Category Archives: Review

Battle Of The Movies: Captain America: The Winter Soldier vs Guardians Of The Galaxy (Spoiler Free)

Time to kick back and put on your favourite superhero pajamas! It’s the battle of Marvel Studios’ blockbusters Captain America: The Winter Soldier versus Guardians Of The Galaxy. After going head to head in several categories such as Story, Characters and Overall Awesomeness, we’ll turn the floor over to the all important people’s decision (that’s you!) for your pick for the best Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two movie of the year.


 Story

Captain America: The Winter Soldier avoids the trappings of a mindless spectacle of fights and explosions because at its core it’s a clever espionage thriller wrapped up in superhero awesomeness. As with many great spy-genre movies, a lot of tension comes from not knowing who to trust. Trust, loyalty and betrayal are big themes which are explored on the personal and political front. Because Captain America is more grounded in the real world, it’s easier to make a connection to the broader ideas of the film, in particular to people’s trust/distrust in their government. Story wise, the rug gets pulled out from under the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a spectacular manner and it’ll have lasting implications in future movies.

Only several months after The Winter Soldier hit theatres Marvel Studios premiered Guardians Of The Galaxy. If you’re not familiar with this movie, check out Guardians Of The Galaxy: Everything You Need To Know for the synopsis and why Marvel is expanding into the cosmic universe. It’s a compliment to say that Guardians feels less like a typical comic book movie and more like a Star Wars meets Indiana Jones type of sci-fi action adventure film on steroids. The story shares a common thread with Marvel’s Avengers, it’s essentially about larger than life individuals who butt heads before coming together as a team although there’s nothing generic about Guardians. Director James Gunn’s vision is bold, lots of fun and manic.  Buckle in your seatbelts because the story quickly immerses you in another galaxy, far far away, yet it’s the same universe inhabited by Captain America. Driving the story is the macguffin but what’s makes the movie entertaining are the likeable characters and how dangerous situations are subverted with humour.

Read the rest of this entry

Mini Movie Review: Shame (2011)

Michael-Fassbender-in-Shame-2011-Movie-Image

Shame (2011)
Director: Steve McQueen
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale and Nicole Beharie

Shame didn’t hold my attention until about the 15 minute mark when Brandon’s (Michael Fassbender) sister played by Carey Mulligan unexpectedly shows up at his New York apartment and throws a wrench into his cycle of sex addiction. Up until then, the movie is a vignette of emotionally numbing sex acts and shameless shots of Fassbender’s dangling member. My renewed interest wasn’t because of Mulligan’s performance either, she’s not nearly as captivating as the lingering camera shots would suggest. But her character’s off kilter presence is an inadvertent catalyst for Brandon to confront his inner demons, giving this movie a compelling, worthwhile direction. Having said that some of the strongest scenes didn’t involve Mulligan but with Nicole Beharie (Sleepy Hollow). To a certain extent, Beharie’s character sees through the cracks in Brandon’s dysfunctional façade and calls him out on his bullshit in a way that he can respect. She could be the healthiest if not, least destructive relationship in his life if he can only overcome his debilitating aversion to real intimacy.

Read the rest of this entry

Genre Grandeur: Constantine (2005) Movie Review

Constantine Keanu Reeves 2005 Movie

Hope everyone’s summer is off to a rocking start! For this month’s Genre Grandeur at movierob.wordpress.com, it’s comic book / superhero movies. If you would like to share your thoughts on a comic related movie, it’s not too late. You have until the 25th to submit your entry. So far, there’s been many great reviews including Iron Man, Dredd (2012), The Avengers, The Amazing Spider-Man, Man Of Steel and The Punisher.

There’s a whole bunch of new comic based television shows coming this fall. NBC’s Constantine is one that I’m not familiar with so I thought I’d check out the movie version for the first time.

Head on over to movierob’s site for my take on 2005’s Constantine. Thanks to Rob for being a gracious host and remember to follow his great blog!

continue_reading_button

Question of the Month: Worst Comic Book Movie

sidekickreviews:

What’s the Worst Comic Book Movie? Check out another great edition of Oracle Of Film’s Question Of The Month! Terrific answers from everyone!

Originally posted on Oracle of Film:

It’s a tough life for a comic book movie. While they might be surpassing all expectations, they don’t have too much choice. Even before Marvel set the bar terrifyingly high with Avengers Assemble, the stakes were high. These characters have become myths, legends to their fans. Most superhero comics were created as a form of escapism during the Great Depression, so they have a special place in our hearts. These movies have the tough job of living up to that, so it stands to reason that some superhero movies are going to fail miserably. Below, you guys, have been given a chance to rant about the worst of those movies.

I have also included a sub-category, where each of you described Joffrey in three words. Be warned, I have permitted very strong language to be used, seeing as we are talking about everyone’s favourite Game of Thrones character. I personally…

View original 2,619 more words

Movie Roundup: Which of this month’s Blockbusters are Studs and which are Duds?

Godzilla 2014 Movie Poster

Captain America: The Winter Soldier more than whet my appetite for the onslaught of blockbusters in the month of May. The Godzilla trailer had me excited if it could be this summer’s apex predator while I was cautiously skeptical if Days of Future Past could be X-Men’s equivalent of the Avengers.

There are also some older films that I watched this past month, some of them I wouldn’t have heard of it wasn’t for recommendations from movie bloggers. I’ve included excerpts from the best blogger reviews I came across on all of these movies. Check out the full write up by clicking on the link and remember to follow those awesome blogs.

What do you think of this summer’s blockbusters so far? What is your favorite movie, new or old, you watched in May?


