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Monday, November 28, 2011

[7.50/10] Warrior (2011)

Warrior (2011)

Brief review: Much like last year's "The Fighter", Gavin O'Connor's "Warrior" spends more time focusing on the dramatic elements rather than the action, and this is where the movie really succeeds. Although the story feels rush at times, it's the fantastically-written script that makes the movie as compelling, honest and emotional as it is. The connection between the characters is intricate, yet believable, and each and every one of them is wonderfully-portrayed. Joel Edgerton gives his best performance to date as the calm, yet determined teacher-turned-fighter Brendan, Tom "Handsome" Hardy delivers an amazingly convincing performance as the troubled and aggressive Tommy Conlon, also dedicated to fighting, and the iconic Nick Nolte turns in an exceptional supporting performance as the ex-drunk father and trainer, Paddy. Gavin O'Connor's excellent hand-held camera technique and gritty cinematography add visual authenticity to the film, and make it seems as realistic as possible. The MMA bouts in the second half of the movie are nothing short of thrilling, and the fight scenes themselves, while harsh and brutal, are extremely skilfully-shot and and professionally-executed, and the training sequences are just as entertaining to watch.

Overall summary: Sure, it's formulaic and rather far-fetched, but "Warrior"'s solid direction, powerful performances and strong storytelling make up for the lack of originality, plus, the film has as much heart as violence, and packs a big emotional and dramatic punch at the end.

After reading this review, if you feel like you need to watch "Warrior" to get your own opinion on it, then you can catch it through Netflix in the US or LOVEFiLM in the UK. Join a free trial and watch free movies online.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

[4.25/10] The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (2011)

The Twilight Saga:
Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (2011)

Brief review: The Twilight saga is getting worse and worse with each next installment, and the lifeless snoozefest "Breaking Dawn - Part 1" is yet another proof for that. The first half of the movie is terribly slow, overly-sentimental, romantically-corny and mostly boring, while the second half is more dramatic, action-packed, and a tiny bit more watchable. Not sure if we should blame the source material or director Bill Condon for this mess, but either way, the latest entry in the insanely popular franchise is just plain cheesy. The movie is full of unintentionally funny moments and ridiculous dialogues, and even though acting has improved slightly, the wooden Robert Pattinson and the stiff Kristen Stewart still look awkward together on screen. Unlike its terribly-filmed predecessor "Eclipse", "Breaking Dawn - Part 1" is at least technically well-shot and edited. Edward and Bella's fancy wedding is every teenage girl's dream, and the romantic scenes on the breathtaking Brazilian island are beautifully-captured. Having said that, Bill Condon's direction feels a bit lazy and somewhat lackluster, and it's hard to believe that this is made by the same director behind the fantastic "Dreamgirls". And don't even get me started with the silly-looking CGI wolves...

Overall summary: Slow, sappy and annoyingly tedious, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1" may be the best-looking installment in the franchise, but it's also the most boring one. The Twilight fanatics might enjoy it, but the rest will howl with rage and disappointment.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

[6.50/10] The Thing (2011)

The Thing (2011)

Brief review: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.'s prequel to the 1982 movie of the same name, is nowhere nearly as incredible as Carpenter's cult horror classic, but at least it doesn't insult his version, nor it tries to top it. Its plot may be pretty similar to the 82 version and often predictable, but the skillful and competent execution compensates for the lack of originality. Heijningen Jr. demonstrates great versatility directing this prequel, and manages to create enough tension to keep you intrigued and glued to the screen. The characters are well-written and believably-portrayed. Mary Elizabeth Winstead shines as the bossy paleontologist, Kate, the underrated Joel Edgerton gives another solid performance as the fearless pilot Sam Carter, and the supporting cast also delivers the goods. Since it's been rated "R", all you can expect from "The Thing" is gore, gore and more gore, and thankfully, it doesn't disappoint in this area. The gore effects are nothing less than brilliant, but it's the creature that deserves a special mention - it's crafted with care and imagination, and its freaky nasty look will surely give you the creeps. The isolated icy setting is claustrophobic and utterly chilling, and thanks to a budget of $35 million, the visuals are polished and quite atmospheric.

