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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Going on Summer Vacation! :)

Hey, everybody! :) I'll be on vacation for the next couple of weeks (better late than never), so I won't be able to post anything on my blog until September 6th at the earliest. During this time I won’t have any internet access and I'll be unable to visit my favorite blogs, to comment on your new posts, and to moderate the comments you've left! But I promise to catch up when I get back! ;) I'll travel to our own Black Sea Coast, where sunny beaches, golden sands, great weather and crystal clear sea water is expecting me. :) Jealous? :) Don't be. Hope you all have/had a great summer vacation! See you in September, guys.

Monday, August 23, 2010

[5.25/10] The Expendables (2010)

The Expendables (2010)

Loads of action, stupid story, over-the-top explosions and macho one-liners is what you expect from "The Expendables". And while you get a hunch of all this, Stallone 80's-inspired action flick fails by presenting far too many characters, who just don't have anything interesting to do at all. The first half is utterly boring and slow, the middle segment lacks stunts and the whole third part consists of the grand finale, which is basically the only big explosive action scene in the entire movie. The action itself isn't choreographed or shot in the 80s fashion at all. You have fast cuts, shaky cam, confusing camera angels and lot's of CGI blood. Stallone tries to combine 80's action stars with contemporary style of filmmaking and action, but it just doesn't work. The dialogue, too, is lacking. Obviously a stellar script was not going to be the main draw here, but most of the great action movies have some snappy banter and at least one memorable one-liner, where this has neither. It does try a few times, but these efforts fall flat. One of the most prominent features of "The Expendables" is, of course, the A-list cast of biggest action stars in Hollywood history. Most of the film's focus is on Stallone and Statham, who both work fine on their own, but are lacking in chemistry when on-screen together. Stallone may not have much in terms of a personality other than 'he's the leader', but he's acceptable. Statham has his usual, natural charisma at hand and he uses it to the fullest, yet the two don't quite mesh together. Lundgren is rather good, with his character turning to the dark side not long into the film, making for a decent role. Eric Roberts isn't a great villain at all - all he does is wear tuxedos, smirk and act like a total ass - but he does ok with what he was given. Everyone feels underused, especially the martial arts master , Jet Li, which is a common symptom of an ensemble cast such as this. In fact most of the cast becomes fully functional only in the second half of the movie. All in all, "The Expendables" is poorly-written, badly-shot and rather brainless. It lacks spectacular action, excitement and kinetic energy, and it's just occasionally entertaining.

  • My Rating: 5.25/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 39% (5.2/10)
  • IMDb: 7.6/10

[7.00/10] The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec (2010)

The Extraordinary Adventures of
Adèle Blanc-Sec (2010)

Set in 1912, Luc Besson's latest adventure/fantasy flick "Les aventures extraordinaires d'Adèle Blanc-Sec" is an adaptation of the Franco-Belgian comics of the same name, written and drаwn by Jacques Tardi. Adèle Blanc-Sec is basically the female version of Indiana Jones, and while less adventurous than IJ series, this film is just as enjoyable and entertaining to watch. Adèle is an early 20th century young adventurer slash journalist and she hunts down all kinds of supernatural and mythical creatures including stuff like sailing to Egypt to tackle mummies and things of all shapes and sizes. Louise Bourgoin, who palys the title character, certainly possessing a remarkable onscreen charisma! She's beautiful, sweet, charming, natural and last but not least, she can act. Bourgoin delivers an energetic and hilarious performance as Adele, and her incredible presence carries the film along. The supporting characters are largely interesting and well-acted, but none of them stand out as Adele does. Visually, "Adèle Blanc-Sec" is spectacular! The cinematography offers rich visual treat and beautiful sets from early 20th century Paris and sandy Egypt. The art direction is colorful and vivid, the costumes are gorgeous, and the special effects, while a bit cheesy at times, are rather good. All in all, "The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec" is visually-arresting, humorous and highly enjoyable fantasy flick, that delivers what it promises - a delightful entertainment!

  • My Rating: 7.00/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: N/A
  • IMDb: 6.0/10

[4.75/10] Why Did I Get Married Too? (2010)

Why Did I Get Married Too? (2010)

Tyler Perry's "Why Did I Get Married Too" is a sequel to his 2007 film "Why Did I Get Married?". Well, that's pretty obvious. The plot is quite straightforward - Four close couples eagerly reconnect, sharing news about their lives and relationships, gathered together in the Bahamas for their annual one-week reunion. But their intimate week in paradise is disrupted by the unexpected arrival of Sheila's ex-husband, Mike, who hopes to break up her new marriage with Troy and win her back. This sequel was definitely darker and more serious than it predecessor, but it still had plenty of laughs thanks to Tasha Smith's crazy over-the-top acting. She was hilarious, yet so loud and hysterical, she quickly became horribly annoying. However, Malik Yoba and Janet Jackson are the centerpiece of this movie. Janet Jackson really brought the drama - she really did an impressive job in portraying the character she play, who really goes through a lot. The other actors also did a decent job. "Why Did I Get Married Too" is typical Tyler Perry, so it's somewhat corny, a bit rushed and hugley over-written, but it was fairly entertaining nevertheless. Having said that, the ending completely killed it for me - it was ridiculously happy-endish, stupid and totally dissapointing. Overall, "Why Did I Get Married Too" has its moments, but its cheesy ending, overlong running time, and Tyler Perry's poor direction make it just another mediocre relationships drama.

  • My Rating: 4.75/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 38% (4.9/10)
  • IMDb: 2.5/10

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

[6.75/10] Cemetery Junction (2010)

Cemetery Junction (2010)

"Cemetery Junction" is simple and slow-moving, yet gripping and thoughtfully enjoyable. It's about three young men, who are best friends, all feel trapped in a small rural English town in the early 70s, and make plans to break out. The story is a poignant one with teary moments and a love story thrown in for good measure and it all flows to a great soundtrack. Screenwriters /directors Gervais and Stephen Merchant have done a fantastic job writing a story, that is both funny when it needs to be funny, and emotional when it needs to be emotional. What both directors do well here, is that they take time and with great effect to develop each character's story. Speaking of characters, they work very well together – there's an engaging chemistry between the three relatively unknown actors. Christian Cooke plays Freddie Taylor, the boy hoping to leave behind the factory work of his father. Tom Hughes is wonderful as the rebellious Bruce, and Jack Doolan as Snork, is hilarious as he's charming, playing the hapless station announcer. As always Ralph Fiennes plays a great 'villain' - a self-obssessed, steeped in arrogance boss of an insurance company, with subtle underplaying from Emily Watson as his oppressed wife. Technically, the film is marvelously-crafted - the cinematography is wonderful, with all the scenes look and feel like they are shot in the 70s. Despite its cliched story, "Cemetery Junction" is nicely-shot, well-acted, heartfelt and uplifting coming of age drama, that deserves to be seen. One of the better UK films this year!

  • My Rating: 6.75/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 62% (5.9/10)
  • IMDb: 7.2/10

[2.50/10] Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (2010)

Cats & Dogs:
The Revenge of Kitty Galore

While the original "Cats & Dogs" movie was kinda sweet and somehow managed to entertain, this unnecessary, stupid and unengaging sequel brought nothing to the table. Apart from some decent special effects, the only good thing about "Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore" was its short running time. The plot revolves around Diggs, a disobedient police dog who is recruited into Dog HQ and assigned on an important mission to take down the evil Kitty Galore, who is hell bent on enslaving dogs and humans after she was humiliated by her own cat comrades. It's up to Diggs, as well as field agent Butch, cat agent Catherine and annoying pigeon Seamus to stop Kitty and her evil plans. The film is basically a parody of popular action movies, but it's so terribly-made dumb and unfunny, it's almost unwatchable. The humor isn't smart or witty, it just consists of outdated cliched jokes and over-the-top slapstick. I can't really comment on the 3D effects, since I saw this crap in 2D. "Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore" is aimed directly at the under age of 13 audience, and with the (needed) help of voices from James Marsden, Nick Nolte, Christina Applegate etc., it lands directly on that target. It can be liked and enjoyed only by little kids, although I think even they got already tired of talking animals.

  • My Rating: 2.50/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 13% (3.6/10)
  • IMDb: 2.3/10

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

[6.50/10] Doghouse (2009)

Doghouse (2009)

It's no "Shaun of Dead", but Jake West's sexist zombie flick "Doghouse" is funny, gory, enormously entertaining and cleverly-written, and last but not least, it never takes itself seriously. This film is literally a battle between the sexes in the funniest possible way. The story revolves around a group of old friends, who after traveling to a remote village for a weekend of drunken debauchery and male bonding, come under attack from the women of the village, who have turned into bloodthirsty cannibals as the result of a top-secret biological warfare experiment carried out by the army. This is Jake's biggest production so far and the bigger budget certainly shows through in the quality of the movie. The zombie make-up effects are excellent, as are the gore effects, and the settings of Moodley village are quite nice and atmospheric. The film moves along at a brisk pace, with sarcasm and wry humor, and there's rarely a dull moment. Schaffer's script is witty and knowing enough, and it makes "Doghouse" enjoyable, aided by the overall solidness and enthusiastic performances from everyone involved. The cast are surprisingly good in their roles, and look like they had fun making the film. Although the characters are a bunch of morons, I found them quite likable and sympathetic, and I actually cared about them. Although silly and often ridiculous, "Doghouse" is wildly over-the-top horror/comedy with just the right amount of witty humor and delightful blood-splattering horror, to satisfy your inner horror geek.

  • My Rating: 6.50/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 45% (4.6/10)
  • IMDb: 6.1/10

Monday, August 16, 2010

[6.50/10] Centurion (2010)

Centurion (2010)

With his brilliantly uncompromising horror hit "The Descent", UK director Neil Marshall set the bar high, even for himself, and I think he's struggling to top his own effort, ever since "Descent"'s success back in 2006. His 2008 post apocalyptic sci-fi action flick "Doomsday" was decent and fun to watch, but nothing special. With his latest roman epic "Centurion", Marshall yet again fails on his attempt to outshine "The Descent". This doesn't necessarily mean that "Centurion"'s not a good film. It's well-shot, tense and quite entertaining, yet unfortunately, there's almost nothing memorable about it, except for its visuals. The aerial photography of the Scotish highlands is stunning to look at, and really gives the film a truly epic scope. The steely blue tint nicely reflects the harsh and cold atmosphere presented in the movie. The big bloody and butal battles are not only first-rate, but they also help to set the dark and grim mood of "Centurion". The story revolves around a splinter group of Roman soldiers, who fight for their lives behind enemy lines after their legion is decimated in a devastating guerrilla attack. The plot isn't the most original, but it moves along briskly, leaving us little time to draw breath. The acting is above average. Michael Fassbinder has undoubtedly great screen presence, an action film star needs. Plus he can act and he's a pleasure to watch. Dominic West also delivers good performance as Roman general. But the stand out for me is former Bond girl, Olga Kurylenko - she's not only eye-candy, but she gives a forceful, tense performance as Etian, the nasty human hunter. Although Olga's character is mute, her body language is so strong and she's so expressive, it's fascinating to watch. Also, her skill with the spear in particular is more than impressive. Overall, "Centurion" is fairly gripping, gory and intense, and it offers arresting visuals and strong performances from everyone involved. Not one of Marshall finest films though.

  • My Rating: 6.50/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 56% (5.2/10)
  • IMDb: 6.6/10

[5.75/10] Just Wright (2010)

Just Wright (2010)

"Just Wright" is the latest romantic comedy starring the lovely Queen Latifah, and it revolves around Leslie, a physical therapist who falls for the basketball player she is helping recover from a career-threatening injury. Things are further complicated because her Leslie's closest friend, Morgan, is also pursuing him. While riddled with cliches and pretty straight forward, "Just Wright" is sweet and charming, with a decent enough story to make it worth watching. Unlike most romantic comedies this year - "The Bounty Hunter", "The Back Up Plan", to name a few, the two leads actually have great chemistry in this film. Their connection seems so strong, and believable, you might those two fell in love, while shooting the film. Queen Latifah's naturalness is her strongest asset! Latifah is so sincere, natural and easy-going, she's simply captivating to watch. Her remarkably unaffected performance is "Just Wright"'s highlight for sure. Common does a good job as the popular basketball player Scott McKnight, although his character look a bit silly and naive at times. Another problem is that Common is way too short to play a NBA player, and even Queen Latifah is taller then him, which looks a bit strange and might evoke some laughs. Paula Patton looks gorgeous, but acting borders on.. well, overacting. Although, a little bit predictable and cliched, I found "Just Wright"'s appeal very refreshing: if you're comfortable with yourself and if you have enough patience, you might find someone that is comfortable with you too, and loves you for what you are.

  • My Rating: 5.75/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 49% (5.2/10)
  • IMDb: 3.7/10

[3.50/10] Ong Bak 3 (2010)

Ong Bak 3 (2010)

The original 2005 "Ong Bak" film was a breath of fresh air in the martial arts genre. We were all stunned by Tony Jaa, an amazing Thai fighter with incredible out-of-this-world martial arts skills and techniques. Some even crowned him the new Jet Li. Although, I'm not convinced he's as good as Jet, Jaa definitely provides spectacular action entertainment. "Ong Bak"'s sequel came out three years after the first movie, and it offered a fairly decent story and sheer kinetic action, that made it watchable. Unfortunatly, the latest Ong Bak installment fails to deliver on almost every level. It suffers from confusing narrative, scattered pacing, beyond horrible editing, lack of action, and silly overly-simplistic dialogues. This time, Tony Jaa himeslef stands behind the camera, and he does a terrible job as a director - his lack of experience is 'written' all over the screen - unimpressive camera shots, quick-causing-headache-cuts and annoying flashbacks - all this make "Ong Bak 3" not very pleasant experience to watch. Even with the help of his mentor, Panna Pittikrai, Jaa's direction falls flat. The story is completely unexcistent, therefore analyizing it is unnecessary. 2/3-rds of this movie revolves around Tony Jaa's recovering from injuries and wounds caused from the villains. And it's as boring as it sounds. There are one or two fight sequnces during Jaa's long recovery, but they mostly lack energy and fail to make an impression. The third part of the film delivers a little bit more action, but it's unspectacular and dull, and certainly not enough to save this film from being awful. The only good thing about "Ong Bak" is the gorgeous Thai scenery and film's cool art direction. Overall, I didn't expected a lot from "Ong Bak 3", but at least I was hoping it to be on par with the second movie. Unfortunately, it wasn't. It ended up as one of the most poorly-crafted and uninspired martial arts flick I've ever seen, and I've seen many. A major disappointment!

  • My Rating: 3.50/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: N/A
  • IMDb: 5.2/10

Sunday, August 15, 2010

[10/10] 300 (2007)

300 (2007)

(Originally posted on 03.30.2007 @ My RT Journal)

"300" is obviously inspired by a comic book, and should be taken as such. While there are many historical inaccuracies, this movie is clear that it's not attempting to retell history, rather just a great, great story. The story here, though predictable, is told very well. It brings you into the battle and into each choice the soldiers make. It makes you feel that raw gritty emotion of pride and glory that booms from the speakers around you. What makes "300" standout is that each scene brings a very unique look, from the rustling of the wheat grains while the sun pierces the cloud-covered sky, to Snyder's amazing ability to use human skin as a palate of contrast to the colors around it. Snyder never uses the same camera angle twice, and the combination of color and shading makes for an absolute beautiful vision. At times, it was hard to tell if the movie was an actual movie or just a moving painting. It would be impossible to make it look closer to Frank Miller's graphic novel then how Snyder showed it. The battle scenes are nothing short of spectacular! When the Spartans are in formation they really seem like they're a single, vicious machine chewing up Persians by about a dozen at a time. The fight choreography is extremely convincing, they look like they've been trained for this their whole lives. When they break formation and start fighting individual Persians, slow motion is briskly employed with each new opponent. A shot will start in normal speed with Leonidas or another Spartan run towards a Persian soldier, then suddenly the speed slows just as he lands a killing blow, giving the audience a lovingly focused look at the bloody blade cutting through them. As visually stunning as this movie was, you cannot have a movie of this kind be as cool without the great soundtrack by Tyler Bates. Besides the music, the visuals, and overall intensity of the film, the acting was also phenomenal. Gerard Butler should be moving up slowing and slowing to an A-list actor after this film because his performance as King Leonidas was exceptional. Lena Headey is stunning as Queen Gorgo, Leonidas' wife, who tries to rally the council of Sparta to her husband's cause. Rodrigo Santoro gave an amazing performance as the villain, Xerxes. Dominic West gave a performance as the Spartan traitor, Theron. Both West and Santoro were the antagonists that you will love to hate. David Wenham was great as not only a narrator but also a member of the Spartan army, Dilios. Simply said, Zach Snyder's "300" is a modern masterpiece! It's a mind-blowing film that offers breathtaking stylish visuals, thrilling battles, top-notch direction and great acting!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Today, "CineMarevellous!" Celebrates Its FIRST Anniversary! :)

Today, on August 13, 2010
CineMarvellous! Celebrates

FIRST Anniversary!

Hello, everybody! :) Exactly one year ago, I created this blog and posted my first movie review on it. I spent days in thinking and inventing a creative title that suits my blog, and I ended up with "CineMarvellous" - a blend of two beautiful words - "Cinema" and "Marvellous" (yes, with double L). I found it very original and kinda unique. I hope you guys like it too. OK, now to the point :)

Since 08.13.2009, until this very moment, CineMarvellous! has been visited exactly 8877 times, by 1438 unique visitors from 75 different countries! Thank you, visitors! Thank you, readers! Thank you, buddies - Jaccstev, Alex J. Cavanaugh - you guys ROCK! :) Thank you Blogger, for giving me the opportunity to have my own independent space, where to write my movie reviews. I love what I'm doing and I will continue doing it, because it's a passion of mine, it makes me happy, and it brings me joy! :) Hopefully, the readers of my blog enjoy reading my reviews as well, because the readers are those who make my blog meaningful and important!

Also, Mperience, a social media platform whereby users can connect and share movies, books, paintings, songs and TV-Show, has linked some of my posts /reviews/ on their website. Thank you, Mperience! :)


George a.k.a. Nebular

[6.75/10] Knight and Day (2010)

Knight and Day (2010)

In James Mangold's latest "Knight and Day", Cruise plays Roy Miller - a rogue secret agent who is trying to protect a perpetual energy source and its creator from the so-called bad guys. A chance encounter sees June Havens,played by Diaz, caught up in the situation and she finds herself being dragged along on an ultra-dangerous journey to ensure the safety of Miller's charge and ultimately get her life back to normal. With some captivating eye-candy scenery along the way - Sevilla, Spain; Salzburg, Austria; Point Mugu, California, and some impressive over-the-top stunt work, the script unwinds at a brisk pace as soon as Cruise and Diaz lock eyes on each other and never lets up the pace. The combination of a romantic comedy and an action flick is done with the correct dosage. It knows when to be funny, it knows when to be romantic, and it knows when to cut all that off and throw you into the action. However, what truly carries this film, is the undeniable charisma of the dual leads. Cruise and Diaz are two of the biggest names in Hollywood and they do share some nice chemistry together. Tom Cruise looks like he's having the time of his life playing such a crazy character. Diaz also has her share of critics, but she is perfectly cast - slightly quirky, yet utterly beguiling, and sexy in a feminine, vulnerable way. You want these two to succeed, not only in the many life and death situations they find themselves in, but also as a couple. The developing romance is predictable, but fun to watch. Paul Dano and Peter Skarsgard are well-cast, but are never really given anytime to do anything more than spout a few lines before the camera is turned back to the headlining duo of the film. "Knight and Day" has this 'comic book' feel to it, with all the the preposterous situations and the hundreds of bullets that didn't find their mark - completely ridiculous, yet hilariously enjoyable. Overall, "Knight and Day" is gripping and quite funny, and it has some very well-made and nicely-choreographed action sequences, cracking car chases and a twisting and turning plot that, although not overtly testing, does keep it fresh throughout.

  • My Rating: 6.75/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 53% (5.6/10)
  • IMDb: 6.7/10