Did lightning strike twice?
Avengers Age of Ultron is the follow up to the avengers and the culmination of everything that went on in Phase 2 of the Marcel Cinematic Universe. AoU was not a bad movie, in fact it was a pretty good movie but it has quite a few issues and struggles to bare the weight of the MCU. It's strange in almost every way AoU was better, the action was better, the interactions were better, the world was better, there was more of everything but as a whole it does not come together as well as the original. Sometimes there is too much and you see it really trying to just be better than the Original but not have as much impact, there are a few sequences that are just bugger versions of ones from the Avengers but don’t have the same impact.
On the characters, they have been more fleshed out since the first Avengers and are about as good as they were before. Interactions and banter is good, there is a bit of a forced romance which does not work super well and Hawkeye of everyone probably gets the best character development and the best line in the movie. The new additions are a bit underwhelming, Scarlet Witch and Quick Silver have their moments, they don’t get a ton of dialogue which is a guess for the best considering their fake Russian/eastern European accents. Visision on the other hand is very good, his initial appearance is great and Paul Bettany got pretty lucky. Quite a few other MCU characters pop up in the movie and its good seeing them, War Machine gets a slightly bigger role than you would think, Falcon not so much.
Ultron is mostly good, he sound amazing and looks amazing save for his mouth movements which were a bit off for me but that’s knit picking. The main issue I had with him is the flip flopping he goes through being very menacing to a bit too comical. He is supposed to be of Tony Stark and his displeasure at being compared to Stark is funny but it also feels out of place at times. If I could pin point it Ultron lacks charisma, he's says the right things but I don’t think he inspires much confidence.
As for the MCU in general, there is some interesting Thor Ragnarok stuff that sets the scene for Thor Ragnarok. The stage is set for Captain America Civil war but nothing directly leading in. Not really any mention of Ant Man unlike Winter Soldier, No Spider Man hints either. There is some Phase 3 strings but too much aside from the Thor related stuff and a Dream Sequence.
On the Subject of 3D don’t see this in 3D, I don’t know if it was because of lack of sleep since I had gone out the previous night but when I saw it for the first time the 3D was pretty subpar, passable in most cases but definitely made the movie worse. When I saw it regular it was a lot better, motion was better as as expected colours were a lot better.
Overall Avengers Age of Ultron is not a bad film, its pretty good actually but it does not have the impact of the original. Everything is technically bigger and some would say better but there are also times when it feels like its going through the motions. The story of Ultron and the evolution of the characters is fine and everything but with Thanos on the horizon Age of Ultron feels a bit like a warm up for Phase 3 than the culmination of everything Phase 2.
The fast and the Furious Franchise is a pretty interesting thing, starting off with the first few movies being about street racing, it has become one of the biggest action movie franchises in the world. The fast and the Furious is universals biggest movie franchise and Furious 7 this year's first billion dollar movie.
Get hard is a comedy starring Will Farrell and Kevin Hart, and while they are very funny people the movie itself ends up being a bit of a mixed bag. For people not aware the gist of the story is that Will Farrell a successful stock trader/investment banker/financial something has been found guilty of fraud and faces hard time for his crimes. He enlists the help of Kevin hart to get himself prison ready. Not the worst premise in the world and some potential for good jokes. I feel like I have been saying this for a lot of my reviews lately but the movie does not start off strong. Before Will Farrell gets arrested and he and Kevin Hart are just living their normal lives I feel the movie is pretty weak. The jokes are pretty meh, the way will Farrell goes about his life is absurd and Kevin Harts set up is also a bit odd. Once Will Farrell gets arrested the movie gets better and then when Kevin is training will for Prison the movie gets pretty decent. The jokes become better, the banter is good and Kevin Hart and Will Farrell work pretty well together. There Will Farrell has some pretty good scenes at the beginning of his training, at one point the two have to go into the hood and that’s pretty funny and at one point during the movie there is a confrontation with neo Nazis which is really good. The finale has some decent jokes but the ending is a bit predictable. Not all the jokes are good and there are a few that could probably considered homophobic and racist though I don’t think there mean spirited. I guess I should also mention the rest of the cast, they are fine. Alison Brie is in it and I did not recognize her at the beginning, but she is in it. Her character is a lot different than Annie on community, though as usual she is pretty hot.
Overall the movie was decent and Kevin hart and Will Farrell are pretty funny in. is this their best work? defiantly not Will Farrell has been in way funnier movies and Kevin Harts stand up is also a lot better than this movie. If you're looking for a comedy to watch this movie is not too bad, but defiantly check out Will Farrell's other movies or Kevin Harts stand up if you're looking for something better.
