recommend that you experience this movie in 3D: many 3D movies use the "objects flying towards you" cliche', but MIB3 used the 3D effect to draw out any latent acrophobia in you. There are many falls from skyscrapers, and many walks across narrow ledges that made me nauseous a few times.

    MIB3 isn't just an action-comedy-scifi-buddycop movie: it's also 2 hours of entertainment that keeps you wanting more and more thrills. I'll patiently wait for MIB4.

    Rating: 9/10


    Prometheus
    Based on the interviews that I saw on telly about the movie, I was made to believe that this was a prequel of sorts to the 'Alien' saga. I was disappointed, to say the least.

    The 'Alien' movies scared the bejesus out of me when I first saw them. Prometheus is in no form or fashion an 'action-horror-scifi' movie. Instead, I sat through 2 hours of a slow-paced drama that never once made me jump out of my seat - and it was in 3D! The link with the 'Alien' franchise was tenuous at best, and indeed, this movie felt like an independent, low-budget, stand-alone scifi drama. The cast's acting was, in general, wooden, but ironically the standout performance was from Michael Fassbender who played the role of a robot! Guy Pearce spent about 5 minutes on-screen and I only realised it was him at the end of the movie when the credits were rolling, as he was heavily made-up. Every time that Charlize Theron smiles in the movie, I'll give you a dollar: an easy claim to make since she displayed no emotion whatsoever - and she wasn't even playing a robot!

    Save your money, folks. Even hardcore 'Alien' fans should just rent/download the movie instead of wasting money to see it at the cinema. If out of loyalty you insist on seeing it at the movie theatre, then don't bother seeing it in 3D, as there weren't any 3D-worthy moments. If cinemas offered a 'satisfaction or your money-back guarantee', even then I wouldn't recommend going to the movies to see this, because that's 2 hours that you will never be able to reclaim.

    Rating: 5/10
     
  2. nanoboy

    nanoboy Well-Known Member

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    Hey folks. I thought that I would add a couple more movie reviews to this thread.

    American Reunion

    Remember American Pie? Loved it, or hated it? Well, you will rate this latest instalment the same then, because it's merely an updated version of the same teenager-esque comedy that graced the screen all the way back in 1999. (Yes, it has been that long!)

    Now be honest: can you remember the names of any characters other than Stifler and "Stifler's Mom"? Well, they both made an appearance, as did most of the cast from the original movie: the "band camp girl", her boyfriend, his father, the hot exchange student, the MILF guys, Tara Reid etc.

    The story is in the title: the gang get together for a high-school reunion and mayhem ensues. The star of the movie, as always, was Stifler: his gross humour, coupled with his ability to rectify his inevitable screw-ups, make him a likeable character.

    My advice? If you loved the first movie, then you must see this one. If the first movie was released before you were old enough for the 'R-rating', then why not watch the franchise in order, culminating in the newest one?

    Rating: 7/10
     
  3. nanoboy

    nanoboy Well-Known Member

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    Ice Age 4

    Why does it feel like there's nothing new under the sun? Or that there's definitely nothing new in the minds of movie producers?

    It seems like every movie that I have seen recently is in some way tied to an older movie. "Those are the movies you choose to see", I hear you say. Well, do you suggest that I check out Madagascar 3? Or how about Batman 27 (or whatever number it's up to now)? Maybe the reboot of the Spiderman franchise? Ice Age 4 was inevitable.

    It felt as though this franchise is merrily plodding along, thrilling kids every year or two with the same story in front of a different backdrop. Instead of the ice melting, or coming face-to-face with a remnant population of dinosaurs, in this instalment we saw the continents drifting! How original! Maybe in Ice Age 5 there may be aliens that transport the mammoth's gang to the present time via a tear in the space-time continuum! (PS* 20th Century Fox: I demand royalties if you steal my idea. :D)

    Did I mention that there were pirates? A film needs antagonists right? Oh dear. Come to think of it, combined with the time wasted watching this movie and writing this review, that's 2 hours of my life that I will never be able to get back.

    So, that's a wrap. If you are 5 years old, or have 5 year-old kids, then you really should give it a go in 3D. Everyone else, rent it on DVD out of loyalty to the franchise, or just give it a miss.

    Rating: 5/10
     
  4. PAT

    PAT Well-Known Member

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    Have you seen the new Batman yet?

    I loved The Dark Knight but The Dark Knight Rises just wasn't as thrilling. The characters weren't as good (Heath Ledger is the perfect Joker) and it seemed like they wrote this story to make the most of certain special effects. I still enjoyed it and it is definitely worth seeing in the cinema.


    Also there were certain decisions made in the movie that would only make sense in a DC adaptation and no one would make in real life (but who watches action films for the realism?).
     