Overall summary: Compared to John Carpenter 1982 masterpiece, it may be disappointing, but Matthijs Van Heijningen Jr.'s "The Thing" is still an entertaining, solidly-crafted and visually-adequate prequel, that delivers plenty of tense moments, slick gore and grotesque images.

[4.50/10] Conan The Barbarian (2011)

Conan The Barbarian (2011)

Brief review: For better or worse, the 2011 version of "Conan The Barbarian" has nothing to do with the films featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Back in 1982, the sword and sorcery fantasy film of the same name was sort of cheesy fun, while Marcus Nispel's version is a bit of a lackluster and just plain bad. The plot is almost non-existent, and the script is unimaginative and full of forced and silly dialogues, delivered stiffly and unnaturally by the actors involved. Speaking of acting, most the performances are mediocre are at best, and all the characters are unmemorable and badly-written. The talented Rose McGowan's delivers the only decent performance in the movie as the vicious and ruthless Marique. Jason Momoa is a real macho man and has the right look for Conan, but his acting abilities are not at all impressive. He looks good in Conan's costume and fights well, but the moment he starts to speak, he becomes wooden. At least visually "Conan" is rather satisfying. Shot in Bulgaria, the movie offers breathtaking scenery and some wonderfully-crafted sets. The CGIs range from great to passable, but the action scenes, while well-staged, are surprisingly unexciting, and anything but spectacular.

Overall summary: It's occasionally entertaining and the visuals are mostly fantastic, but "Conan The Barbarian" feels dated and hackneyed, and it suffers from a weak plot, mediocre acting, one-dimensional characters and overblown, if hardly thrilling, action scenes.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

[10/10] The Help (2011)

The Help (2011)

Full review: Adapted from Kathryn Stockett's novel of the same name, "The Help" is about a young journalist, Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan, who decides to write a controversial book from the point of view of two black maids, exposing the racism they're faced with working for white families. This adaptation deals with an uncomfortable subject matter (or in other words, racism), but does it with a sense of humor and a dose of irony, which makes it unique in its own way. "The Help" truly is rollercoaster ride of emotions - it's sad, yet uplifting; inconvenient, yet enjoyable; tearful, yet heart-warming, but it's always engrossing and never fails to engage the audience with its inspiring story and delightful characters. Minor flaws aside, the adapted script is clever and fantastically-written, with each line being important and necessary for the overall impact of the movie. "The Help" has an amazing ensemble cast, and every single one of the performances in the movie deserves an Oscar nomination. The charming Emma Stone shows another different side of her, and proves how versatile she is as an actress. Her character is likable and very engaging, and you can't help but feeling connected to her. The uber-talented Viola Davis that delivers another strong, powerful and moving performance as the humbled, yet bold black maid, Aibileen, but it's Octavia Spencer that steals the show as the feisty Minny Jackson, bringing huge personality and lots of laughs. The connection between these three characters is strong and believable, and without a doubt the main driving force of the movie. The supporting cast does an excellent job as well, with the two main standouts being Bryce Dallas Howard, who gives an incredibly convincing performance as the prejudiced and malicious Hilly, and Jessica Chastain, who delivers a hilarious performance as the quirky, yet sympathetic Celia, who's being rejected from everybody. The technical aspects of the film are truly a work of art. Set in the early 60s, "The Help" has this cool retro vibe to it, that makes it very appealing, visually. The production design looks incredibly authentic and represents the era quite perfectly, the costumes are chic and stylish, and the color-effect filters used by the cinematographer create a soft reddish tint on the visuals, that makes the film look warm as well as dazzlingly eye-catching. Tate Taylor's direction is so slick and skillful, you'd never guess "The Help" is only his second full-length film, plus, it's complimented by a brilliant editing that smooths the pacing, and makes you forget about the 137 minutes long running time. 

Overall summary: Brilliantly-written, wonderfully-acted and beautifully-filmed, "The Help" is as touching and emotionally-powerful as it's uplifting and delightfully absorbing, and will win your heart and stay in your mind long after the credits roll, simply because it's one of the best movies of 2011, and one of the finest book adaptations ever made.

Friday, November 18, 2011

[7.50/10] Immortals [3D] (2011)

Immortals [3D] (2011)

Full review: One of this year's most anticipated movies has finally arrived, and even though Tarsem's latest does not exceed expectations, it certainly meets them. Loosely based on the Greek myths of Theseus and the Minotaur and the Titanomachy, "Immortals" tells the story of Theseus, a mortal man who's chosen by Zeus to lead the fight against the merciless King Hyperion, who wants to destroy humanity. Singh's interpretation of these myths is hardly groundbreaking in terms of storytelling, but he compensates the lack of strong script with creativity, skillful execution and his signature impressionist style. The astounding visuals are undeniably the film's main strength. Tarsem is widely known for his trademark visual style, and with "Immortals" he proved to the world yet again what an amazing visionary he truly is. Although shot mostly against green screen, nothing about "Immortals"' visuals feels fake. The CGI scenery, which mostly consists of monolithic seaside cliffs and ancient Greek fortresses, is absolutely stunning, and the 'real' settings are just as impressive and superbly crafted. The golden tint of the cinematography reminds the one in "300", though here the golden-brown caramel-ish colors are more muted and washed out. Most of the costumes are authentic and beautifully-designed, though some of Gods' armors look a bit ridiculous. The 3D is subtle and hardly noticeable, but it still adds depth to certain scenes, and makes the more eye-catching. The true highlight of "Immortals" is without a doubt the 'Gods vs Titans' action sequence at the end of the movie, which is nothing short of mind-blowing! You'll witness one of the coolest, most spectacular and unique slow motion fight scenes ever shot. During the battle, the camera angles are incredibly creative, the fast camera movements are razor-sharp, and the slow-mo itself is used in an effective and very stylish way, which makes this culmination scene absolutely jaw-dropping, and a true feast for the eyes. Sadly though, apart from this amazing scene, "Immortals" lacks enough action. There are some good, gory and extremely graphic fight scenes throughout, but obviously, Tarsem have saved the spectacle for last. One one hand, the climax is definitely worth the wait, but one the other hand, "Immortals" could have been so much more thrilling if there was more great action in it. The performances range from strong to forgettable. The future Superman, Henry Cavill, has the right look and the skills to play Theseus. He has great screen presence and does a great job in portraying his tough character. Stephen Dorff delivers as Stavros, Luke Evans is just okay as Zeus and John Hurt is gives a solid performance as the Old Man. Freida Pinto is beautiful head-to-toe, but she barely possesses any acting skills whatsoever, hence she gives a poor performance as Phaedra. Mickey Rourke is absolutely brilliant as the ruthless King Hyperion, and steals every scene he appears in.

Overall summary: Neither as spectacular, nor as visually-striking as Zack Snyder's similar-by-style "300", but still one of the best-looking movies of the year, Tarsem's "Immortals", while hardly phenomenal, is constantly engrossing, and offers a solid story, plenty of gorgeous visuals and some breathtakingly-shot action sequences.

Monday, November 14, 2011

[6.75/10] In Time (2011)

In Time (2011)