All Night Long
Run all night is an action movie that stars Liam Neeson, it is very similar to the other action movies starring Liam Neeson in recent years, though it is more of a redemption story than a power fantasy. Liam Neeson portrays Jimmy Conlon a former hitman/enforcer. He has son Mike who is not a fan because of the whole organized crime, murder and generally being a bad father thing who lives more or less a normalish life and is a good person. The main antagonist is Ed Harris as Shawn Maguire a mob boss turned legit and Jimmy's BFF, they talk a lot about crossing lines together. Shawn also has a son who is a terrible person and more or less wants to follow in his father's footsteps before he went legit.
The movie starts off introducing from the characters, their circumstances and some of the history between those characters, it's interesting for the most part but is pretty slow and probably could have been handled better. Anyway this being a Liam Neeson movie something needs to happen so that Liam Neeson is forced to do his thing. That thing happens and spoiler alert but someone dies and Liam Neeson and co. have to Run all night. Just one thing on this incident, Liam Neeson's kid is involved and it looks like whole reason the entire movie happens is because Mike Conlon closes a door too loudly and gets himself seen. That silliness aside Neeson and co make their way through the city evading Shawn Maguire and his men until well you know the rest final confrontation, the end. Its not quite that simple but is the gist of it.
Run all night was not that bad apart from it starting slowly, the action was good the characters were good notably Neeson and Ed Harris and while it was not the most original movie in the world it was executed very well. There is one minor villain whose story is resolved at a stupid time. There is a detective who has a history with Jimmy Conlon who is a bit contrived. As I said before the movie starts slow but once the characters have to "Run all night" it gets good. The climax and final confrontation between Ed Harris and Liam Neeson is done well. The actual ending is flows a bit weird it does not really take anything away from the good 60-70% of the movie.
Overall there is not much that surprising in the movie but its executed well. Its starts pretty slow and the ending is a bit odd but the movie ramps up pretty well and most of it is good. It was Much Better than taken 3 and for the most part an enjoyable movie.
Had fairly high hopes for this movie, I have been a fan of Neil Blomkamps work, I loved District 9 and Elysium was pretty good as well. So I was very interested to see how CHAPiE would turn out,
The cast was kind of a mixed bag, Dev Patel as Deon was decent and Hugh Jackman while kind of inconsistent was serviceable he is an asshole for whatever they need him to be, he's supposed to be a military person but sometimes it's his faith that’s driving him and yeah its inconsistent. Sigourney Weaver is in it and its always good seeing her in sci fi though her character is not very major. And after coming off as a fairly reasonable strong character she is turned by Hugh Jackman very quickly. There is also Die Antwood the South African rap group in the movie and I thought they were a bit hit or miss, when they were raising chappie they were good but the stuff outside that was a bit to silly also Yolandi just seems a bit too nice to be in a criminal gang. On to Chappie I quite liked the robot he takes on the characteristics of those around him and its funny seeing the way he acts as he learns. His movement/body structure is kind of similar to the prawns of district 9 but he is different enough/becomes different enough that he is pretty memorable.
On to the movie itself, the story was decent though some Hugh Jackman's antics are really stupid. There is a scene with some pretty terrible workplace harassment right in the middle of an office and its a wonder Hugh Jackmans character does not get fired, or that nobody seems to mention it. As this is a Sony Movie there was plenty of Sony Product Placement, lots of Vaio Laptops which is funny because Sony just spun Vaio off. PlayStation 4s are featured and its funny how they end up being used, strangely enough I don't remember seeing any Xperia Phones. The Action was good, most is at the end similar to D9. Actually a lot of the movie was similar to District 9 probably to CHAPiEs detriment though as most of it was better in D9.
I tried to temper my expectations after seeing the reception and for the most part I enjoyed the movie, it definitely had its issues but was not really that bad or anything until the ending. The movie comes off as reasonable even with how crazy Die Antwood are you can suspend your disbelief because it’s a movie but the ending is just so jarring that it brings the rest of the movie down. I get what the messaging is and what the intention was for the ending but it comes in so abruptly and is not executed very well.
Overall I enjoyed the movie for the most part though it certainly had its issues. You could do a lot worse movie wise but Neil Blomkamp could do better.
Made for TV
This is a pretty strange movie on the surface, dark comedy with romantic and heist elements starting Will Smith and Margot Robbie, Turns out it is a bit of a strange movie. Will Smith was alright some of the movie he is quite good and the whole con man thing works well other parts not so much and in the later half he is pretty mopey. Margot Robbie is fine though her characters motivations seem al over the place. Supporting cast is ok some are better than others. Story wise it’s a bit of an odd movie in that does not really feel like a movie rather 2 or 3 episodes of a basic cable drama, something a kin to white collar or burn notice with a few episodes missing. I quite liked the heisty elements of the movie and when Will and Margot are doing that stuff it works decently. Other parts of the movie did not work as well, the humour is pretty hit or miss, mostly a miss for me and some of the details were a bit inconsistent. They make the con business out to be more of a volume thing but the bigger heist type things happen anyway.
I would say where the movie falls apart is the 2nd half without spoiler too much it happens a period of time after the first act and is kind of all over the place, the ending especially was very jarring. They tried to do some foreshadowing and I guess there was supposed to be a bit of a gotcha moment at the end but I don’t think the foreshadowing was done that well and it felt kind of random and abrupt. One other very minor thing but I saw this movie in 16:9 which did not help the whole feels like TV thing.
Overall while it had some good elements I did not find Focus to be a good movie, some people will enjoy it but there are much better things to watch.
I had heard quite a bit about the whole American jingoism thing that is supposed to be going on in this movie and indeed it is there but I did not think it was as heavy handed as it was made out to be. I thought this movie was alright. Cast was fine, story was alright and was interesting enough. There are a few silly things like an enemy sniper subplot but the biggest thing I took issue with the most was everyone's motivations, which ranged from noble to terrible. Chris Kyle seems to join the war with somewhat good intentions but ends up staying for pretty bad ones. I guess the movie is supposed to be about how war affects people and you see that but it defiantly draped in an American Flag.
Overall it’s a bit of hard movie to talk about without getting too political. I see the entertainment value of the movie, I see the value in Chris Kyle Achievements and I see what its trying to get at with what returning soldiers have to deal with but as much as Clint Eastwood claims the movie is anti-war it seems like its glorifying a pretty terrible war.
I thought this movie was pretty good, The story of Alan Turing, the enigma machine and that whole operation at Bletchley place Is very interesting and defiantly deserving of being told with in a feature film with a good cast and decent budget. While enjoyed the film I feel I would have liked it more if I had not known about the Bletchley place/enigma machine/code breaking thing that went on during WWII from documentary's. The documentaries I have seen did not really touch much on the individuals but the mechanics of the enigma machine , the big "a ha" moment and the aftermath I already knew so those moments did not have as much impact.
Benedict Cumberbatch did a great job as Alan Turing walking the tight rope between crazy and brilliant. Supporting cast was pretty good, Charles Dance was menacing as always, the other code breakers were pretty good and Kiera knightly was good as well even if she looks nothing like the person she was portraying. Its not perfect there are a few too many contrived scenes and there are 1 or 2 subplots that are a bit silly. Overall it’s a solid movie, definitely worth your time.
Kickass Spy movie
Initially had pretty low expectations, had seen the trailers and it looked pretty average. After learning it was directed by Mathew Vaughn(Kick-Ass, Xmen First Class) and had an R Rating my interest was piqued though the trailers still gave my doubts. Anyway after seeing it I have to say it was pretty tremendous, it really was a Kickass Spy Movie.
Stand out of the cast was defiantly Colin Firth, being known for his dramas and romantic comedies you don’t really know what to expect but wow he was really good and had some great action scenes especially a certain one he as in a church. Rest of the cast was fine, Sam Jackson's(Richmond Valentine) accent was kind of strange but overall good villain, the protagonist "Eggsy"(Taron Egerton) was good, "Roxy"(Sophie Cookson) was decent though I wish she did more and Sofia Boutella as Gazelle, (Richmond Valentine 2IC) was really good and had some great fight scenes. Mark Hamill is also in sounding like a less crazy British version of the Joker.
Story was fairly interesting, it’s a spy movie so a few twists and turns which is to be expected but its not your usual spy movie. It brings some original stuff and is overall also solidly executed. The action was really where it was at, the action is in the same vein as Kick-Ass very violent but really really good and very creative. There isn't too much blood but its definitely there and the damage inflicted is definitely above and beyond what you will see from your usual PG13 action movie.
Overall really good movie, did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did. If an action movie a notch above the usual or a spy movie that will probably be way more violent than the next Bond movie sounds good to you than go see this movie you're in for a treat.