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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Quick Reviews: 2013 Movies [PART 06]

Maniac (2013) - Slightly artsy, slightly moody, slightly odd, "Maniac" is just as crazy, sadistic, and disturbing as its title suggests, but it's lacking in suspense and true scares big time, and not even Elijah Wood nutty performance can compensate for that. (4.00/10)

R.I.P.D. (2013) - Some creative camera work aside, "R.I.P.D." sounds fun on paper, but actually sucks. It's ridiculous, genuinely silly, the special effects are pretty obvious, and so is the lack of chemistry between the leads Ryan Raynolds and Jeff Bridges. (4.50/10)

V/H/S/2 (2013) - As expected, "V/H/S/2" is a hit-n-miss horror anthology, with the hit certainly being Gareth Evans' sick, gory and unsettling "Safe Heaven", and the miss being... well... all the other three shorts, as well as the very unfortunate frame narrative. (5.00/10)

Oblivion (2013) - Its futuristic barren scenery, combined with the splendid washed-out cinematography, and flawless CGIs makes it really visually-stupendous, but "Oblivion" is too unspectacular, aimless, confusing, and lifeless to be a successful sci-fi movie. (5.25/10)

Kick-Ass 2 (2013) - Neither as inventive, nor as delightfully witty as its predecessor, yet never boring, "Kick-Ass 2" is a very passable sequel, featuring some sarcastic, often black humor & crazy action, injected with a huge dose of enjoyable ridiculousness. (6.00/10)

Man of Tai Chi (2013) - Luckily for all action junkies, "Man of Tai Chi" is non-stop fighting, the choreography by Yuen Woo-ping is spot-on as usual, and the central character Tiger Chen is pretty likable, but on the other hand the story is very paper thin. (6.00/10)

Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons (2013) - Not as half as good as "Shaolin Soccer", or "Kung Fu Hustle", "Journey to the West" is, in a typical Stephen Chow fashion, goofy, cartoonish, and fun, but not nearly as inventive as it's supposed to be. (6.00/10)

Elysium (2013) - It's pretty innovative, well-acted, technically-brilliant, remarkably detailed, and featuring a first-class CGI work, however, "Elysium" never realizes its full potential, leaving the viewer somewhat unsatisfied, yet still thoroughly entertained. (7.00/10)

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) - Grimmer, darker, slicker, and better than the cult original, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" is 'more of the same', but that's okay as it still works on so many levels, especially when it's crafted with such care. (7.75/10)

The Grandmaster (2013) - It unevenness aside, "The Grandmaster" is not only a wise and philosophical film, but also one of the most polished martial arts movies ever made, flaunting Kar-wai's elegant direction, and Woo-ping's masterful fight choreography. (8.50/10)


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I liked Oblivion much more than I like Elysium. It wasn't very original (Battle Angel Alita anyone?) and the major plot flaw of why there weren't black market healing beds (as they were obviously made on Earth like everything else) ruined it for me.
Haven't seen the others, although I heard RIPD was bad.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Alex, wow, seriously? Oblivion was such nonsense. Elysium was entertaining at least. I'm surprised you haven't seen the Hunger Games sequel. It was actually pretty good, and that's coming from a non-fan of the franchise.