  5. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    I totally agree, Rises wasn't as unpredictable or thrilling or suspense-ful as the Dark Knight. I also found Bane a rather dull character, although this may be because I had difficulty understanding much of what he said. Some of the scenes were brilliant, but only the opening flight scene and stadium destruction matched the stuff of Batman Begins and Dark Knight, which had many more memorable scenes.
     
  6. nanoboy

    nanoboy Well-Known Member

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    I have not seen the new Batman yet. I have seen every Batman film in the cinema since 1989, BUT, I don't think that I will pay big bucks to see this one.

    I think that I saw the movies in the Batman franchise because I went with friends (or my wife, more recently), and NOT because I was a Batman fan.

    Watching the 'The Dark Knight' reminded me of the first (and last) opera that I saw (Verdi's "Aida"). I was falling asleep during the opera, and when the lights came on I thought that the opera was over, only to realise that it was the intermission, and there was another hour of torture left!! Similarly, I felt that 'The Dark Knight' went on forever, and at the end of each epic battle sequence when I thought that I would be able to go home, lo and behold, there was yet another over-the-top action sequence! I wanted The Joker to die much earlier, but the Gods misinterpreted my plea. :(

    This time, I shall not be contributing any of my hard-earned cash to the disappointing Batman franchise. Instead, I am hoping to catch 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter 3D' this weekend.

    PS* Thanks for posting on this thread. It was never meant to be my personal blog - I just wanted to start a thread where Zoochatters could post their reviews on movies they saw recently. So, keep the reviews coming! :D
     
  7. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    Challenge accepted! :D I only quoted that last bit, as the first three paragraphs of your reply were just wrong. :D

    I have seen a handful of movies this year, including the Ides of March in a theatre in Estonia, which was very good. I also saw The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which features an amazing cast of Brits, who are shipped to India as a cheaper retirement option. Lovely story. But my favourite was:

    TED

    Ted is essentially Family Guy: The Movie, without any of the family guy characters or animation. It tells the (hilarious) story of a boy who wishes for a living teddy bear, gets one (Ted), and then doesn't grow up. The main character (Mark Wahlberg) has a girlfriend (Mila Kunis) who tells him that Ted has to go, and the movie mostly follows what happens to Ted (voiced by Seth Macfarlane) once he moves out.

    It starts off a little slow, but once it gets going it is extremely funny, on so many levels. It has many typical Family Guy features, such as flash backs, extended fight scenes, conversations that veer wildly off-topic and references to pop culture, which work extremely well in this medium. There are also a number of cameos, including probably the best cameo ever, in which Ryan Reynolds reprises his role from Family Guy.

    Won't appeal to those easily offended or who don't like Family Guy, and certainly not a kids movie (I was surprised it got a R13 rating in NZ), but easily the funniest movie since Bridesmaids.

    Rating: 7.5/10
     
  8. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Well-Known Member

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    I was hoping for a rip-roaring adventure with Catwoman, and while that is present in part, one has to sit through a somber, plodding tale to find it.

    I'm a big Batman fan and I do like much of "Dark Knight Rises", but I think that "The Avengers" is a much better superhero movie - which is not what I was expecting.
     
  9. PAT

    PAT Well-Known Member

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    Do they have to be recent movies? Because I just saw a movie recently that is phenomenal and I hadn't heard of it until one of my friends lent it to me because they loved it so much. It's called TransAmerica and has Felicity Huffman (she's excellent, don't let desperate housewives put you off) in it. I don't want to give anything away in case I spoil it but if you ever get the chance to see it, then do.

    And a bonus movie that I can't wait to see.

     
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  10. nanoboy

    nanoboy Well-Known Member

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    'Life of Pi' could go in an "Upcoming movies that I want to see" thread, but when you do see it, be sure to post a review here first. :D

    'Ted' looks funny and I do want to see it. If ever there was an award for the cartoon character who looks nothing like the person who provides her voice, then the winner should be Meg/Mila Kunis. Thank the Gods that someone decided to put her in front a camera instead of behind a microphone. :D

    'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' is also on my list, and I just might have a look at 'TransAmerica' too. As a fan of the TV series 'Once Upon a Time', I also intend to watch 'Snow White and the Hunstman' soon.
     
  11. PAT

    PAT Well-Known Member

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    I boycott anything with Kirsten Stewart in it. How she continues to get roles is beyond me, let alone how she managed to be one of the highest paid actresses last year.
     
