Posts Tagged ‘ 1001 movies ’

Avengers: Age of Ultron (Review)




*Spoilers*

Now I will preface this review by saying that I entered the movie with a bias in my mind. That is obviously something I try to avoid, however it was very hard to shake off. This strange feeling kept creeping up on me as I was going to waiting for the movie to begin. I was afraid of the repeated Marvel formula again. During the release of the first Iron Man movie hype was through the roof. Marvel seemed to have hit all the key spots that they wanted with that movie. It had humor, action, a plot, and many more. Even though it wasn’t my cup of tea I still appreciated that this is the direction they wanted their movies to go in. Now keep in mind this is the time in which The Dark Knight Trilogy was coming out, and DC was going for more of this serious and dramatic feel for superhero movies. Marvel on the other hand went off and started their line-up with Iron Man and built up their hype. Unfortunately every other Marvel movie that they followed with had the same formula. Cheesy one-liners, rehashed sub-plots, and worst of all mindless action. That’s what I hate most about it, if you want to make a summer action blockbuster then go right ahead. But don’t just rehash your same formula and plot into every one of your movies. I say that while they are all rolling in money but that’s how the world works. Nevertheless, Marvel needs to seriously rethink their model of how they are going to continue forward with their line-up. Now that I got that out of the way let me talk about the movie itself.



So the Avengers: Age of Ultron played a lot like the first movie. They just took it safe and did the same thing. The plot doesn’t really have that much creativity into it. The movie is just filled with one-liners that act as transitions to the next scene to keep you laughing so you don’t notice how badly they are setting the stage for the next part of the scene. There were many parts where they were trying to get this character development between The Hulk and Black Widow but it ended in such an unsatisfying way. Other than that all of the other characters have not developed yet and are able to maintain their witty and cheesy characters even in the face of total earth annihilation. I have to say though, the villain was actually not that bad. Many people just think of Loki whenever they hear of a Marvel movie, and they are right because Loki had such a strong presence. I think Ultron had that too, but it was unfortunately again just inspired by Loki because they made him menacingly funny instead of just a menace. I feel like even though its redone, their villains capture the spirit that the first Iron Man movie had, it had this own charm that didn’t take itself too seriously. What they are doing with the Avengers is that they are REALLY not taking themselves seriously, they cant spend a moment of seriousness without breaking it with a one-liner. The problem with these one-liners are that they take you out of the atmosphere of the movie. They are written or intended for the audience and not the film itself. So what happens is that the script gets diverted and lead to a direction just so that the audience can laugh. What should be done is to have that integrated into what they are talking about and have something funny but still have an impact on the plot itself. Do you know why they always transition after a one-liner? It’s because you can’t follow up with anything else, it is not intended for the plot. Imagine if they kept a scene after a cheesy one-liner, it would be awkward to follow up anything with it. Anyway I feel like I have ranted too long about the plot and one-liners in the movie, I will talk now about the action in the movie.



So the action, that is the meat of these blockbusters. They try to fill empty time in the movie with mindless action. However it doesn’t have to be mindless action but that’s how it is unfortunately. I want you to go back and watch the first Avengers, and watch the last battle in New York City, now come back and think of the last battle in the second Avengers. See the similarities? It feels almost identical. Big city with aliens invading while the Avengers are killing everything while also saving the civilians. Now I’m fine with this I don’t care, but what I did notice this time around is why I don’t enjoy this type of action. I feel like I can’t see what is actually going on in the fight. I mean I know who is hitting who and who is getting hurt, but I am talking about the camera perspective. Everything is in bite sized bits during fights and it is always filmed with a close shot. Now I know this is the norm but I am sick and tired of it. I can’t SEE what is happening. This technique is usually used to show the force of each hit, however I would much rather enjoy seeing it in a wide shot with a little less cuts. Even if we don’t feel the impact with every punch, at least we are able to see what is going on clearly. A great example of this is the corridor fighting scene in the Korean movie Oldboy. That is a scene where it is shot with a wide angle and no cuts for 5 minutes give or take. And you know what, it was so good to watch. Even though it wasn’t as hard impact as what they are doing in these movies, but it felt good to watch. It felt better, because there was this natural flow in the action and combat rather than 500 little bite sized punches and kicks. I’m not saying that every action movie should take the Oldboy approach. What I am saying is that there is a grey area, its not always black and white. There has to be some balance and I felt that it was lacking in this movie. Now with all that said, I have to say I enjoyed the fight between Iron Man and The Hulk. It was really fun to watch. The Hulk is really a character I like because he has so much power yet he has no control over it. That’s what makes him great, not like Superman or Iron Man. Because with them you know nothing will go wrong with them, the situation will go wrong but not them. Whereas the Hulk can’t control his rage so there are many factors that could go wrong with him which is what I love about his character. Though they didn’t show him a lot which disappointed me to be honest. Now I will side tangent and rant about Ads placement in movies.



