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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

[4.25/10] Barefoot (2014)

Barefoot (2014) 

Quick Review: At times funny, at times embarrassing to watch, but never truly plausible, “Barefoot” is about a reckless guy and a mentally unstable girl who fall in love under unusual circumstances, and much like their relationship, the film has its ups and downs, with the latter taking over. On the top of that, it has a weird tone that is neither romantic, nor dramatic, nor comedic. Yes, the acting on the other hand is decent, and pretty much saves the film from being totally unwatchable.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

[5.25/10] Pompeii [3D] (2013)

Pompeii [3D] (2014)

Quick Review: Everything this sword-and-sandal epic wannabe offers in its first hour is a clumsy narrative, questionable acting, lots of cheesy dialogues, a decent fight or two, and luckily some remarkable CGI backdrops to help you forget its inconsistency, but as soon as the volcano erupts, “Pompeii” instantly transforms into an eye-popping 3D spectacle, that is truly worth-seeing on the big screen. Too bad all the cool stuff comes a bit late.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Quick Reviews: 2013 Movies [PART 10]

A Haunted House (2013) - This terribly over-acted, horribly unfunny "Paranormal Activity"-inspired, or more like uninspired spoof of a horror comedy is so dumb, it will haunt you in your dreams for months to come, so yes, consider yourself warned. (2.00/10)

This is the End (2013) - It's fun to see the actors playing themselves for a change, however, "This is the End" is a pretty deluded apocalyptic comedy, that thinks it's hilarious and original, but is actually disastrously moronic, bordering on disturbing. (4.50/10)

Baggage Claim (2013) - It's easy to watch, and every single member of the all-black cast is a charmer, but that can't excuse the predictable, corny, and at times truly cheesy plot, and the film's cheap, made-for-TV look, that brings it down further. (5.00/10)

Free Birds (2013) - It has potential, and the animation itself is decent and colorful, but "Free Birds" feels rushed as hell, and breaks the No. 1 rule in animation, which is never ever to involve humans in a story about animals/birds. It just doesn't work! (5.50/10)

The Heat (2013) - It's fair to say that Bullock and McCarthy make a great comedic on-screen duo, and that the film has its moments of  laughter, however, "The Heat" is so busy it's often exhausting to watch, and so talky it may give you a headache. (5.50/10)

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013) - It feels a little bit contrived, and the animation while colorful and deliciously creative isn't as vivid as the one in the first movie, but "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" is still a solid sequel with big heart. (6.50/10)

Don Jon (2013) - Its repetitiveness gets a bit annoying after a while, but apart from that, "Don Jon" is a sex-driven, yet rather amusing directional debut by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, executed with confidence, that feels very current, real, and above all frank. (6.50/10)

Epic (2013) - While not necessarily what its title claims to be, "Epic" is a stunningly-animated feature with a genuine sense of adventure, and true spirit of enchantment, that will grab you with both its flawless graphics and thoroughly entertaining story. (6.75/10)

Despicable Me 2 (2013) - Sure, the plot may not be as strong and well-thought-out as the one in the first movie, but the animation is every bit as splendid, the kids are still super-cute, and the yellow minions are more fun and adorable than ever. (7.25/10)

The Croods (2013) - Highly inventive both visually and story-wise, this untypical and imperfect, if undeniably original animated flick, is all about the joy of experiencing something new and different, as well as growing up as a person, and being daring. (7.50/10)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Quick Reviews: 2013 Movies [PART 09]

The Complex (2013) - Sure, it has a couple of twists along the way, and it's sort of creepy, but "The Complex" is also painfully slow, often boring, and largely devoid of any real suspense, let alone scares. It's hard to believe that it's from "Ringu" director. (3.75/10)

Under the Bed (2013) - The monster looks cool, and the relationship between the two boys is believable, but after a promising start, "Under the Bed" gets more and more absurd with each next sequence, and the scares get progressively less and less. (4.00/10)

Frankenstein's Army (2013) - Some of the creatures are inventively-designed and really creepy-looking, and the gore is there too, but other than that "Frankenstein's Army" is a poor attempt at a POV horror movie, that doesn't really know where to go. (4.25/10)

The Jungle (2013) - Not half as great as director's previous effort "The Reef", nor even remotely as tense, this 'found footage' creature feature brings nothing new to the table, relying too much on cliches in order to spread some fear, which it does not. (4.50/10)

Here Comes the Devil (2013) - Its ominous feel aside, "Here Comes the Devil" is a run-of-the-mill Mexican horror flick with little to no 'fear factor', which potential is wasted mainly because of Bogliano's lazy direction, that only leads to our loss of interest. (4.75/10)

I Spit on Your Grave 2 (2013) - Decently-made if rather unnecessary, "I Spit on Your Grave 2" is nowhere nearly as polished as the first remake, and it's so graphic, nasty, and repulsive, it's almost unbearable at times, not to mention the amateurish acting. (5.00/10)

3096 Days a.k.a. 3096 Tage (2013) - Based on a horrifying true story, "3096 Tage" is inevitably disturbing, however, it lacks the dramatic punch a heavy-themed film like this should hit, due to its fairly straightforward script, and very ironically, improbability. (5.50/10)

Nurse 3D (2013) - "Nurse 3D" is by no means a great movie... it's tacky, badly-acted and kind of ridiculous, but it's also sexy, bloody, provocative, revengeful, slightly nuts and very, very entertaining from start to finish, in spite of its countless shortcomings. (5.75/10)

The House of the End Times (2013) - It's not in the same league as "The Orphanage", or "Julia's Eyes" for instance, but "La casa del fin de los tiempos" is still a decent Spanish chiller with a complex story, surrounded by mystery, and with unexpected twists. (6.25/10)

The Flu (2013) - Entertaining, expertly-crafted, realistically frightening, massive in production values, and full of characters you can't help but care about and feel sympathy for, "The Flu" is, hands down, one of the better non-zombie virus films ever made. (7.00/10)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Quick Reviews: 2013 Movies [PART 08]

The Lone Ranger (2013) - It has an authentically sleek western feel, the few action scenes are very well-shot, and the cast delivers, but "The Lone Ranger" has three major issues -- it's bumpy, 30 minutes overlong, and just not adventurous enough. (5.00/10)

Ender's Game (2013) - It's a visual stunner, that's for sure, but "Ender's Game" is  humorless and takes itself rather seriously, plus, it's sad to see that a movie full of so much creativity and so many original ideas, suffers badly from such a lifeless execution. (5.25/10)

White House Down (2013) - Loud, messy, and apparently expensive to made, "White House Down" is an action-driven flick that requires you to turn off your brain, and enjoy both the presidential chaos happening on screen, and the actors' chemistry. (5.50/10)

Olympus Has Fallen (2013) - There's zero originality about it, and the story over-exaggerated, and yet "Olympus Has Fallen" still entertains due to Fuqua's ability to maintain the suspense throughout, as well as to deliver some epic, if messy action. (5.50/10)

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013) - It's far from great, but much like its predecessor, "Sea of Monsters" is a lighthearted fantasy flick, with a solid story, likable characters, and awesome CGIs, that can be easily enjoyed by children and adults alike. (6.00/10)

Riddick (2013) - The creatures are imaginative to say the least, Riddick himself is total badass, and the golden tint of the cinematography gives the film a slick edge, but while heavy on special effects, "Riddick" is very light on plot, and that makes it just ok. (6.25/10)

Escape Plan (2013) - Entertaining, well-conceived, and smarter than it should be, Escape Plan works well not only because it brings probably the two biggest action stars of the 80s together, but also because of its old-school vibe and clever plot twists. (6.50/10)

Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) - Smartly-written, visually-striking, and impeccably-made, if slightly uneven, "Star Trek: Into Darkness" may be a notch below its fabulous predecessor, but it's still a solid, and thrilling entry into the beloved sci-fi franchise. (7.50/10)

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) - The river sequence is perfection, but apart from that "The Desolation of Smaug" is slightly less exciting and spectacular than the previous film, and yet still a great entry that proves Jackson's consistency. (8.00/10)

Thor: The Dark World (2013) - More about Asgard, and less about the Earth, as it should be, "Thor: The Dark World" is, certainly, superior the original, impressing with its darkly engaging story, big sense of humor, and some truly astounding imagery. (7.50/10)

Friday, February 14, 2014

[3.50/10] Ride Along (2014)

Ride Along (2014)

Quick Review: Ice Cube is boring, Kevin Hart is obnoxious, and the whole cop buddies so-called story is so utterly familiar, it hurts, not to mention the never-ending pointless dialogues, unfunny jokes, and even lamer comic situations. The direction is 'nothing to write home about', and on the top of that, 'Ride Along" is technically bad, visually plain, and underwhelming on so many levels, including in the action department, it makes its huge box-office success even more unbelievable.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

[7.50/10] The Lego Movie [3D] (2014)

The Lego Movie [3D] (2014)

Quick Review: It's full of energy, if a bit manic, and also overwhelming in terms of ideas and creativity - the must-see in 3D animation is colorful, rich, and with mind-blowing attention to detail, the story is great fun, and offers a moral message for all ages, about everyone having something special. Nope, not everything about "The Lego Movie" is perfect, but it's nonetheless a pretty unique trip to the magical world of Lego, you have to experience at all costs.

Monday, February 10, 2014

[6.50/10] RoboCop (2014)

RoboCop (2014)

Quick Review: RoboCop himself looks million bucks, indeed, in his new, super-stylish black costume, the special effects are flawless to the point of being truly realistic, and the action bits, while very few and far between, are superbly-executed, however, this made-for-grown ups remake lacks the satirical edge and wit of the original, due to Padilha's totally different approach at telling a story that is probably a bit too deep and personal for this type of sci-fi movie, and not enough fun. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

[4.00/10] Cabin Fever: Patient Zero (2014)

Quick Review: Honestly, the most disappointing fact about this truly deceiving prequel-turned-sequel to the 2002's gorefest "Cabin Fever", is that it doesn't reveal anything about the true origin of the flesh-eating virus, as it's supposed to. What further ruins it is the sluggish pacing, and the lack of thrills, but at least "Cabin Fever: Patient Zero" looks a lot better than it should, considering its limited budget, and offers some decent gore.