  12. nanoboy

    nanoboy Well-Known Member

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    Bah. You sound jealous that she didn't have a fling with you rather than the film's director. :D
     
  13. nanoboy

    nanoboy Well-Known Member

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    The Lorax

    I enjoyed 'The Grinch', and 'Cat in the Hat' with Mike Meyers is one of my all-time favourite movies - my wife bought me the DVD as a Christmas gift. :D

    Consequently, I had high expectations for an animated version of Dr Seuss's 'The Lorax'.

    The story in a nutshell is one of conservation, I think. All the trees have been cut down, only to be replaced by plastic trees, and one boy gets hold of the last seed and decides to protect/plant it. The greedy corporation running the town doesn't want him to succeed, because they make their money selling bottles of air (yes, you read correctly: air!). Their logic is that if real trees make clean air for free, then they would go out of business.

    It's a fun movie (sort of), with a strong conservation message. The colours, oh the colours, are so vibrant and vivid that you really should try to see it in Blu-ray if you want to be blown away by great animation.

    Where the movie failed for me, was the musical scores. I felt that there was a song/dance scene every 5 minutes, which could be a good thing, but the songs were just so annoying! None of the songs were catchy, so they weren't in the class of 'Hakuna Matata' or 'Now I'm a believer' (from Shrek): they were equivalent to commercials, so you would probably want to use the toilet or check your email at these points.

    The serious message overrides the comedy, so it's not really a funny movie. Indeed, it seems to be caught in purgatory where the animation does not appeal to many adults, and the gravity of extinction does not appeal to many kids. This movie is definitely not 'Rio'.

    If you like Dr Seuss's books/movies, then you should enjoy this one. If you aren't even sure who Dr Seuss was, then wait for the broadcast on cable or free-to-air TV.

    Rating: 6/10
     
  14. Gforrestersmith

    Gforrestersmith Well-Known Member

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    I saw the Lorax, Ted, Rock of Ages, Madagascar 3 and Ice Age 4
     
  15. montagne14

    montagne14 Well-Known Member

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    Step Up 4

    As my girlfriend loves the dance movies genre, I've seen a lot of them. In my opinion, the Step Up series are the better ones, and that also goes for the 4th one.
    Dance movies tend to be all the same, boy/girls want to dance, joins a crew, needs to win battles, falls in love with crew member, mix streetdance with another dance genre, win the final battle, live happily ever after.
    Step Up is nothing different, but this 4th film does have some freshness in it. Instead of battles, the crew (the MOB) devoted their lives to Flashmobs, trying to get the most hits on Youtube and winning a grand prize. Halfway the film, the goal is no longer getting hits on youtube, but trying to save their homes in Miami's backstreet neighbourhoods.
    The film is still cheesy as french cheese, and predictable as well, but there are some cool dance moves in there.

    I've seen the movie in 3D and found it useless. There weren't any spectacular 3D scenes, and the dancing seems more fake in 3D (allthough I haven't seen this movie in 2D, this seems to be the case in all dance films).

    If you like dance films and liked the previous Step Up films, this is a must see. If not don't bother.

    6.5/10
     
  16. nanoboy

    nanoboy Well-Known Member

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    I am not a fan of dance movies, so, as per montagne14's review, I will not bother. :D

    Gforrestersmith: you folks had Madagascar 3 since about June. Aussies have to wait until September 13th for it to be released here. At least we aren't as bad as the Poms, as they will get to see it on October 19th. :D
     
  17. nanoboy

    nanoboy Well-Known Member

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    21 Jump Street

    I grew up in the 80's, but I never watched the TV series. It seemed like a series for teenage girls to gawk at cute guys (i.e. Johnny Depp). I went for MacGyver, The A Team, Knight Rider etc. 21 Jump Street always seemed to be too 90210 for me, so I avoided it like the plague.

    Fast forward more than 20 years to a few days ago when I saw a rerun of Jonah Hill's interview on 'Ellen' promoting the movie adaptation. Until then, I was not interested in the movie because I assumed that it would have been a cop flick like the film adaptation of 'Shaft'. But I was wrong, because the 21 Jump Street movie was a really funny comedy!

    Basically two youthful screw-up cops go undercover in a highschool to break up a drug ring. I understand that this movie was written by Jonah, so not surprisingly, we are treated to a similar brand of comedy as 'The 40 Year Old Virgin', 'Knocked Up', and 'Superbad'.

    The storyline has been done in a hundred other movies, but this is a buddy-cop-comedy for this generation's kids. And herein lies one of my problems with the movie. Those who watched the TV series in the 80's would be in their 30's and 40's now, but this movie's target audience was not even born in the 80's!

    This movie, therefore, will not appeal to fans of the TV series as it does not stick to the topical/moral blueprint. The '21 Jump Street' brand will not appeal to the target audience because the TV series was not an integral part of their childhood. Instead, this film did not have to piggyback off the TV series - it could have easily been 'Superbad 2', with the usual cops, house parties, drugs, and making out.