 

A side tangent here but I really wanted to talk about this issue because it really bugged me in the Avengers. I am getting tired of Ad placements in movies. I see movies as an immersive experience, its a way to get out of the world you are currently in and live for a short while with someone else. You experience their emotions and their hardships, all of this gives you such an immersive experience that can’t be stimulated in other ways. However when they start putting in Ad’s in the film it takes me completely out of the film. So the world is under danger and life on earth is going to be destroyed. Oh wait that’s fine, let me just take this Audi car and drive it to where I want to be. Seriously? It so took me out of the movie, and the worst part is that it was the climax. That is the time where they should bring in the viewer and have them on the edge of their seats. But they decided to have a 30 second Audi commercial during the middle of the climax of the film. It really pisses me off. I know that they want money, everyone wants money, even if they are already swimming in it. This just makes me feel like they don’t care as much about the movie than about the money they are going to make. Which saddens me since many people don’t have a chance to let out their creativity because of a lack of capital, and they are here ruining their film for a few extra dollars. So yeah its really disappointing. I mean even during a moment where Black Widow is serious and developing her character as she is sad about the Hulk. They shove in they new and improved Galaxy S6 edge with its shiny new look. I really hate how they ruined it for themselves by having these Ad’s, and I wish that this trend would decrease rather than increase. 



So all in all, I know I have been harsh on the movie but it is with good reason. I don’t like to bash something that I haven’t seen or experienced myself. And honestly I always try to give the benefit of the doubt however it didn’t happen with this movie. I know that so many people love this movie and franchise which is why I suspect that many will disagree with what I might say, but at the end of the day these are opinions.  Reviews are supposed to be subjective because they carry the flavor of the reviewer. If we don’t have any subjective reviews all of them would be the same, and that’s not fun. So I hope you respect my opinions and I would love to hear yours as well.

Verdict: 4.3/10

1001 Movie Challenge: Little Miss Sunshine (2006)


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Finally got around to watching this movie, its been sitting there for a long time. Without further ado, the second review in the 1001 movie challenge.

Summary:

A family filled with a mix of unique of characters go on an adventure to get the youngest member to a beauty pageant which she has been waiting for her entire life.

Story/Script 7.9/10

Now from far away the story may seem like a very generic movie that would be forgotten quickly. The story works because of the mix of unique characters tied in with the great choice of actors to play them. when it started in my mind I was like oh this will go this way and happy ending and done. But when it veered a bit off of the way I thought it was good. The script could have been a bit better, but the story carries it well I think. I think that making a good casual movie is very difficult. Of course not as difficult as complex movies, but still, to make a simple movie good is a challenge, so I commend them.

Music/Soundtrack 7.4/10

This was honestly a tough one to decide on a score, because casual movies are very easy to choose a soundtrack for. There are like 3-4 scenes where I feel like the track didn’t match the emotion that was projected from the actors and story. In other parts it really matched well with a calm and catchy tone. Usually for me, if its a casual movie, I would enjoy something like the way “The Terminal” did it. Spielberg did a very smart move in putting a very catchy tune, it fit with the movie and it ended up in everyone’s head when they were done with the movie. So I feel like if Little Miss Sunshine had “that” track and tune it would’ve benefited it, instead of just a jumble of casual tracks.

Acting 8.1/10 

There are two reasons why I gave this category the highest of my ratings: Paul Dano, and Alan Arkin. I don’t even need to explain it, Paul is a phenomenal young actor who chose many eccentric roles rather than regular ones that teens choose. Even without having to speak, he is able to portray his character brilliantly. Also Alan Arkin who received a well deserved Oscar for his role in this movie (Though Wahlberg deserved it too for The Departed). Some of the other actors really didn’t stand out as much. Steve Carell was good in my opinion but wasn’t as good as Paul and Alan. As for the rest, they were just okay in my opinion. (I am very strict with acting, to most people they might like them all so this is just my opinion)

Directing 7.9/10

For me, both directors did a lot of things right and missed on a lot of things as well. I feel like this is the case with me and dual directors. I never seem to get the movie as much as with a single director. The Coen brothers too I just cant get them (I’m gonna get flack for this). But yeah it felt like the movie was done by two people, and not the idea of one. If you notice like a lot of the montage clips which goes from one character to another has a certain style in which it was made, but it does not match as well with the other. There were some brilliant scenes that were shot and made overall. I think it was one of the best movies both of them could have made but I don’t think they will ever be able to top it. 