Full review: Set in 2161, Andrew Niccol's latest sci-fi thriller is all about time. Literally. In the not-so-near future, people earn time, sell time, loan time, steal time, pay with time and trade with time, because their life literally depends on time, and conceptually, this premise is as just as intriguing and original as it sounds. Although this idea is hard-to-execute, Andrew Niccol manages to pull it off excellently. The director represents the future in a very believable way, where the world is divided into two categories - very rich and very poor. Those who have centuries of time on their 'counters' live like kings, and those who doesn't, live day by day in constant stress and fear. Having said that, the film is not without its flaws, there are some unnecessarily extended scenes and a couple of dull moments, but apart from that, "In Time" never fails to entertain and captivate the audience, but most importantly, it makes you think about what if something like this happens in real life? In terms of style and concept, there are some similarities between "In Time" and director's 1997 sci-fi hit "Gattaca". The latter remains one of the sci-fi masterpieces of the 90s, but Niccol's latest effort, while still creative and original enough, feels clearly inspired by its predecessor. That's not a bad thing by any means, because on one hand, it's an intentional reminiscent of "Gattaca", and on the other hand, it showcases the director's signature style and arsenal of inventive ideas. Thanks to the polished production design and slick cinematography, visually, "In Time" is as stylish as it's authentic. The poor areas of the world are grim, plain and gloomy, while New Greenwich, the city of time 'millionaires', is posh, lavish and sophisticated, and this visual juxtaposition represents the two very different types of life amazingly well. Since the characters in the movie are genetically engineered to stop aging at 25, what you can expect from the cast is only young, fresh and pretty faces, and it feels great to watch a movie full of beautiful people. Justin Timberlake is a hit-and-miss type of an actor, but he really doesn't disappoint this time around. The role suits him perfectly and he does a capable job of portraying his character's aims and struggles. Amanda Seyfried is just as talented as she's beautiful, and she delivers a fantastic performance as the spoiled, yet smart daughter of a time magnate, Sylvia. The supporting cast shines as well. Cillian Murphy gives a solid performance as the humble and loyal timekeeper, and his character is probably the most sympathetic of all. Alex Pettyfer is the biggest surprise here. No one would have guessed that Pettyfer could play a bad guy so convincingly, and believe me, he does it with a bang. Maybe for first time in film history Olivia Wilde's presence is not that annoying (Sarcastic quiz: Can you name a movie she doesn't star in? LOL.), but that's probably due to the fact that her screen time is very limited.

Overall summary: Although it gets a bit tiresome towards the end, and it's far from perfect, Andrew Niccol's futuristic thriller "In Time" still dazzles with its original premise, inventive script, atmospheric visuals and engaging cast, and it feels like a breath of fresh air among the sea of remakes and sequels that Hollywood continuously spews these days.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

[6.00/10] The Sorcerer and the White Snake (2011)

The Sorcerer and
the White Snake (2011)

Brief review: Based on an old Chinese legend, Ching Siu-Tung's latest CGI-driven kung fu fantasy "The Sorcerer and the White Snake" suffers from a weak narrative and silly script, and tries to blend too many different genres unsuccessfully, but it still manages to entertain the viewer, thanks to some spectacular set-pieces and a bunch of quirky characters. Jet Li is a bit bland and emotionless as Abott Fahai, but he proves yet again what an amazing martial artist he truly is. Shengyi Huangand is a bit over-dramatic, and yet she delivers as the White Snake, and the rest of the cast do an okay job. Ching Siu-Tung is undoubtedly one of the best and most creative fight choreographers on the planet, but his directing skills are rather questionable. He tries to achieve a bigger effect by throwing too many things on the screen, and jumping too much from one camera angle to another, and as a result his direction ends up being a bit of a mess. The action sequences are CGI-laden and too over-the-top, yet nicely-choreographed and exciting to watch, and the special effects range from impressive to lame. Some of the settings are absolutely stunning, and the cinematography is sharp, vivid and colorful, which makes the film very appealing, visually.

Overall summary: Goofy, plotless and overly-sentimental, yet visually-fascinating and filled with thrilling action sequences, "The Sorcerer and the White Snake" falls flat on its face in terms of storytelling, but still succeeds as an entertaining and enjoyable martial arts fantasy flick.