    It's a funny movie for those who enjoyed Jonah's other movies. It's not an extended episode of the TV series.

    Rating: 7.5/10
     
  18. nanoboy

    nanoboy Well-Known Member

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    Friends With Kids

    As doting husbands, partners, and boyfriends, there are times when we must let our so-called "better halves" choose the movie. Enter stage left: "Friends With Kids".

    The film is supposed to be a comedy about platonic friends that decide to have a baby together to get away from the dramas of actually being in a relationship. The premise of the movie alone should have scared her off, but my wife did not read the IMDB summary: she assumed that this movie was the comedy with Chris Rock and Cameron Diaz - "What to Expect When You're Expecting"! What a costly mistake, because that was 2 hours that will never be returned to us. :mad:

    "Friends With Kids" was touted as a comedy, but we didn't laugh at all! It just wasn't funny. The film felt like a cross between a reality show and a soap opera. I disliked this movie so much, that I will not waste any more time on a review.

    Avoid this like a prostate exam: partake only if your life depended on it.

    Rating: 4/10
     
  19. nanoboy

    nanoboy Well-Known Member

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    Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter 3D

    How to describe this movie in one word? ENTERTAINING!

    Abraham Lincoln supposedly became a vampire hunter after witnessing a vampire kill his mother, and he became the President of America to fight the vampires of the South. Are you hooked yet? :D

    I enjoy fictionalised history, because it makes me take a step back and think "hmm... I wonder if that could have been possible?". This isn't one of those movies. The premise was unbelievable, even for someone who enjoys Anne Rice novels and vampire movies.

    Notwithstanding this, I do enjoy films with wuxia-style fighting, and continuous slow-mo fight scenes (like the movie '300). This movie had some riveting action sequences with an axe-wielding Lincoln decapitating vampires that utilised the 3D effect to have everyone in the cinema bobbing and weaving.

    The CGI was poor, as it reminded me of the cut-scenes in XBOX games. But, it did not detract from the fast-paced action throughout the entire movie.

    As usual, this movie was released months ago across the world, but was only just released in cinemas here in Australia. If it's still playing in a cinema near you, and there isn't another movie of your liking at that particular time, then you can do much worse than 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter". If you are after 2 hours of mindless entertainment that blends together history with vampires and adds a dash of wuxia for extra flavour, then this movie is for you. Definitely worth a Friday night movie rental/download.

    Rating: 7.5/10 (on a scale where '300' is an 8.5)
     
  20. nanoboy

    nanoboy Well-Known Member

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    The Dictator

    Sacha Baron Cohen is a funny guy - but only if you find him funny. Otherwise, his characters come off as crass and un-PC. There really is no middle ground with his movies - you either really love them, or you really hate them.

    I can therefore summarise this review by saying this: if you loved "Borat" and "Bruno", then you will thoroughly enjoy "The Dictator". If you didn't, then steer clear. The difference between this movie and "Bruno" and "Borat" is that this movie was not filmed in the mockumentary style of his earlier movies. It is pure fiction, and it doesn't leave you wondering which scenes were staged and which scenes were genuine. Ten years ago I saw his "Ali G" movie, but his character in "The Dictator" is his best to date.

    General Aladeen is the supreme leader of a Middle Eastern country, but his character is an amalgamation of many despots, from Gaddafi to Kim Jong to Castro. The plot isn't very imaginative, but the real humour is in the dialogue - you have to remember that Sacha is a Jewish Westerner for his Jew/West-bashing to be funny. At times you can't help but cringe though.

    Here is an excerpt from his closing speech:

    General Aladeen: Why are you guys so anti-dictators? Imagine if America was a dictatorship. You could let 1% of the people have all the nation's wealth. You could help your rich friends get richer by cutting their taxes. And bailing them out when they gamble and lose. You could ignore the needs of the poor for health care and education. Your media would appear free, but would secretly be controlled by one person and his family. You could wiretap phones. You could torture foreign prisoners. You could have rigged elections. You could lie about why you go to war. You could fill your prisons with one particular racial group, and no one would complain. You could use the media to scare the people into supporting policies that are against their interests.

    If you found that to be funny, then definitely give "The Dictator" a try. It's not a Michael Moore documentary, and doesn't try to be too serious. Megan Fox even makes a cameo: General Aladeen pays her for sex, and she complains that Katy Perry got paid more, to which General Aladeen replies "Well, Katy Perry let me 'aladeen' in her face". Too funny.

    Rating: 8/10 (where "Borat" and "Bruno" are 7.5)