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Month: August 2015

This Be a British Accent (Mortdecai Review)

I’m also now on sportstalkfromthe6.com

Charlie Mortdecai (Johnny Depp) is a charismatic British, shady art dealer. He unfortunately suffers from a lack of money to support his and his wife Johanna’s (Gwyneth Paltrow) lavish lifestyle. When his old friend and an agent in MI5, Alistair Maitland (Ewan McGregor), comes to ask for his assistance in finding a missing painting, he accepts. What he doesn’t know is that he is not the only one who covets the painting as an American heiress (Olivia Munn) and a revolutionary also wants it for themselves. They want it because it is rumored to contain a secret code to a bank account containing Nazi gold.

I’ve known about this film ever since it was released in January of this year. I’ve also been avoiding it until now because of its reputation of being a bad film. Being close to the end of the year, I thought I would be thorough and see this film for myself. This may not come as much of a surprise but this film is as bad as they say. Let’s start with Johnny Depp. He has played many different characters in his career, with the most famous ones being Captain Jack Sparrow and Edward Scissorhands. I guess they thought they can elevate the character of Charlie Mortdecai to their level but unfortunately they don’t come remotely close to doing that. He is simply an annoying British caricature. I believe they were trying to make it funny by him acting snobby, mostly during interactions with other characters, and weak by constantly hiding behind his stronger-looking bodyguard/man-servant Jock (Paul Bettany). It just didn’t work because it just wan’t funny. There’s also a subplot involving Alistair having a crush on Johanna but its merely implied and was never fully explored. What also wasn’t funny was the juxtaposition between Jock’s duties. He’s a man who kicks ass and also cooks and cleans. There’s also some slapstick which just came across as stupid. There’s supposedly a story here about finding a stolen painting but it takes so many turns and adds a bunch of extraneous characters but I quickly lost interest due to sheer boredom. I probably wouldn’t have been as bored if the actors didn’t look as bored and disinterested on screen. There wasn’t much chemistry to be had either, especially between Depp and Paltrow as they seemed the most disinterested through their performances. It would definitely had helped if their accents weren’t so bad. What was arguably as bad as the accents was the cringe-worthy dialogue where is evident that they were trying to make it funny but it just wasn’t. Despite how bad as I have made it out to be, it’s not the worst film I’ve seen. When it comes to a score, anything I see from now on will be compared to Fantastic Four. That one is in a league of its own.

Score: 4.5/10

If you liked this, please read my other reviews here.

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Can’t Escape My Love (No Escape Review)

I am now also on sportstalkfromthe6.com

American Jack Dwyer (Owen Wilson) is taking his wife Annie (Lake Bell), and their two young daughters Lucy and Beeze (Sterling Jerens and Claire Geare) to Southeast Asia to begin a new life. His company sent him there because of their plans to improve the water quality within the region. Soon after their arrival, they learn that they’re now in the middle of a political uprising. Now they must face armed rebels ordered to kill foreigners that they see. Despite the impending chaos, he must find a way to save both him and his family from all of the violence around them.

If I could use one word to describe this film, it would be intense. Luckily for us, it all starts very early on. More about that later. From the music, the camera work, the action, and the performances by both leads (Wilson and Bell) who are known primarily for comedic roles, you can really feel that intensity. I will say that this film is violent but I never found it inappropriate as it added to the intensity. I liked how the plot kept moving forward as the characters kept moving forward themselves as they were always in a sense of danger. And because of what I’ve already mentioned, you feel that sense of danger as a viewer. Because of that, I was often on the edge of my seat watching. What the film did well was that it created several moments of suspense and tension which created a great degree of uncertainty. For the most part, they held onto this but they started going away from it closer to the end when Jack decides to turn on his “my family’s in danger so now I know how to fight and use guns” switch. I would have prefered more of the former than the latter but that is a minor complaint. I can’t go too much further without mentioning an appearance by Pierce Brosnan as Hammond who is pretty much James Bond who is wearing a Hawaiian shirt instead of a tuxedo. I wish we could have had more of him because I thought he stole all the few scenes he was in. I liked the story but I thought it was missing something as it never really explained the cause of the political uprising other than showing one scene at the beginning and a brief conversation later on. I would have liked to have seen more about this otherwise it’s just Americans running away from Asians with guns and knives. Some have said this film is racist because of this and also it’s depiction of the Asian people but the argument could be made that the filmmakers were a little ignorant about Asian culture. Despite all of that, I was thoroughly entertained. I like suspense and to be on the edge of the seat. If you want a little better suspense, I recommend The Gift.

Score: 8/10

If you liked this, please read my other reviews here.