[7.00/10] Melancholia (2011)

Melancholia (2011)

Brief review: Over the years, Danish film-maker Lars von Trier provoked our minds with many unusual film, and "Melancholia" is no exception. Basically, the movie is split up in two parts. The first part is called "Justine", which is the name of the main character, and it depicts the film's titular state. Kirsten Dunst delivers an award-worthy performance as the emotionally confused Justine, whose mood is a rollercoaster of ups and downs. The second part, called "Claire", is more about paranoia and frustration, and also the fictional part of the movie, which shows us the end of the world in a way we've never experienced before. Here, the main focus is on Charlotte Gainsbourg, and she does a terrific job in portraying her despaired character, Claire. "Melancholia" definitely lives up to its title - the mood of the movie is depressing and constantly melancholic. On one hand, that's understandable, since that's what the director intended, but on the other hand, it may become too tedious for some viewers. Shot in a 'handycam' style, "Melancholia" is weirdly artsy, visually. There are some truly stunning shots, especially in the beginning, that mesmerize with their bizarre beauty, but the overall tone of the film is intentionally dark and deeply gloomy.

Overall summary: Like all the other Trier films, "Melancholia" isn't everyone's cup of tea - it's as moody as its lead character, and as bizarre and pretentious as its creator, however, the film is wonderfully acted, and depicts self-destruction and
depression beautifully.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

[3.25/10] 11-11-11 (2011)

11-11-11 (2011)

Full review: Earlier this year, the director of "Saw" II, III & IV, Darren Lynn Bousman, brought us "Mother's Day" - the most memorable and brilliantly-brutal 'home invasion' movie released over the past few years. Unfortunately, not many good things can be said about his upcoming horror thriller, "11-11-11". In fact, Bousman's latest project is so God-awful, it's hard to believe that it got a theatrical release, even if a limited one. It should have gone straight-to-DVD, or why not straight-to-TV, as it looks and feels cheap, dull and dated from beginning to the end. The movie sounds very promising on paper, and makes us expect some kind of horrifying demonic apocalypse, but sadly, this misguided effort never lives up to its premise, hence, what we get is a stupid religious horror with and embarrassingly underdeveloped story, that features nothing more than overused horror cliches and cheap thrills. The supposed-to-be-shocking twist in the end, which is delivered in same style as "Saw", is downright ridiculous and hugely disappointing, just like the rest of the movie. "11-11-11" also could be described as "Insidious" meets "The Number 23", but not at all in a good way. It borrows some ideas from both films, but it neither has the creepiness of "Insidious", nor it's at least as potentially good as "The Number 23" was. Moreover, the film never uses the 11/11/11 gimmick properly. It's a superstitious date indeed, but the warning it brings is not much of a big deal, nor is very disturbing. It's a shame indeed, because in different hands, and with a better script, "11-11-11" could have been a solid and very intriguing horror movie. The acting is mediocre at best. Timothy Gibbs appears stiff and uncomfortable as the anxious Joseph Cronevery, whose life becomes plagued with strange happenings, and the constant sightings of the number 11. He's just a weak lead, and don't have the skills to carry the movie on his shoulders. Michael Landes does a decent job as Jospeh's religious brother Samuel, but he doesn't really have a lot to work with or enough screen time to shine. Wendy Glenn is often annoying as the obsessive stranger, Sadie, but thankfully she barely shows on the screen as well. Obviously, the director himself didn't have a clear inspiration, nor much enthusiasm for this movie, as "11-11-11" is an absolute lackluster in terms of execution and visuals. Bousman's direction is generic, lacking in creativity, and completely and utterly all over the place, which makes the film even more confusing and incoherent than it already is. Add to this a poor and incredibly sloppy editing, bland cinematography and sub-par special effects, and you get a movie that has a made-for-TV feel written all over it. Being set in Barcelona, Spain, "11-11-11" at least has some decent settings, some of which are gloomy, creepy and effective, unlike the movie itself.

Overall summary: Dull, unimaginative, poorly-crafted and, of course, gimmicky, Darren Lynn Bousman's cheap apocalyptic horror thriller "11-11-11" promises a lot, but delivers absolutely nothing. It's more awful than "Saw" II, III and IV put together, and it's hands down the worst, most pointless and underwhelming movie of the year so far.

