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Friday, August 31, 2012

[4.00/10] Silent House (2012)

Silent House (2012)

QuickRating: Shot with a single camera, and in one take, just like the original 2010 Uruguayan movie, "Silent House" relies mostly on Elizabeth Olsen's fairly convincing performance, who manages to care the entire movie on her shoulders, but its creators fail to capture the creepy tone of "La casa muda", and as a result, this remake ends up being a messy, boring nonsense with weak scares, zero thrills, and a hugely anti-climatic final act, that leaves the viewer confused.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

[5.50/10] The Five-Year Engagement (2012)

The Five-Year Engagement (2012)

QuickRating: It's realistic, current, charming and fairly engaging, but "The Five-Year Engagement" is also overlong, only mildly amusing and has a very weird atmosphere that that makes it look moody. The usually amusing Jason Segel and the beautiful and uber-talented Emily Blunt are great, but only on their own. Their chemistry as an on-screen couple is lacking big time and their relationship just doesn't feel believable enough.

[4.25/10] The Lucky One (2012)

The Lucky One (2012)

QuickRating: Sure, almost nothing about this romantic drama based on Nicholas Sparks 2008 novel of the same name feels over-exaggerated or too cheesy and sentimental and Taylor Schilling's super-expressive performance makes it watchable at times, but at the end of the day, Scott Hicks' "The Lucky One" is painfully slow-moving, everything but heartfelt and touching, and full of countless and rather tedious love scenes, and it's every bit as dull as Zac Efron's bland character.


[3.75/10] A Thousand Words (2012)

A Thousand Words (2012)

QuickRating: Eddie Murphy does an adequate job considering his voiceless character and the poor script he's been given to work with, Kerry Washington is gorgeous and alluring as usual, and there are a couple of sweet moments, but apart from that, "A Thousand Words" is just another predictable, laughless comedy with a ludicrous premise and tons of flat jokes, that probalby ranks as one of its main star worst movies ever, if not the worst.



Wednesday, August 15, 2012

[7.00/10] Think Like a Man (2012)

Think Like a Man (2012)

QuickRating: Believe it or not, Tim Story's latest box-office hit, "Think Like a Man" is a pure chick-flick, that is suitable for dudes as well. Since it's a nearly impossible thing to achieve, the director deserves credit for that. Yes, it's a bit talky and way too 'overcrowded', but it's also smart, amusing, wittily-written and delightfully easy to watch, plus, it flaunts an attractive and talented cast of actors, that make it even more enjoyable. Rom-coms could not get any better than that!


[4.50/10] The Babymakers (2012)

The Babymakers (2012)

QuickRating: After a quite clever and surprisingly hilarious opening scene, "The Babymakers" quickly turns into a vapid and unimaginative comedy that tries desperately to be funny and original, but ultimately fails to rise to the occasion, despite its on-paper potential and appealing main cast. On the top of that, the movie mostly feels and looks like a straight-to-video affair, without any sort of technical and visual qualities or at least a decent direction.



[3.50/10] LOL (2012)

LOL (2012)

QuickRating: Demi Moore's engaging performance and one or two enjoyable moments aside, Lisa Azuelos' tasteless coming of age dramedy, "LOL", certainly lives up to its silly title - it's laugh-out-loud cheesy, ridiculously predictable and overstuffed with tons of tired cliches, and not even Miley Cyrus' mouthwatering cuteness and sugary charm can save it from being an instantly forgettable ho-hum teen flick with cheap TV-series feel to it.



Monday, August 13, 2012

Editor's Note: CineMarvellous' Third Anniversary!


Today, on August 13,
CineMarvellous! Celebrates
Its THIRD Anniversary


Hello, dear readers and blog buddies! August 13 is a very special date for me, because exactly three years ago, on this very day, I've created my lovely little movie blog and become part of the awesome craziness called blogosphere. So, guys, today CineMarvellous! celebrates its third anniversary, and as its founder and creator, I'm very excited about that. Happy birthday, CineMarvellous!:)

Lots of great things happened since the last anniversary. In April 2012 I've become a contributor to the wonderful White Cat Magazine, where I write movie reviews and movie-related articles for my monthly column, titled "Screen Shots with George Beremov". I would like to thank to Rick and editor-in-chief, Charles, for this amazing opportunity. It means the world to me. Also, some of my brief reviews are featured on the newly launched site TVFilmNews.com. Thank you, Larissa, for asking me to join your awesome site. I appreciate it.

Now it's time for the usual statistics: So far, my blog has been visited exactly 192,735 times by 40,822 unique visitors from 174 different countries. How cool is that?! :) I would like to thank to all my regular readers and commentors as well as accidental visitors, but above all, to my dearest blog friends I'm extremely happy to know:

Mel @ Melissa's Imaginarium & The Movie411
Alex @ Alex J. Cavanaugh
Matty @ FilmMattic
HorrO @ Horro's Gory Reviews
Maurice Mitchell @ The Geek Twins
Alex Jowski @ Alex Jowski Movie Reviews
Kaijinu @ Sticky Red
Ben Harris @ Ben Harris Blog
M. Hufstader @ The Smoking Pen
Michele @ The Girl Who Loves Horror
Russ @ filmsRruss
J-Son @ SON:sation
venoms5 @ Cool Ass Cinema
Ricky @ Ric's Reviews
Stevee @ Cinematic Paradox

Thank you all for being so supportive! I will continue to provide you with my simple, yet honest, movie reviews, so stay tuned.;)

[5.50/10] Total Recall (2012)


Total Recall (2012)

Brief review: A remake of 1990 sci-fi movie of the same name, "Total Recall" is "Underworld 1&2" director Len Wiseman's latest project, that manages to impress with its top-notch visuals and high-octane action scenes, but falls short in terms of storytelling, due to a largely sub-par script and lack of creative ideas. A few familiar plot elements aside, the story has nothing to do with the original one, and not in a good way. Obviously Wiseman has decided to exclude the trip to Mars from the story, thinking Mars is 'so 90s', but that's his major mistake. The plotline is not only overly twisty hence confusing, but also hugely unsatisfying and only semi-interesting. At least visually, "Total Recall" has the WOW factor. From the gritty, Asian-influenced production design to the stylish futuristic visuals and eye-popping special effects, everything about this movie is technically marvellous. Wiseman is usually great at shooting action, and "Total Recall" is no exception. There are a couple of Matrix-inspired incredibly well-shot action sequences that will leave you in awe. The cast is well-chosen, but the mediocre script doesn't allow them to shine. Colin Farrell is solid in his role, but his action skills are pretty poor compared to Schwarzenegger's, plus, the on-screen chemistry between him and Jessica Biel is nonexistent. Kate Beckinsale, on the other hand, is not only pure eye-candy, but also an absolute force of nature.

Overall summary: Visually-stupendous and stylishly action-packed, yet surprisingly unimaginative plot-wise, Wiseman's version of "Total Recall" is not a total disaster, but it's totally disappointing, and not as half as memorable as Paul Verhoeven's masterfully-crafted original.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

[5.75/10] V/H/S (2012)


V/H/S (2012)

Brief review: Hitting US theaters on October 5 2012, "V/H/S" is a horror anthology that consists of six 'found footage' shorts, created by five different horror movie directors and one directing quartet. The big hype around this movie set our expectations high, but sadly "V/H/S" ends up as a let down, and far from being one of the best of its genre, despite the variety it offers. There are two solid shorts, two mediocre ones and two terrible ones, and as a result, "V/H/S" as a whole is 'average at best'. Adam Wingard's main story, "Tape 56", is nothing more than a pathetic excuse to showcase the rest of the shorts and doesn't work on its own at all. Nobody will care for it, nor will even attempt to understand it. David Bruckner's "Amateur Night" is all over the place and has tons of pointless dialogues and obnoxious characters, but more patient viewers will be 'rewarded' with some good gore and creepy images. Ti West's "Second Honeymoon" is boring as hell, but at least the twist ending is shocking, unexpected and works well. Glenn McQuaid's "Tuesday the 17th" not only feels trashy and amateurish, but the whole story is just plain stupid. Joe Swanberg's "The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger" is voyeuristic, nasty, bizarre, and everything but scary. Radio Silence's "10/31/98" successfully blends different horror genres, and it's the scariest, most memorable and effective of the bunch.

Overall summary: Insanely overhyped, yet still a decent effort, "V/H/S" is an ambitious 'found footage' horror anthology with its highs and lows, that offers some gore, a couple of good scares and creative ideas, but at the end of the day, it's nothing especially groundbreaking.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

UPDATE: Nebular's TOP 20 Favorite Movies of 2011


AN IMPORTANT UPDATE:
I've been wanting to do this since the very day I posted my top 20 of 2011, because truth to be told, I wasn't completely honest with myself (hence with all of you) when I was arranging the list, but didn't have the guts to admit it. Here's the thing - On Mar 9 (My Birthday) 2012, I posted this top 10, crowning Benny Chan's "Shaolin" as my favorite movie of the past year, but only an hour after that I realized that my heart was disagreeing with me. It was saying to me (and still does): Admit it, the 2011 movie you loved the most was "The Help", not "Shaolin"... And it was right. Completely right. I've seen "The Help" three times now, and each time I saw it, my love for it got bigger and bigger. I just love everything about this movie - it's touching, it's funny, it's engaging, it's sad, it's amusing, it's inspiring, it's witty... it's a true roller coaster of emotions. Also, each and every single one of the cast members were completely brilliant in their roles, especially Octavia Spencer as Minnie. She was and still is my favorite character in the movie and one of my favorite characters of all time, and I couldn't be happier she got the Oscar. She totally deserves it! Moreover, it was a technically marvellous film. Taylor's direction was effortless, smooth, silky and skillful, the production design was slick and wonderfully authentic, the retro-ish cinematography was stunning, and the costumes were just beautiful. Don't get me wrong, I still LOVE "Shaolin" and it's right up there with "The Help", but the latter has that extra special something no other movie in 2011 had. I hope you all understand and can forgive me this stupid 'mistake' I made. I'm always 100% honest in my reviews, so I guess something was wrong with me back on that day. Click THIS LINK to see what the updated list looks like after
Tate Taylor's amazing movie "The Help" took the top spot. If any of you want to leave a comment, do it on the original post by clicking the highlighted link.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

[8.25/10] The Tall Man (2012)


The Tall Man (2012)

Brief review: Don't get mislead by the seemingly hackneyed premise, because" Martyrs" director Pascal Laugier's first-ever English-language feature film, "The Tall Man", is like nothing what you’d expect at all. The first half may be fairly clich├ęd and pretty straightforward, but that’s just part of Laugier’s clever plan. He wants to mess with your head and leave you with the impression that this is yet another generic horror film about an unknown stranger kidnapping little kids, then halfway through, he throws a curveball that makes you realize nothing in this film is what it seems. From that turning point on, "The Tall Man" starts to play more and more tricks with your mind, right until the very end, when everything falls into place and begins to make perfect sense. "The Tall Man" is definitely not your average kidnapping movie, but something much more than that—it’s unsettling in its realism, intelligent in its approach and profoundly genius in its slick execution. The isolated setting and gloomy cinematography match with the mysterious tone of the film, and Pascal Laugier’s capable direction successfully maintains the intensity of the story. Jessica Biel gives a solid “comeback” performance as the caring, yet shifty town nurse, the oddly adorable Jodelle Ferland makes the film even more engaging than it already is, Stephen McHattie is great as the police detective, Lt. Dodd, and the supporting cast do their best.

Overall summary: It’s no "Martyrs", but Laugier’s latest shocker, "The Tall Man", is still a thought-provoking, deeply disturbing and strangely captivating horror thriller with a great message, filled with mind-boggling twists and turns, that will haunt you long after the credits roll.

Read (and comment on) the extended version of my "Tall Man" review, written exclusively for White Cat Magazine HERE.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

[7.00/10] Magic Mike (2012)


Magic Mike (2012)

Brief review: After last year's exceptional horror drama "Contagion" and his girl-power-fueled spy thriller, "Haywire", from earlier this year, Steven Soderbergh brings us yet another cinematic winner - "Magic Mike" - an inventive erotic comedy with a touch of romance, that despite its predictable script, by-the-numbers story and an unexpectedly sudden ending, never fails to engage and inform its audience. Soderbergh gives us an intimate, yet very interesting look at what it's like to be a male stripper and sell yourself, with all the positives and negatives. Watching half-naked hunky men dancing and taking their clothes off can't be a guy thing, can it? Therefore, "Magic Mike" should be considered purely as a chick flick, though not a cheesy one. The strip dance routines are sexy, entertaining, glamorous, and nicely-choreographed, and definitely will appeal to the female part of the audience, while the male part of it will envy the male strippers' popularity, good looks and super-fit bodies. Direction-wise, "Magic Mike" is impressive to say the least. Soderbergh uses his typical 'simple, yet slick' filming style and trademark yellowish cinematography to make sure he's recognizable enough. All the actors involved are perfectly cast. Channing Tatum has finally lost his stiffness, delivering the performance of his career as the smart and hard-working Dallas, plus, Pettyfer, Horn, and McConaughey shine on screen.

Overall summary: It feels a bit incomplete because of its abrupt ending, but Soderbergh's "Magic Mike" still benefits from its thoroughly original concept, spot-on execution and attractive male cast, that captivates the viewer with their charisma, sex appeal and, of course, talent.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

[2.00/10] Airborne (2012)


Airborne (2012)

Brief review: After his debut feature film "Cut", which, back in 2010, claimed to be the the first ever horror film shot in one continuous take, UK director Dominic Burns brings us his second attempt at horror - "Airborne" - a "Twilight Zone" inspired (or more like uninspired) horror thriller, which can be easily labeled as 'British horror at its worst' for numerous reasons. From the clumsy direction to the confusing script and dull visuals, everything about "Airborne" screams disaster, not to mention the unlikable, often obnoxious, and badly-acted characters, you couldn't care about less. Apart from some decent sound effects, the only good thing about this mess of a horror film is its 77-minute running time. However, because of its lackluster execution and rather chaotic plotline, the movie feels twice as long. Set on an airplane, "Airborne" is slightly claustrophobic, but it lacks the most important horror factors such as shocks, thrills and scares, as it desperately tries to cover-up these flaws by throwing in some gore, in order to remind you that you're watching a horror movie. Unlike "Cut", "Airborne" is not presented in the popular 'found footage' style, but that doesn't make it more interesting, visually. The poor production values and bland cinematography, combined with the lack of budget and imagination, make "Airborne" very unappealing to the eye, and the overall experience even more painfully tedious.

Overall summary: Amateurishly acted and directed, cheap in feel and look, and lacking in any sort of scares, thrills and suspense, Burns' uninspired, messy horror wannabe, "Airborne", should have either gone straight onto the DVD shelves, or better, never existed at all.

This review is also featured on TVFilmNews.com