Monday, February 3, 2014

[5.00/10] I, Frankenstein [3D] (2014)

Quick Review: Realizing it won't win any points at all for its lack of originality, sub-par acting, stiff line delivery, so-so 3D effects, and lame, underwritten script, which borrows very shamelessly from the original "Underworld" movie, the rip-off-ish "I, Frankenstein" relies on its flashy visuals, fancy action scenes, and pretty cool Gothic tone to cause some interest in the viewer, and it sort of does, but sadly, not enough to make you excited... just enough not to let you fall asleep.

New Beginnings for CineMarvellous!

Dear friends and readers,

I probably should have made this announcement on January 1, 2014 as it's the beginning of a new year, but since I forgot, I'm making it now... Perhaps most of you have noticed, that I haven't posted many reviews last year. That's because I was extremely busy with my new full time job, as well as studying at uni, and I had no spare time at all. For the first time ever in my life I gave up on movies... well... at least for 8-9 months. I couldn't forgive myself for abandoning two of my biggest passions in life - cinema and my blog, so I decided to come back with a bang! :) I have a lot of catching up to do, and trust me, I'm doing my best to see, as many 2013 movies I missed, as possible. Up until the end of 2013, I've been writing brief reviews, and the so-called QuickRatings, but from now I will be writing only quick one-two sentence reviews, much like my ex-QuickRatings. So "Quick" is the new format of my upcoming reviews of 2014 movies! Those from 2013, I'm still catching up to, will be in another new format, called 1 Post - 10 Reviews, but you already know that, as I've been posting these since the beginning of the new year, and will continue to do so, until I'm satisfied with the amount of 2013 films I've seen. This change needs to be done due to my lack of enough spare time, but above all, because of my desire to see and review as many movies as possible. I hope this change won't be bothering you, and stop you from visiting my blog, and reading my honest, to-the-point reviews. :) Thank you for reading this announcement. Love you all dearly!

George Beremov

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Quick Reviews: 2013 Movies [PART 07]

Le passé a.k.a. The Past (2013) - It's nowhere near as memorable and affecting as "A Separation", but "Le Passé" is an incredibly well-acted domestic drama, that has an intriguing enough story and characters to make up for the utter lack of energy. (6.00/10)

Her (2013) - Its odd, yet sensual nature certainly won't be everyone's cup of tea, but "Her" daringly and accurately represents exactly what the 'promising' future holds for us -- advanced technologies, lack of physical communication, and sheer alienation. (6.00/10)

Mud (2013) - Engaging, if hardly memorable, "Mud" is a character-driven crime drama with a touch of adventure, that benefits from its gorgeous Southern scenery, and the genuine on-screen chemistry between Mattew McConaughey and the two children. (6.25/10)

Fruitvale Station (2013) - At first you may find the story a bi too plain and uninteresting, but later on it will most likely win you over with its honesty, pure simplicity, and lack of gimmicks, especially in its absolutely heart-wrenchingly devastating final 15 min. (6.75/10)

Jagten a.k.a. The Hunt (2013) - It would have sucked if it was made by Hollywood, but because it's Danish, well-executed and acted, and tense, "The Hunt" feels special, despite its straightforwardness and familiar subject matter, thanks to Mikkelsen. (6.75/10)

The Spectacular Now (2013) - It's not your typical coming-of-age story, nor is your usual teen love story. "The Spectacular Now"'s lack of tired cliches and unnecessary sentimentality makes it truly honest, genuine, realistic, and emotionally bitter-sweet. (7.00/10)

Short Term 12 (2013) - Emotional, sensitive, and deeply moving, "Short Term 12" brings you into the foster care world with all of its ups and downs, mostly struggles, revealing its flawed, but truly lovable characters with heartfelt honesty and affection. (7.00/10)

Dallas Buyers Club (2013) - Powered by McConaughey and Letos truly Oscar-worthy performances, "Dallas Buyers Club" is a film as much about desperation as determination, that is supposed to be feel-bad, but ends up being very touching instead. (7.75/10)

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) - Perky, cocky, self-centered, and cynical, but also insanely funny in the most outrageous way, this might be the busiest, most talky film of 2013, due to Scorsese's direction on steroids, and Leo DiCaprio's savage performance. (8.25/10)
Prisoners (2013) - Slightly overlong, yet always compelling, and quietly intense, "Prisoners" is a brilliantly-conceived, and smoothly-executed crime thriller with a grit that matches its grim tone, complemented by the two outstanding central performances. (8.50/10)