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Saturday, August 23, 2014

George Beremov's TOP 20 Favorite Movies of 2013 PART 2 [10 - 1]

CM's Best-Reviewed Movies of 2013

PART 2 [No. 10 - 1]

1. Snowpiercer (9.75/10)

Overall summary: "Snowpiercer" is thrillingly uncompromising, at times shockingly violent, but always hugely engrossing, and jaw-droppingly imaginative gem of a post-apocalyptic movie, that grabs all your senses with its originality, and highly contrasting bleak-to-vibrant imagery.

2. 12 Years a Slave (9.50/10)

Overall summary: It's a beautifully-shot, and marvelously-acted film about American slavery, in which the lush cinematography contrasts dramatically with the tough subject matter of the story, as does the raw emotion against the devastating violence.

3. The Conjuring (9.50/10)

Overall summary: James Wan is hands down at the top of his game with "The Conjuring" - an old-fashioned, atmospheric, tastefully-crafted, and genuinely frightening creepfest, that can be easily considered one of the ten best horror movies of the past decade!

4. Frozen [3D] (9.25/10)

Overall summary: With its magically adventurous, yet sweet story, charming characters, breathtaking and richly detailed animation and phenomenal use of 3D, "Frozen" is the very best animated feature of 2013, and also one of Disney's most finest!

5. Pacific Rim (8.75/10)

Overall summary: Giant robots, even more ginormous sea monsters, confident characters, stunning visuals, stupendous action, sensational special effects, and all this directed by the uber-imaginative Guillermo del Toro. What not to like, even love, really?!?

6. Iron Man 3 (8.50/10)

Overall summary: Every bit as engaging, witty, and humorous, as it's visually spectacular and impressively action-packed, "Iron Man 3" never takes itself way too seriously, and has all the right ingredients for a cool, successful, and highly enjoyable superhero flick.

7. Man of Steel (8.50/10)

Overall summary: Yeah, "Man of Steel" is too much, but too much of awesomeness! The sci-fi-ish approach feels different, the ambitious story keeps you drawn in, Snyder's visual style is slick as usual, the CGIs are flawless, and the action is kinetic.

8. The Grandmaster (8.50/10)

Overall summary: Its unevenness aside, "The Grandmaster" is not only a wise and philosophical film, but also one of the most polished martial arts movies ever created, flaunting Kar-wai's elegant direction, and Woo-ping's masterful fight choreography.

9. Prisoners (8.50/10)

Overall summary: 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.

10. Gravity (8.25/10)

Overall summary: Technically truly exceptional, visually-sumptuous, well-acted and thoroughly intense from start to finish, yet tad overhyped, "Gravity" showcases Cuaron's great versatility as a director, and his ability to provide his audience with something unique.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

George Beremov's TOP 20 Favorite Movies of 2013 PART 1 [20 - 11]

CM's Best-Reviewed Movies of 2013

PART 1 [No. 20 - 11]

11. The Wolf of Wall Street (8.25/10)

Overall summary: 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.

12. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (8.00/10)

Overall summary: 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 Peter Jackson's solid consistency as a filmmaker.

13. Rush (8.00/10)

Overall summary: Not only "Rush" gives us an intimate look at one of the biggest rivalries in professional car racing ever, but it's also a splendidly crafted film about passion, raw enthusiasm and inner drive, that delivers as much adrenaline rush as it does drama.

14. Blue Jasmine (8.00/10)

Overall summary: Led by its clever plot structure, "Blue Jasmine" is a bright, elegant, darkly-comic, and vividly-shot riches-to-rags dramedy, that features arguably the best and most riveting female performance of 2013, by the magnificent Cate Blanchett.

14. American Hustle (8.00/10)

Overall summary: Boasting a clever storyline, authentic vintage vibe, engaging characters, and probably the best ensemble cast of 2013, "American Hustle" is definitely Oscar material, and also director's second best movie after 10's "The Fighter".

16. Dallas Buyers Club (7.75/10)

Overall summary: 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.

17. Philomena (7.75/10)

Overall summary: 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.

18. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (7.75/10)

Overall summary: 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 and precision.

19. Now You See Me (7.75/10)

Overall summary: The best thing about this film is nothing is what it seems, and that's exactly what keeps you drawn in. Moreover, "Now You See Me" is smart, energetic, original, and as entertaining as a first-class illusionist show. The camera work is magic!

20. Thor: The Dark World (7.50/10)

Overall summary: 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 and special effects.

Honorable mentions:

Saving Mr. Banks (7.50/10)
Enough Said (7.50/10)
Star Trek Into Darkness (7.50/10)
Nymphomaniac: Vol. I (7.50/10)
The Croods (7.50/10)
Trance (7.50/10)
The Way Way Back (7.50/10)
The Wolverine (7.50/10)


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

[8.00/10] The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

The Fault in Our Stars (2014) 

Quick Review: Devastating without being manipulative, yet uplifting due to the strong spirits and courage of its two cancer sick characters, acted exceptionally genuinely by Woodley and Elgort, whose warm relationship will not be forgotten any time soon, "The Fault in Our Stars" is a love story like no other, that develops as naturally as it can get, generating a romance that exudes so much purity it will bring tears to your eyes, even when you least expect it.

Monday, August 18, 2014

[7.50/10] Get on Up (2014)

Get on Up (2014)

Quick Review: In all honesty, it may not be as brilliantly accomplished and profoundly engrossing as Tate Taylor's previous feature, "The Help", but its convoluted plot structure aside, "Get on Up" is a groovy, funky, passionate and tastefully-shot biopic with amazing production values, bursting in visual and musical authenticity, and powered by a top-notch cast, led by Boseman's truly remarkable performance as the iconic James Brown, who fully inhabits his character and turns the movie from good to really outstanding.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

[6.50/10] Into The Storm (2014)

Into The Storm (2014)

Quick Review: It's overstuffed with tons of characters, that are neither well-acted, nor very memorable, the shooting style is unclear and messy, and the screenplay is everything but imaginative, but for what it is, "Into the Storm" is a taut and entertaining disaster movie, that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish, and truly astound you with its impeccably realistic CGIs, which will make you feel like you are into the storm, indeed. Too bad the film ain't in 3D. Would've worked.

[4.00/10] The Maid's Room (2014)

The Maid's Room (2014)

Quick Review: It has the potential to be one of those 'I've seen it all before, but it's still kinda interesting' type of movies, you can't help but enjoy for what they are, but instead "The Maid's Room" turns out being a 90s-inspired pseudo thriller with no actual thrills in it, that feels twice as longer as it really is, due to its painfully slow pacing, crappy plot, and tediously limited setting. On the bright side, Paula Garcés does an okay job, and makes the film almost watchable, if still so bad.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

[6.25/10] Blended (2014)

Blended (2014)

Quick Review: Probably the most decent Sandler comedy since, "50 First Dates", "Blended" successfully blends slapstick with unpretentious romance, and the end result is a perfectly watchable and fairly funny comedy, that instead of relying on annoyingly familiar rom-com cliches, decides not to care and let it all go. "Blended" also has the looks, with the sequences shot in colorful Africa being absolutely splendid to look at, and also there's a sparkle between the two lead  characters.

[4.00/10] Moms' Night Out (2014)

Moms' Night Out (2014)

Quick Review: It has a couple of amusing scenes along the way, and the central character is sympathetic enough, if a bit too neurotic to be completely likeable, but as a whole, "Moms' Night Out" is like watching someone having a panic attack -- it's uncomfortable to watch, and all over the place most of the time, not to mention the film looks surprisingy cheesy, even for a comedy of this rank, and Erwin Brothers' uninspired direction is chaotic, to the point of being utterly obnoxious.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

[9.25/10] Guardians of the Galaxy [3D] (2014)

Quick Review: Having every right to be considered the "Star Wars" of all Marvel flicks, "Guardians of the Galaxy" is an endlessly spectacular, and excitingly action-packed visual splendor of a movie, that delivers as many thrill as laughs, thanks to its engrossing story, energetic pacing, and witty sense of humor. Add to all of that a bunch of cool characters, nostalgic music score, and high-end CGIs, and what you get is the hit of the summer, if not year!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Editor's Note: CineMarvellous' 5th Anniversary!

Dear friends, fans, and readers of CineMarvellous!,

I'm happy to announce, that on August 13, 2014, my precious blog celebrates its fifth birthday! Can you imagine that? I'm part of the cool, ginormous blogosphere for fifth year in a roll now, and I couldn't be happier about the fact, that CineMarvellous! continues to have lots of readers and visitors. I'm doing all this for you, guys! :)

Last year CineMarvellous! was in a stand-by mode for about 9 months, or so, because I was extremely busy with other stuff, and literally had no time to watch, let alone review films. Thank God, I managed to come back last December, and even to catch up on all movies released after March 2013. Still have to post my top 20 best-reviewed movie of the last year, though. The list is coming real soon, so stay tuned!

With the beginning of 2014, I decided to write only one-two sentence 'quick reviews', that are always short and sweet, and straight to-the-point, because I prefer to review as many films I see as possible, instead of fully review just a few of them. I hope you're enjoying the new format -- it's quicker and easier to read, at the end of the day. 

Last month, I finally decided to create a Facebook page of my blog, something I should have done years ago. If you still haven't checked it out, please do, and click the LIKE button for me. The page received 200 likes in less than half a month, and that is promising indeed. Also, CineMarvellous' Twitter account now has the impressive 1,053 followers, which I consider as some sort of an achievement.

Now it's time for the usual statistics: 
So far, I've reviewed fully, briefly, or quickly exactly 935 movies! Since 13.08.2009, my blog has been visited exactly 335,521 times by 61,719 unique visitors from 187 different countries. That's overwhelming! I would like to thank to all my regular readers and visitors, as well as my dearest blog friends I'm more than glad to know, and those are:

Drew [Grimm] @ Grimm Revewz
Brian [venoms5] @ Cool Ass Cinema
Matty @ FilmMattic

[7.00/10] Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014)

Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014)

Quick Review: Not only it has a cute, vibrant and colorful animation that will catch your eye for sure, but "Mr. Peabody and Sherman" is a very entertaining and briskly-paced feature with a complexly-structured, compelling, and adventurous story, dealing with crazy time-traveling. It will also make you fall in love with its delightfully likeable title characters, and their absolutely adorable, often heart-warming 'dogfather' adapted human son relationship.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

[7.25/10] Chef (2014)

Chef (2014)

Quick Review: Cheerful, uplifting, lively,  and often inspiring, “Chef” is, as its title suggests, about love for food and cooking, while at the same time explores the endearing father- son relationship between the two protagonists, which becomes more engaging as the movie progresses. Metaphorically said, “Chef” is like a well-seasoned meal with some spicy Cuban flavors added to it, that will make your mouth water, and also will fulfill your big cinematic appetite for something refreshing.

[4.50/10] Under the Skin (2014)

Under the Skin (2014)

Quick Review: Ironically enough, “Under the Skin” fails miserably to get under you skin, simply because it’s a lazy, tedious, and pretentious film with no clear direction, thinking its peculiar-ness will make it special. It does not, and not even Scarlett Johansson’s hypnotic performance manages to save it from monotony. Visually, it looks and feels morbid and unattractive, and the camera work consists of long, boring, static shots, and overextended sequences of soulless nothingness. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

[7.75/10] Belle (2014)

Belle (2014)

Quick Review: Just as intelligently-written and powerfully-acted as its beautifully-filmed and aesthetic in a subtle, yet appealing way, “Belle” is profound and emotionally resonant based-on-a-true-story period drama that is a much about slavery, greed and human prejudices, as it is about equality, open-mindedness, tru' love and rebellious determination, and director Amma Asante blends all of that smoothly into one gripping story that will engage all your senses for 103 min, and then some.

[5.50/10] At the Devil's Door (2014)

At the Devil's Door (2014)

Quick Review: It's a step down form director's strong debut effort, "The Pact", since the story ain't half as accomplished despite its intricate complexity, nor the direction is as neat and focused. That being said, "At the Devil's Door" is a reasonably watchable satanic horror movie with some frightening moments, spooky images, and eerie atmosphere, and changeable protagonists, that try to unveil a deep mystery that is both intriguing and quietly suspenseful, if not at all so memorable.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

[5.75/10] The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

Quick Review: The suspense is higher, the violence is more graphic, the characters are easier to connect with, the production is slicker, and the direction is much more in control this time around – in other words, “Anarchy” is slightly superior to the original. Why just slightly? Because, much like its predecessor, it lacks something and that something is credibility – a very important factor for a movie with such a provocative, unsettling subject matter.

[0.50/10] A Haunted House 2 (2014)

A Haunted House 2 (2014)

Quick Review: Spoofs used to be made to make fun of horror movies that take themselves too seriously. Wittily. Well, not anymore. This truly horrendous sequel dares to deride contemporary horror classics like "Sinister" and "The Conjuring", and does it in the most moronic, idiotic, and crude way possible! There's not a single funny moment or a laugh in "A Haunted House 2", since all the supposed-to-be-jokes are offensive, the humor flat, and the whole film is just plain dumb as sh*t.