Nope (We Are Your Friends Review)

I am now also on sportstalkfromthe6.com

Cole Carter (Zac Efron) has dreams of gaining notoriety as a Hollywood DJ and also spends his days and nights hanging out with his buddies while working on a track that he hopes will set the world on fire. An opportunity soon comes knocking when he meets James Reed (Wes Bentley), a veteran DJ who takes the younger DJ under his wing. An obstacle later presents itself along his path to success when we starts to have feelings for his mentor’s girlfriend which begins to jeopardize his relationship and the future he was destined to have.

The title for this one probably should have been “We Are Your 1-Dimensionsional Friends”. With a story that is about friends, I didn’t really care too much for these ones. There’s nothing really new or original here. I found them rather annoying and cliche and that they didn’t really add anything to the story but that’s inconsequential since the story isn’t about them. Now about that story. It is a silly story to begin with but it also seemed to be facing an identity crisis. It didn’t know whether it wanted to be a coming-of-age story or a party movie. Unfortunately it did not do either well. I found the party scenes quite dull as they consisted primarily of questionable people dancing in clubs to electronic music.  The coming-age-part was slightly better since it contained less of Cole’s friends despite it being both cheesy and cliche. The parts where we saw him learning about how to be the best were somewhat captivating despite being something I’ve seen before thousands of times (i.e. Southpaw) and also despite the fact that Wes Bentley’s character felt like a caricature of a common mentor. What I didn’t like about this film, other than the friend characters, was the story. I found the first half watchable but it fell apart for me during the second half. Without giving anything away, I’ll say that there were a few subplots that I felt were unnecessary to the overall story and I found that things ended a little too nicely which did not make sense to me. For a story about overcoming one’s environment and making a name out of one’s self, I didn’t think it did a good job at explaining how one goes about doing that. I’m not saying that it didn’t explain this but rather it did off-screen and through a series of implications. The only thing I liked about this film was the music. I was never a fan of electronic music but it was well done here as it showed a lot of creativity and imagination. I have never been a fan of Zac Efron but he at least made this watchable. If I want to see a young person coming-of-age story, I’d see Paper Towns.

Score: 6/10

If you liked this, please read my other reviews here.

The Quicker Picker-Upper (American Ultra Review)

I’m also now on sportstalkfromthe6.com

Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg) is a simple, stoner who spends most of his time getting high and writing a comic about a monkey astronaut. What he doesn’t know is that he has received secret training by the CIA to become a lethal killing machine. When the CIA decides to target him for termination, his former handler (Connie Britton) decides to reactivate him thus turning him into a weapon. Now, he must try to use his new abilities to save himself and his girlfriend Phoebe (Kristen Stewart) from getting killed.

Continue reading “The Quicker Picker-Upper (American Ultra Review)”

Grabbed by the Bughuul-ies (Sinister 2 Review)

I’m also now on sportstalkfromthe6.com

To hide from her abusive husband, Courtney Collins (Shannyn Sossamon) is living in a rural house with her 9-year-old-twins, Dylan and Zach (Robert Daniel Sloan and Dartanian Sloan). Dylan, meanwhile, is having nightmares and can’t sleep because he receives visits from the ghosts of kids who show him disturbing films of their families and others being murdered. All of this was started by Bughuul, an evil spirit who is recruiting children in the hopes of them murdering their families. Their family’s only hope may be in the form of a former deputy (James Ransone) who is familiar with Bughuul and his past exploits.

Keep in mind that I haven’t seen the first film so I am not qualified to compare it to the first. I am not completely sure if it makes any references to the first film except for James Ransone’s character who returns from the first film. Without giving too much away, the story in this film is just plain silly. There will be many moments that will make you ask why primarily because they are just stupid and/or not make sense. I found the characters not very likeable, especially the family. The characters aren’t too original and come off as cliche. There’s an overprotective, oblivious parent and naive, gullible children. One of the things I didn’t like about the film was the fact that a lot of it was told from the kids’s perspective. This would be okay in any other instance but what didn’t make it work for me was because of how annoying they were as well as what I previously mentioned. They were merely driving the plot forward but it just seemed too easy and unearned. The dialogue also did get pretty bad at certain moments, mostly ones involving the children. I also did not find this film very scary either as the majority consisted of jump scares which never got me, weird noises, and things moving on their own.  I felt the story was very slow because it never really got going until near the end where it actually became a little scary but by then it was too late. What I also didn’t like that there was no real threat in the film as Bughuul was relegated to just popping out from unexpected places and unexpected times. The only real evil here were the creepy ghost kids who were really good at being creepy through their pale make-up and creepy dialogue (minus the cheesy stuff). The only real thing I liked about this film was James Ransone’s deputy. I liked the way that he awkwardly handled everything and that he wasn’t the standard, leading-man type. He was trying to be the lead but I just didn’t see it but I will say he came close. He also drove the plot as he was used mostly as a vehicle to steer us through most of the film’s scares. I will end by saying that this isn’t the best horror movie I’ve seen this year but it’s still watchable.