Amazing Spider-Man 2

The_Amazing_Spiderman_2_poster

Sidekick Reviews: While the sequel is anything but amazing, there are some positives to take away. The chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone comes across really well on-screen.  I also liked how ASM2 embraced its comic-book roots, including Spidey retooling his web slinger to get the edge over the villain. ASM2 could have benefited from streamlining the number of plot threads and villains. The studio has it’s eye on setting up the Sinister Six spin-off but neglected to fully develop these villains into engaging, complex antagonists in this movie. The Average Spider-Man doesn’t have the same ring to it.


 Neighbors

Neighbors_(2014)_Poster

Sidekick Reviews: A raunchy, obscene, frat-boy comedy. If you’ve never been a fan of Seth Rogen’s brand of humour, Neighbors won’t change your opinion. But if you’re a fan like me, this comedy delivers some big laughs as the war between neighbours escalates into the absurd and the amusingly inane. Neighbors is about being afraid to grow up and avoiding adult responsibilities, something that perhaps many can identify with, even if everything else in the movie is fun, far-fetched silliness.

Read the rest of this entry

The Legend Of Drunken Master Movie Review

The Legend Of Drunken Master Jackie Chan Poster

The Legend Of Drunken Master (1994)
Director: 
Lau Kar Leung, Jackie Chan (uncredited)
Starring:
Jackie Chan, Anita Mui, Felix Wong and Lung Ti


He’ll do just about any death-defying stunt to please his fans. He hung from a ladder attached to an airborne helicopter, dropped off a clock tower multiple times and even crab walked over burning hot coals.  Not one to rely on digital effects, Jackie Chan performs stunts that are considered far too dangerous or physically impossible for any other lead actor. 

Having never watched Hollywood hit movies like Rush Hour and Shanghai Noon, my newly found appreciation for Jackie Chan comes from discovering the cult classic The Legend of Drunken Master, the follow up to 1978’s Drunken Master.

The Legend of Drunken Master is an entertaining mix of old-school kung fu fighting and good-natured humour. At times, it’s amusingly silly however it’s not without dramatic moments that carry some weight. The fantastic action scenes are the highlight of this movie about an irresponsible young man who learns some hard lessons on his way to becoming a folk hero. 

Read the rest of this entry

You’re Next: Horror Movie Review

youre_next-version2-movie-poster

You’re Next (2011; U.S. release date 2013)
Director: Adam Wingard
Starring: Sharni Vinson, Joe Swanberg and AJ Bowmen

Slicing and dicing just doesn’t cut it anymore. Straight-up slasher flicks are nowhere as popular as they once were. Most of the popular horror movies I’ve come across lately involve the supernatural, a science fiction twist, monsters, grisly torture contraptions, found footage, or Kristen Stewart. That last one is a horror for very different reasons.

After too many sequels and remakes, slashers films have become stale, predictable and cliché ridden. It’s easy to understand why the average movie fan has outgrown the basic plot of a masked man on a killing spree. In several ways, You’re Next is a tip of the hat to a subgenre of slasher films: the horror home invasion movie. But can You’re Next breathe new life into a dying subgenre of film?

(more…)

To The Wonder (2012) Movie Review

to-the-wonder-movie-poster-ben-affleck-rachel-mcadams

To The Wonder (2012)
Director: Terrence Malick
Starring: Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Javier Bardem and Rachel McAdams

The process of financing and marketing a major motion picture often requires the attachment of a bankable high-profile actor. In the case of Terrence Malick’s Tree Of Life, getting Brad Pitt as the lead actor put the film on the radar of mainstream moviegoers. Whether big stars produce big office results is another story altogether; it certainly wasn’t the case with The Rum Diaries starring Johnny Depp.

I tend to follow the films of directors I admire more so than big name actors. Of the few films I’ve seen directed by Malick, I regard them as challenging and evocative works of art. Tree of Life is a movie that’s off the beaten path for me but I deeply connected with it. For these reasons, I’m curious if Malick’s follow up film To The Wonder would be another hidden gem.

(more…)

Man Of Steel Movie Review: The Humanity of Superman

Man Of Steel Poster 2013 Superman Henry Cavill

Man Of Steel – Movie Review & Discussion (Spoilers)

Director Zack Synder’s Superman reboot delivered destruction, spectacle and a bold new take on a revered character. Man of Steel is a good summer blockbuster, breaking box office records with the biggest June opening ever in the U.S. but it’s missing something from making it great.

Continue reading my discussion with Cibarra as we give our uncensored thoughts on why ‘Man Of Steel’ is less than super, the humanity of Superman and on the controversial ending.  Read the rest of this entry

Christopher Nolan’s “Following” – Movie Review

following-christopher-nolan

This is a spoiler lite review of Christopher Nolan’s neo-noir classic titled ‘Following’, the first feature film from the director of The Dark Knight Trilogy.

“You ever um … been to a football match just to let your eyes rise, go over, drift across a crowd of people, and then slowly start to fix on one person and all of a sudden that person isn’t part of the crowd anymore? They’ve become an individual, just like that.” says a young man in the opening monologue of Christopher Nolan’s ‘Following’.

Back in 1998, before the success of ‘Memento’, ‘Batman Begins’ and ‘Inception’, Nolan wrote and directed a no-budget movie he filmed with his friends over several weekends. The inspiration for ‘Following” comes from Nolan’s own experience of feeling isolated despite being surrounded by millions of people in his home city of London.

Read the rest of this entry

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 542 other followers

%d bloggers like this: