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Friday, December 19, 2014

[7.00/10] Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)

Quick Review: Although it does come a bit later than it should, this morbid, gritty, brutal, and violence-driven sequel will hardly disappoint the fans of the original, thanks to a stellar cast, confident direction, and intriguing plot. Its otherwise unique visual style does not really feel as impressive as back in 2005, even if this black and white imagery with a pop of saturated color is still pretty artsy, and gives the movie a comic book look & feel, indeed.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

[5.75/10] Exodus: Gods and Kings [3D] (2014)

Exodus: Gods and Kings [3D] (2014)

Quick Review: Kudos to director Ridley Scott for being able to pull off such a technically challenging film -- he does it tastefully, but it feels like he had paid more attention on the visuals than on the story. Alternating from snoozy dull to reasonably epic, "Exodus" is inconsistent and pretty messy, with its highlights being the spectacular 'plague' scenes, almost ruined by the often useless 3D. Bale and Edgerton both do their best and work superbly together.

[5.25/10] Horrible Bosses 2 (2014)

Horrible Bosses 2 (2014)

Quick Review: With a better cast and execution, and slightly more dynamic plot, this is the less horrible "Horrible Bosses" of the two. That being said, much like the original, this loud sequel fails to deliver big laughs, and at least a tiny bit of wittiness. Instead, it continues in the same fashion with typical vulgarity, tired jokes, and very cheap humor. Waltz, Spacey and Aniston are all amusing, but the rest of the cast are either boring, or obnoxious... or way too much in-your-face.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

[6.50/10] The Theory of Everything (2014)

The Theory of Everything (2014)

Quick Review: It is not an easy watch for sure, because of its slow, but not that smooth pacing and the pretty sad story it tells, but "The Theory of Everything" nevertheless remains a solid biopic with a touch of genuine romance, that entertains as well a moves. Both leads deliver, but it's Redmayne that deserves a special mention for his award-worthy portrayal. The cinematography is very rich and gives the movie visual authenticity and charm.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

[7.25/10] Still Alice (2014)

Still Alice (2014)

Quick Review: Along with "You're Not You", "Still Alice" is another wonderfully-crafted drama dealing with illness, that is as absorbing as it's heartbreaking to watch. Julianne Moore's heartfelt portrayal of a middle-aged professor, diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease deserves recognition, if not an Oscar -- she conveys the struggles of her sick character so believably, it's deeply touching, plus, the visual simplicity contrasts beautifully with the film's difficult subject matter.

Monday, December 15, 2014

[5.00/10] Tusk (2014)

Tusk (2014)

Quick Review: It wins some points for its weird originality, and there are some truly funny moments in it, as well as some delightfully gruesome ones, but all in all, Smith's "Tusk", is over-exaggerated and absolutely ridiculous in every way, and even if that seems intentional, it does not work in the film's favor at all. With the first half having a different feel than the second, you can't help but feel you are watching two different movies. The characters in it are not at all that likeable, either.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

[8.00/10] Predestination (2014)

Predestination (2014)

Quick Review: Arguably, the most mind-bending film since "Inception", "Predestination"'s two-layered plot, that skilfully balances extraordinary drama and time travel sci-fi, offers thought-provoking paradoxes, and twisty infinite time loops, that mess with your head in the most thrilling way possible, leaving a lot to think about after the credits roll. There's a lot to be impressed by here, from the sheer originality, and excellent direction, to Sarah Snook's superb performance in the lead.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

[6.50/10] A Most Wanted Man (2014)

A Most Wanted Man (2014)

Quick Review: Set in dim, murky Hamburg to fit the lurid atmosphere, this skillfully executed espionage thriller has a lot going on for it, and will definitely keep you intrigued, thanks to its intricate puzzle of a plot, but for better or worse, "A Most Wanted Man" is a bit too subtle for the most part, hence, it won't be to everyone's liking. The entire A-list cast turn in excellent performances, with Phillip Seymour Hoffman being the true standout here, with a role that deserves to be seen.

[5.25/10] Jessabelle (2014)

Jessabelle (2014)

Quick Review: A peculiar ghost story and nonsensical voodoo stuff mash-up with little to no connection between its frequently confusing plot elements, "Jessabelle" may has its decent moments of creepiness, but overall, it is an incompetently put together horror feature, that has nothing new or original to provide, leaning entirely on Sarah Snook's solid lead performance as the title character, who makes it watchable at times. Don't expect any genuine suspense from this one.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

[7.75/10] Nightcrawler (2014)

Nightcrawler (2014)

Quick Review: Not only it gives us a very intimate look at its intriguing subject matter of crime journalism with curious details, but this intense, steadily-paced and technically-slick thriller celebrates Jake Gyllenhaal's best performance yet, as the driven, determined, but as well monstrously cold-blooded and manipulative Lou, who will most likely shock you with his disturbing behavior. Much like its lead character, "Nightcrawler" has a dark side to it, that makes it scary in a genuinely credible way.

[6.75/10] As Above, So Below (2014)

As Above, So Below (2014)

Quick Review: Arguably the most claustrophobic movie, since "The Decent", "As Above, So Below"'s confined maze-y setting will certainly make you feel uptight, uneasy, and probably gasping for air, but it has other strengths as well -- it explores human fear, as well as theory of hell existence rather effectively, using archeological 'facts' and some good 'found footage' techniques, in order to deliver a frightening experience, horror geeks will enjoy.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

[5.50/10] Annie (2014)

Annie (2014)

Quick Review: Quvenzhane Wallis is hilarious and utterly adorable as the title characters, and steals every moment she is on screen, but sadly the rest of the cast fails to deliver, particularly Diaz with her obnoxious performance. And even though it's a musical, the singing in "Annie" is too frequent, kind of distracting, and not always good. The corny, predictable plot further bring this otherwise cute movie down, and puts it into to the 'average at best' category, which is never ever a good thing.

Friday, December 5, 2014

[6.00/10] The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014)

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014)

Quick Review: Most definitely a big step down from the tense and grim "Catching Fire", "Mockingjay Part 1" often feels like an entrée, before the main course, even if it still has its moments of exciting spectacle, as it's overall a rather slow and quiet set up for the hopefully better "Part 2", lacking in action, sheer intensity and big thrills, and relying mostly on human drama, and Jen Lawrence's tendency to almost overact in order to evoke some emotion.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

[7.25/10] The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014) [1000th Review]

The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)

Quick Review: Refreshing, spicy, and truly flavorsome, "The Hundred- Foot Journey" is as enjoyable and visually-appealing as a fancy meal, even if it covers an already familiar ground. Offering hilarious cultural clashes, sharp and witty dialogues, picturesque locations, a sprinkle of romance, and yet another excellent performance by Hellen Mirren, this cooking dramedy with a Hindi twist is a tasteful lighthearted entertainment and a pleasurable watch.

Monday, November 17, 2014

[4.75/10] Before I Go to Sleep (2014)

Before I Go to Sleep (2014)

Quick Review: C. Firth is miscast. Strong is underused. Kidman is as great as usual, and does her best with the material she's been given, but sadly the latter just ain't that good. The problem with "Before I Go to Sleep" lies in the script, which is supposed to be smart and intriguing to the point of keeping you on the edge of your seat, biting your nails, but instead it ends up being messy. Simply nothing about this amnesia- related film is believable.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

[5.75/10] The Guest (2014)

The Guest (2014)

Quick Review: Dan Stevens surely gives an intense, and pretty much career-defining performance as the sympathetic, yet manipulative guest turned intruder with cruel intentions, but much like director A. Wingard's previous effort "You're Next", "The Guest" is a pretty overhyped, hence rather disappointing effort, ruined by its largely far-fetched story, naive characters, and lack of big thrills to make up for its other very obvious shortcomings. The movie's look isn't exactly polished, either.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

[6.25/10] Camp X-Ray (2014)

Camp X-Ray (2014)

Quick Review: So understated and slow-moving, it pretty much borders on monotonous, and yet still quietly entertaining, the character-driven "Camp X-Ray" is as much humane as it's not, taking its controversial, yet worth telling subject matter into account. The dramatic relationship between the two main characters is the main and probably only driving force of this movie, and it is really fascinating to watch, even if unlike the amazing Peyman Moadi, Kristen Stewart fails to captivate.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

[7.00/10] Interstellar (2014)

Interstellar (2014)

Quick Review: Technically brilliant and visually awe-inspiring, Nolan's ambitious project, "Interstellar", is on one hand an etheral futuristic space saga deling with some questionable scientific phenomenons such as fifth dimensions, black holes, worm holes ... and some plot holes as well, and on the other hand, pretty much just an exquisite void that barely excites, because of its one-note moodiness & the hollowness it radiates, in spite of all the family drama involved. The final act delivers though!