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Sunday, March 30, 2014

[4.25/10] Bad Words (2014)

Bad Words (2014)

Quick Review: It can't be denied, that the relationship between Trilby and Chaitanya is fiercely adorable, but that's about it. With a supposed-to-be-funny script that contains tons and tons of bad words, indeed, this mean-spirited comedy can be easily considered OFFENSIVE to children, and rightfully so. Also, "Bad Words" can't be recommended to those who are sick and tired of watching Jason Bateman playing da same character over and over again. It turns out he sucks at directing as well.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

[4.50/10] Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014)

Quick Review: It provides a couple of fairly effective 'boo' scares here and there, the different setting feels like a big breath of fresh air, and its Latino flavor spices up the story a bit, but it's more than obvious that the franchise is running out of ideas big time, as "PA: The Marked Ones" is borrowing heavily from the much superior "Chronicle" from 2012, and Landon should be ashamed of that. Also, everything else is 'been there, done that' sort of familiar.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

[3.75/10] The Nut Job (2014)

The Nut Job (2014)

Quick Review: The colors are vivid and saturated, and the animation, while lacking in deep detail, and far from being slick, is decently-crafted, but truth to be told, this is the only good thing that can be said for this misfire. Featuring a main character that is both unlikable and annoying, and a really poorly told story with no strong moral message, that kids and adults will struggle to have fun with, "The Nut Job" is one of the weakest and most forgettable animations of the past few years or so.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

[6.75/10] Divergent (2014)

Divergent (2014)

Quick Review: It feels oddly familiar at times, and its predictability can't be camouflaged even by the few li'l twists thrown in here and there, but the best thing about "Divergent" is that the film doesn't rely heavily on special effects and pompous action scenes in order to impress, but only on its charismatic cast, headed by the skillful Woodley, with the end result being a balanced and often engaging dystopian thriller, with a touch of refreshingly un-cheesy romance, that actually works, despite its slightly formulaic story.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

[4.00/10] 13 Sins (2014)

13 Sins (2014)

Quick Review: It's occasionally intriguing, and decently-executed by "The Last Exorcism" director, Daniel Stamm, but its game-ish concept of 'a desperate regular man becoming a monster for money' is rather too tired already, plus, there are at least thirteen further reasons that make "13 Sins" unsuccessful, with its most major faults being -- it's humorless, ludicrously absurd, completely and utterly improbable, and last but not least, too nasty and downright cruel to be enjoyable at least.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

[6.00/10] Adult World (2014)

Adult World (2014)

Quick Review: This otherwise very ordinary-looking indie movie finely mixes up two completely different subject matters, and manages to deliver an amusing, yet touching story about one teen girl's descent into raw reality -- a story that tires to tell us how not really fun the adult world really is, in the most sincere way possible.  John Cusack is good, but it's Emma Roberts that steals the show as the over-ambitious and deluded, yet totally hilarious and charming poet wannabe.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Quick Reviews: 2013 Movies [PART 12]

The Last Exorcism Part II (2013) - Shot in a non-'found footage' style for a change... and for worse, "The Last Exorcism Part II" is not only one of the most pointless sequels in movie history, but also one of the lamest, nonsensical exorcism flicks ever made. (3.00/10)

Cheap Thrills (2013) - We're all aware that people are capable of doing terrible thing for money, but "Cheap Thrills" is showcasing that in the ugliest, nastiest way possible, and at the end, ironically enough, this film offers nothing but cheap thrills, indeed. (4.00/10)

Haunter (2013) - A nonsensical mess with very few thrills and even less chills, Vincenzo Natali's rather poorly executed ghost story with a twist does nothing right, other than showcasing Abigail Breslin's acting talent and her ability to carry an entire movie. (4.00/10)

Nothing Left to Fear (2013) - There are some scary parts, mainly in the final act, and the special effects are beyond acceptable, but "Nothing Left to Fear" leaves way too many question unanswered, and most of the time feels improvised, and terribly so. (4.25/10)

In Fear (2013) - Repetitive, monotonous, consistently tiresome, and not as half as effective as it thinks it is, "In Fear" is a cheap-looking horror movie with very little to no suspense at all, that despite its potential and capable enough cast, is simply mediocre. (4.50/10)

Grand Piano (2013) - It has a unique enough premise to catch your attention at first, but half-way through "Grand Piano" goes downhill real fast, because it turns out the classical music score is way more intense than the otherwise finely-conceived story. (5.00/10)

Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) - It's finely-written, and pretty much unlike any other vampire film you've seen before, but "Only Lovers Left Alive"'s underwhelmingly moody tone, sluggish pacing, and many over-extended scenes take away from its bizarre charms. (5.00/10)

We Are What We Are (2013) - Superior to the Mexican original on many levels, yet still far from brilliant, "We Are What We Are" is a subtly-crafted cannibalistic horror with dark religious undertones, that provides enough gore, without compromising on the acting. (6.25/10)

Wer (2013) - Shot with hand-held camera techniques for further realism, without being too stylistically gimmicky, "Wer" is a cool, clever, gory, and gruesome gem of a werewolf movie with logical medical explanations, that breathes new life into the sub-genre. (6.50/10)

Gåten Ragnarok (2013) - Sure, it's no "Troll Hunter", but this Norwegian mythological creature feature, successfully done in a Hollywood fashion, still has a refreshingly interesting premise, some stunningly picturesque scenery, and a couple of very good scares. (6.75/10)

Friday, March 14, 2014

[6.25/10] Veronica Mars (2014)