Score: 5/10

If you liked this, please read my other reviews here.

If I Could Find a Way

Continuing with the point I made earlier about being thorough, I thought I should provide a list of the top 10 movies of 2014 (I also included some of the 2014 movies I saw at the beginning of 2015).

**Update**

August 25th: I forgot to add Birdman to the list … so I did.

1. Her

2. The Lego Movie (review)

3. Guardians of the Galaxy

4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

5. The Immatation Game

6. Foxcatcher

7. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

8. Gone Girl

9. Birdman

10. X-Men: Days of Future Past

Hitman? (Hitman Agent 47 Review)

Genetically engineered from conception through decades of research, a man known only as Agent 47 (Rupert Friend) was made to be a perfect killing machine blessed with unrivaled strength, speed, stamina, and intelligence. His current target is an evil corporation, known as Syndicate International, led by Le Clerq (Thomas Kretschmann) who is looking to uncover 47’s past in order to create an army of killers (agents) who are even more powerful than him. With the help of a young woman, Katia (Hannah Ware), he must confront revelations about his own origin and battle against his deadliest foe, John Smith (Zachary Quinto).

I’ll just start off by saying not to listen to rotten tomatoes on this one. As I am writing this, the film has an 8% rating on the site. You know what also has that rating on the site (also as I am writing this)? The most recent Fantastic Four film does. That film is terrible. This film is no masterpiece but it is a lot better than Fantastic Four. My synopsis above implies that the film has a story but it really doesn’t. I’m not sure if they thought they needed to explain anything since the film is based on the video game series of the same name or if they were trying to take its characters and give them a new story. I will admit that I am vaguely familiar with the video game series but you really don’t have to be to be able to enjoy this film. This may be because of the running time but to understand what is happening, you must simply accept what you are being told. Luckily there isn’t too much of it since the action sequences are at the forefront here. Although very well choreographed, very violent, and exciting, certain aspects defy both sense and reality. What I found unsettling was how bad all of the various henchmen were as they just seemed stupid and died a little too easily. I understand that the filmmakers are supposed to make the stars look good but I would have liked if they could have put up a little more of a challenge. Also, a lot of those sequences contain several instances of bad CGI which took me out of the experience but they panned away from it rather quickly. My favorite part of this film has to be Rupert Friend’s performance as Agent 47 because I thought he really embodied what the character would have looked like. I thought Zachary Quinto was good too but he didn’t really have too much to do and Kretschmann even less in this one. The real disappointment here is the story (or the lack of) what really seemed promising at the start where it tried to introduce and develop the characters as well as their motivations fell apart around half-way through and became an average, flashy, action movie. The last time I’ve seen this is in the Ryan Reynolds movie Self/less from a month ago. This film is watchable but I just wanted a little more.

Score: 6/10

If you liked this, please read my other reviews here.

Coming Soon (September)

These are the movies that I will try to see this September. Hopefully I can get to them all but it isn’t easy getting limited releases in Ottawa.

Sept 4th
The Transporter Refueled

Sept 11th
The Visit

Sept 18th
Black Mass
Cooties
Everest
The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials

Sept 25th
Before I Wake
Sicario
The Green Inferno (NSFW)
The Intern

Sept 30th
The Walk

A Silent Protest

Some of you may (or may not) be wondering why I haven’t done a third part for any of the series of posts on my site. If you’ve missed them, here they are again:

  1. Fallout 3 Playthrough (Part 1)(Part 2)
  2. Where Nightmares Are Made (Part 1)(Part 2)
  3. The Hall of Shame (Part 1)(Part 2)
  4. A Worthy Waste of Time (Part 1)(Part 2)

Continue reading “A Silent Protest”

All the Single Furries (A Worthy Waste of Time 2)

I get bored sometimes and my mind tends to wander. This is the last time it happened. As the title suggests, today it is furry videos. I’ve always been fascinated with that culture as I’ve wondered why one would decide to do this in the first place? These feelings came back to me when I was watching an episode of @midnight where a certain furry video was featured in one of their segments. After seeing it, I decided to look it up on youtube to watch the whole thing and that I did. When I was finished, I started watching some of the recommended videos. They definitely did not disappoint. I was surprised by the amount of furry videos that were available but I only had a half-hour so I stopped after 4 videos. Here they are:

1. All the Single Furries/Single Ladies (Stinky Stusky)

Continue reading “All the Single Furries (A Worthy Waste of Time 2)”

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