Average Score: 7.825

Should you watch it? 

Honestly I would recommend this movie for two people. One, for people who always look for something simple and casual in movies something quick that they can watch with nearly anyone. Two, for the few truefilm audience who appreciate movies that can nail a casual one. If you are looking for something complex, well directed, or a movie that will blow your mind this is not it.

 

Thank you for reading, suggestions and feedback is always appreciated.

1001 Movie Challenge: Boogie Nights (1997)


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Okay for the first review of the challenge I will start off with the most recent one I have watched. Before beginning, I will say that I am biased towards Paul Thomas Anderson, because I love him so yeah.

Summary

A movie revolving around Eddie Adams, a young highschool dropout who is trying to to enter into the porn industry. The tale goes through many ups and downs with a wide array of unique characters.

Story/Script 8.6/10 

Now boogie nights is a very odd movie when someone tries to explain it. I think it’s because of how unique the idea is. Porn really hasn’t been explored that much in the big screen, in a serious tone that is. I think it was actually a great idea for PTA to go with this story and theme because it was very very interesting. The characters were really great because they all tie in together and go through all the ups and downs together. The script I think could have been a bit better. His writing has gotten much much better throughout the years. All in all the story is so unique, yet the script could have been a biiit better.

Acting 8/10

Here is the thing about the acting, since 80% of the actors are really good, not a lot of people stand out as much as they need to. Without a doubt it was Mark Wahlberg’s best performance. He was great in the movie, at some parts he seemed cheesy but it was on purpose because of the tie in with porn. As for all the others, they were all great overall. I did not really enjoy Burt Reynolds as much as I should have. His acting is a bit generic I guess which is what turned me off of him. Philip Seymour Hoffman as usual is freaking amazing (super biased). So yeah acting is great but no one really stood out.

Music/Soundtrack 8.9/10

As expected from any PTA movie, the music is phenomenal. The movie really engrosses you into the time of the movie. I really felt like I was in the 1970’s not just because of the clothes, and aesthetic, but the music played a key role. The movie is basically an up and a down. The music was true to each part. The uphill part of the movie had really perfect disco music and stuff that just blended in perfectly. And when everything starting going downhill, the music was so intense. Repetitive slow drum beats just hits you. The intensity is perfect and the soundtrack perfectly plays with the plot.

Directing 8.7/10  

I feel like Paul Thomas Anderson was handicapped with this project. It his basically his first full work that he did, with directing, and writing. He was under a studio which was very skeptical about what he wanted to do. As much as I adore his directing, I feel like it was the weakest. Because he evolved so much it is just amazing to see how he started. His following shots are pure genius. The follow a character and move along to see what the other one does. It is amazing. But honestly, I feel like if this was the only I watched of his I would have given a higher score. Because I have seen his evolution and increased skill I feel like he could have done better. I consider this movie as a first step and an experiment for him. All in all, there are so many moments in the movie which were pure genius, while others could have honestly been done way better.

Average Score 8.55 

Should you watch it?

Honestly for a PTA movie this would be one of the only one of his movies that I wont be scared to recommend to anyone. It is casual enough for “normal” people to enjoy, and complex enough for truefilm lovers to enjoy and analyze. If anyone wants to see the experiment of a great director, or a movie with a very unique story, this is the movie for you. I really appreciate, respect and love this movie. It was a great watch.

1001 movies you must see before you die challenge


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   Well i decided to start something on this blog. Since I have been aiming to complete this book for the past year. I thought that it would be a good idea to review every movie I watch from the book. The format and length of the reviews is still unknown. Honestly I think I may just tackle subsections like, directing, acting, script, and give each one a score out of 10 without going into detail a lot. Then finally ending with my opinion and if you should watch it or not. I currently own this edition of the book which is limited to movies till 2009. 

 

   If anyone has any other idea for a review format for this series it would really be appreciated. As always feedback and suggestions is always appreciated.

Thank you for reading.