Quick Review: Just as character-driven as its title promises to be, “Veronica Mars” may feel and look like a super-long episode from the popular TV series, but it will most likely appeal not only to the die-hard fans of the show, because the film manages to entertain with its wittily-written dialogues, very edgy humor, puzzling murder mystery plot, and Kristen Bell’s engaging performance as the title character, whose charm and determination is what elevates this film to another level.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

[7.50/10] 300: Rise of an Empire [3D] (2014)

Quick Review: Adding 'girl power' to such a manly film works, as does the different perspective the story's being told. Sure, without Butler and Snyder this sequel feels less thrilling, but "300: Rise of an Empire" makes up for that with more imposing sea battles, more highly-stylized slow-mo action scenes, and more manga-like blood splatter, as well as some truly striking visuals. Stapleton is a strong lead, but the movie belongs to Green as the ruthless Artemisia.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

[4.75/10] Haunt (2014)

Haunt (2014)

Quick Review: Sinister in terms of atmosphere, yet a bit sloppily-shot, and filled wit loads of necessary, if rather uninteresting flashbacks, that further convolute the plot, “Haunt” is your typical 'ghost story' fare with hidden secrets, crashing doors and whispering voices, that hardly sets itself apart from the bunch, despite its attempts. On a positive note, the acting is solid, the setting is eerie, and if you thought that Mama from “Mama” was scary, wait till you see the creepy “she” ghost.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Quick Reviews: 2013 Movies [PART 11]

August: Osage County (2013) - Aside from the absolutely non-existent plot, "August: Osage County" is a darkly funny dialogue-driven dramedy, that is all about the dynamics between the multiple characters involved, complemented by exceptional acting. (6.00/10)

The Great Gatsby (2013) - The production design, cinematography, and costumes are all exquisite, but ironically enough, there's nothing great about "The Great Gatsby" - an ambitious and faithful, yet uninvolving adaptation, with some splendid visuals. (6.00/10)

Out of the Furnace (2013) - The A-list cast does an impressive job, indeed, the direction is strong, and the gritty cinematography matches the rough tone of the film well, but unlike the characters, the story is unengaging, let alone anything special. (6.25/10)

Still Mine (2013) - An ordinary looking film with an extraordinary impact on the viewer, "Still Mine" is a tender and brilliantly-acted drama about a husband and wife who've been together for over six decades, still madly in love in the most purest possible way. (6.50/10)

The Book Thief (2013) - With its refined cinematography and authentic production values, "The Book Thief" is undoubtedly gorgeous to look at, but what stops it for being a great movie is the underdeveloped, on-note story that unfortunately goes nowhere. (7.00/10)

About Time (2013) - Part quirky love story, part family drama, part time travel comedy, "About Time" is a well-balanced and finely-acted hybrid of film, that should be appreciated for its originality, sense of humor, inventiveness, and avoidance of cliches. (7.00/10)

The Best Offer (2013) - Artistic, sophisticated, and elegantly-shot, if slightly pretentious, "La Migliore Offerta" may not be for everyone to like, but more patient viewers surely won't be disappointed at the end, it does have more than a few tricks up its sleeve. (7.25/10)

Saving Mr. Banks (2013) - Beautifully-filmed and wonderfully-written, "Saving Mr. Banks" is a lovely Mary Poppins-inspired Disney film with a personal touch, in which Emma Thompson commands the screen with her delightfully over-the-top performance. (7.50/10)

Enough Said (2013) - A love story meant for grown-ups, "Enough Said" is equally amusing, touching, heartfelt, and sincere, and has that indie feel and look about it, that actually works in its favor, and makes it even more realistic, if that's even any possible. (7.50/10)

Philomena (2013) - Judi Dench is nothing short of phenomenal as the title character, the story is every bit as moving, emotional, and powerful as it's thoroughly compelling, and the cinematography has that arresting beauty about it, it just can't go unnoticed. (7.75/10)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

[4.50/10] Endless Love (2014)

Endless Love (2014)

Quick Review: This is a remake nobody was anticipating eagerly and there’s a reason for that – “Endless Love” is just as cheesy as romantic dramedies can get, containing pretty much every single cliché ever known or used. It has nothing to flaunt with, except for its appealing two leads, and the decent chemistry they share between them, as well as some truly vibrant visuals. Apart from that, it’s nothing more than a melodramatic, sappy, and endlessly formulaic love story with no edge at all.

Monday, March 3, 2014

[7.00/10] Non-Stop (2014)

Non-Stop (2014)

Quick Review: It may feel a little bit far-fetched, hence hardly plausible, but thanks to its unpredictable and cleverly-conceived cat-n-mouse plot filled with countless twists and turns, consistently taut pacing, and the two talented main stars -- Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore, both of whom you can’t go wrong with, “Non-Stop” is, indeed, a non-stop thrill ride, that will keep you literally on the edge of your seat from beginning to the end, so fasten your seat belt and prepare yourself for "turbulence".

Sunday, March 2, 2014

[4.25/10] 3 Days to Kill (2014)

Quick Review: Suffering big time from identity crisis, “3 Days to Kill” has no idea what it wants to be – an action thriller, or a father-daughter family drama. Either way, it’s vapid, hackneyed, unoriginal and not that interesting, and it feels like it’s been made at least a dozen years ago, because of its dated premise, plain visuals, and sub-par direction. Also, Kevin Costner is no Liam Neeson in terms of presence and action skills, and Heard, while devilishly alluring, is very much underused.