[7.50/10] Attack the Block (2011)

Attack the Block (2011)

Brief review: Joe Cornish's debut full-length feature, the absolutely refreshing "Attack the Block", surprised moviegoers around the world with its cool premise, spot-on execution and high entertainment value. It works as both, a sci-fi action flick and a horror comedy, because it never takes itself seriously, it's fast-paced, humorous and full of wit, and at times quite intense and even frightening. Although the characters are a bit stereotypical, they're so likable and nicely-written, you can't help but feeling connected to them. Considering its budget of (only) $13,000, "Attack the Block" looks surprisingly good, visually. TV series director Joe Cornish provides us with wide variety of camera angles and dynamic camera movements to keep us engaged and drawn into the action. The action scenes themselves are exciting, energetic and well-shot. The settings are the typical British suburban, but the stylish cinematography makes them look very atmospheric. The special effects are a bit cheesy at times, but still incredibly effective. The creature itself doesn't impress with an amazing design, as it's literally a black, shaggy, wolf-looking beast with glowing neon jaws, however it is something we've never seen before, cool, creepy, mean, ferocious, and unique in its own way.

Overall summary: Smart, thrilling, original and stylish, if not necessarily mind-blowing, "Attack the Block" is a true breath of fresh air into the 'alien invasion' sub-genre, and a proof that British film-makers haven't run out of creativity, and still have a lot to offer to the world of cinema.

Monday, November 7, 2011

[6.25/10] The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) (2011)

The Human Centipede II
(Full Sequence) (2011)

QuickRating: If Tom Six's insane flick "The Human Centipede" shocked you to death, just wait to see the sequel. Sick, twisted, gross, disturbing, outrageous, shocking, repulsive, ugly, nasty, disgusting... "The Human Centipede II" is all that and more, plus, it features the craziest psycho freak ever, played brilliantly by Laurence R. Harvey. Is it bad? Nope. Is it good? No way. Is it genius for what it is? Absolutely!

[4.50/10] Apollo 18 (2011)

Apollo 18 (2011)

QuickRating: Gonzalo López-Gallego definitely deserves credit for his creativity and solid directing skills, as "Apollo 18" is very difficult-to-shoot, and yet he made the movie seem incredibly authentic, visually. On the other hand, the film itself tries hard to be a creature feature, a space flick and realistic 'found footage' horror movie all at once, but it struggles to find the balance between these genres, and as a result, it ends up being a mess. A big, boring one.

[6.00/10] Faces in the Crowd (2011)

Faces in the Crowd (2011)

QuickRating: Although it's heavily flawed and hardly plausible, "Faces in the Crowd" achieves its goal as a mystery thriller - it's intriguing, suspenseful, tense and nicely-crafted, but above all, entertaining. The beautiful Milla Jovovich delivers a solid and emotional performance as the confused and struggling teacher, who suffers from 'face blindness', and proves that she's so much more than the badass chick from the "Resident Evil" series.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

[4.50/10] Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings (2011)

Wrong Turn 4:
Bloody Beginnings (2011)

QuickRating: This straight-to-DVD prequel/sequel to the 2003 horror hit "Wrong Turn" is pointless, stupid, ridiculous, formulaic, badly-crafted and horribly-acted, which isn't a surprise. Having said that, "Wrong Turn 4" is nowhere nearly as terrible as its dreadfully unwatchable predecessor, it's fun to watch, and it features tons of blood, guts, gore and ripped body parts, enough to satisfy every 'gorehound' in the audience.

[3.50/10] Uninhabited (2011)

Uninhabited (2011)

QuickRating: Aussie film-makers have brought us some great horror flicks over the past few years ("The Loved Ones" anyone?), but sadly, "Uninhabited" doesn't rank as one of them. Although it is set in a beautiful, yet utterly claustrophobic location, and it sounds very good on paper, it is totally ruined by an incompetent direction, amateurish performances and incredibly anti-climatic ending. On the top of that, it's un-scary, thrill-free and constantly boring.

[3.75/10] The Tapes (2011)

The Tapes (2011)

QuickRating: Despite its promising premise, this British crap of a POV horror movie fails on almost every single level, except that it's shot in a creepy location, that is somewhat effective. However, featuring dull story, annoying characters and shallow dialogues, and lacking in suspense and genuine thrills, "The Tape" is the perfect example of how NOT to make a 'found footage' film. Avoid at all costs, unless if you're a die-hard fan of this genre.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

[6.50/10] Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)

Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)

Absolutely genius at times, and quite ludicrous at others, but often amusing and constantly engaging, "Crazy, Stupid, Love." succeeds as a contemporary comedy because of its smartly-written script, witty dialogues and hilariously embarrassing situations, but it's the brilliantly talented cast that makes it truly worth-seeing and as funny as it is. Steve Carell is good as usual, but the true stars are Emma Stone and
Ryan Gosling.

[5.50/10] What's Your Number? (2011)

What's Your Number? (2011)

As expected, "What's Your Number?" is an extremely predictable and instantly forgettable romantic comedy, that barely brings anything new to the table, however, thanks to its somewhat creative concept and spot-on chemistry between the two leads, it ends up being pretty watchable. Anna Faris is sharp, funny and likable as usual, and even the goofy Chris "Captain America" Evans does a decent job playing a modern day Casanova.

[5.25/10] Horrible Bosses (2011)

Horrible Bosses (2011)

QuickRating: The premise is clever and potentially interesting, it brings a couple of good laughs along the way, and the wonderfully-assembled cast deliver, with Jennifer Aniston being particularly hilarious as the naughty 'maneater' Dr. Julia Harris, but it's Seth Gordon's dull, lackluster direction and the mildly funny script that let the film down. "Horrible Bosses" is watchable, but sadly, it's not nearly as amusing, witty and original as it was supposed to be.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

[7.25/10] Bridesmaids (2011)

Bridesmaids (2011)

It does have some pacing issues, and it's unnecessarily overlong, but "Bridesmaids" still remains one of the best chick-flicks released in the past few years, as it's sharp, clever and honest, and provides tons of laughs, thanks to its brilliantly-written, witty script and genuine characters. The acting is definitely the highlight of the film, with Kristen Wiig's being absolutely sensational and laugh-out-loud funny as the raunchy Annie.

[6.00/10] Monte Carlo (2011)

Monte Carlo (2011)

QuickRating: It may be a bit silly at times, and completely predictable from the first to the last minute, but "Monte Carlo" is still a sweet, charming and thoroughly enjoyable romantic comedy, that features an incredibly likable cast, amusing story, and gorgeous visuals. The scenery of Monte Carlo is so posh, wondrous and stunningly beautiful, it makes the film look like a modern fairy tale, and worth-seeing for the amazing location alone.

[4.75/10] I Don't Know How She Does It (2011)

I Don't Know How She Does It (2011)

QuickRating: For better or worse, "I Don't Know How She Does It" is a chick-flick all the way, and definitely not as terrible as most people claim it is, however, its subject matter feels dated, the script lacks wit, and its characters are mostly stereotypical. Sarah Jessica Parker is as alluring and engaging as always, and the rest of the cast does an adequate job, but the movie itself is neither as romantic, nor as funny, nor as inspirational as think it is.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

[5.50/10] The Smurfs (2011)

The Smurfs (2011)

QuickRating: Apart from the vivid and absolutely dazzling animated sequences in the beginning, "The Smurfs" has nothing to do with the utterly brilliant TV series from the 80s. This modernized version just does not possess the magic of the mini-series, and it feels contrived and fabricated. The CGI smurfs are adorable, the cast is okay, and the voice work is good, but that can't compensate for a weak script and sub-par execution.

[3.75/10] Mr. Popper's Penguins (2011)

Mr. Popper's Penguins (2011)

QuickRating: It has its moments of fun, the penguins are incredibly cute, and the kids even cuter, but "Mr. Popper's Penguins" is an absolutely ridiculous family comedy that suffers from its improbable and laughably absurd script, and Jim Carrey's typically over-the-top acting. His goofiness still brings a few laughs, but it's the penguins that steal the show. And being outshined by an animal, whether real or CGI, is never a good thing.