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Sunday, December 13, 2015

[6.50/10] In the Heart of the Sea [3D] (2015)

In the Heart of the Sea [3D] (2015)

Quick Review: The huge contrast between the adventurous and fairly exciting first half and the difficult-to- watch and rarely compelling second one is so drastic, it basically kills the film's potential for epicness midway through, and makes it uneven. That said, the delightfully old-school style of storytelling is to be admired, the acting is really hard to fault and the 3D visuals are so sweepingly pretty they will take your breath away. Too bad the film lacks impact.

Friday, November 27, 2015

[3.25/10] The Gallows (2015)

The Gallows (2015)

Quick Review: Effective only at the very end, "The Gallows" is basically cursed to hang out and collect dust on the shelves, as it has nothing to offer, other than shaky camera work that will make you dizzy, a bunch of obnoxious characters you'd love to see dead at any point, and one or two scares so cheap, they feel more like failed attempts at such. Instead of creating an ominous atmosphere, the low-key lightning cheapens the visuals, and shows that this film has technical issues as well.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

[5.75/10] Turbo Kid (2015)

Turbo Kid (2015)

Quick Review: Very nostalgic, very 80s, and very cool, if very sloppy in terms of execution, "Turbo Kid" is a post-apocalyptic flick that celebrates everything viewers loved about the cheap sci-fi flicks from the decade it pays cinematic tribute to, but those unfamiliar with it may find it tedious, amateurish, and too 'old-school' for their tastes. The colorful props, and objects pop out against the barren scenery, the score is a winner, and the acting is just over-the-top as the gore it splatters all over.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

[4.50/10] Aloha (2015)

Aloha (2015)

Quick Review: With its bright color palette, that finely reflects the feel of the setting, and all of the references to this pretty location and its culture, "Aloha" succeeds as a 'love letter' to Hawaii but what distracts from that is the purposeless and incoherent plot which consists of dull romance, and an implausible 'revenge' back story, that never fit together well. And with so many great names amongst the cast, this film is pretty much a waste of talent, as the script fails to cope with all that 'star power'.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

[6.50/10] Southpaw (2015)

Southpaw (2015)

Quick Review: Being pretty by-the-numbers, hence, easy to predict for the most part, it fails to distinguish itself from all the rest sports dramas of this type, but thanks to Fugua's sleek visual style, and Gyllenhaal's ability to turn a good story into great one, through his superb acting and real dedication, "Southpow" remains involving from beginning to the end, while also striking a huge emotional punch. The boxing matches are the real deal, and the biggest highlight of this finely-crafted film.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

[7.25/10] Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015)

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015)

Quick Review: Moving along at a taut pace for the most part and filled with heart-racing action set-pieces, but also carrying loads of dramatic weight to balance it all up, "Scorch Trials" is a bigger, scarier, and way more mature successor to the great original, if not necessarily superior, as it runs out of steam towards the end. It makes up for that with strong performances, and some beautifully gritty post-apocalyptic imagery. The 'mouse scene' is a killer!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

CineMarvellous Preview: Four new stills from "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend"

Four brand new stills / images from "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend" (Official Facebook Page), the upcoming sequel to Ang Lee's martial arts masterpiece from the year 2000, have just been released, and they look absolutely stunning, indeed!

Directed by the legendary Yuen Woo-Ping, mostly known to western audiences with his work as action choreographer in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", "The Matrix", and "Kill Bill" movies, this sequel tells the story of a group of noble and legendary knights and soldiers who fight for peace and justice by protecting a 400-year old blade named The Green Destiny in Qing Dynasty China.

Starring Michelle Yeoh, Donnie Yen, Harry Shum Jr., Natasha Bordizzo, and Jason Scott Lee, "CTHD: The Green Legend" is set for release in China on February 8, 2016 (The day of the Chinese New Year), a week ahead of the U.S. Netflix / IMAX release.

(click on the images to enlarge)
 Michelle Yeoh as Yu Shu Lien

Donnie Yen as Meng Si-Zhao a.k.a. Silent Wolf

Harry Shum Jr. as Tie-Fang

Harry Shum Jr. and Natasha Liu Bordizzo as Xue-Ping a.k.a Snow Vase

Stills are taken from the movie's official Facebook Page

Monday, September 14, 2015

[5.00/10] Creep (2015)

Creep (2015)

Quick Review: Far from scary, but totally disturbing, "Creep" lives up to its title 100%, owing all of that to Mark Duplass, who turns in a totally nutty performance as the seemingly friendly, yet obsessive troubled man skillfully manipulating his victims with his confusing behavior. It all comes across very credibly through Brice's camera, who also directs the movie. However, the fact that "Creep" takes quite some time to warm up can't be neglected, plus, it looks awful even for a 'found footage' film.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

[3.00/10] Contracted: Phase II (2015)

Contracted: Phase II (2015) 

Quick Review: The funny thing is, this very useless sequel pretty much suffers from the exact same issues it so-so predecessor does -- it never explains what causes the infection, showing just the consequences of it, which is frustrating. On top of that, "Phase II" attempts to include some poorly-developed crime elements in it, which further bring it down, along with the poor acting. The only good thing is it delivers the gross out gore everyone's expecting to.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

[6.25/10] Magic Mike XXL (2015)

Magic Mike XXL (2015)

Quick Review: Playing as a road movie -- a sassy, yet rather frivolous one, "Magic Mike XXL" is a passably enjoyable sequel, created mostly to make ladies happy, and guys pretty jealous, in which it succeeds, even if its so-so plot is, as expected, just an excuse for its well-built characters to take all of their cloths off and dance. Speaking of which, Tatum yet again proves he's got the moves, with his routines being the best parts of the film, which in the end owes all of its charms to the cool cast.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

[5.00/10] Attack on Titan (2015)

Attack on Titan (2015)

Quick Review:Die-hard fans of the Japanese manga books, anime TV series, and video game of the same name will get almost everything they bargain for, but those unfamiliar with the source material may find "Attack on Titan" a bit unbalanced and hard to enjoy, due to its sluggish pacing, as it ranges from slow, and talky to extremely chaotic, and even though it cares for its characters and brings equal amounts of thrilling action and uncompromising terror, this contrast kills the intensity it aims.

Friday, September 4, 2015

[8.25/10] Tale of Tales (2015)

Tale of Tales (2015)

Quick Review: Delightfully twisted in nature, obscure in tone, and even grimmer than any Grimm story ever told, "Tale of Tales" is far from being your typical 'happily ever after' fairy tale, telling three different stories, all of which equally as dark, freaky, and bizarre, that are effective enough on their own, but combined turn the film into a unique and deeply compelling experience, you will not soon forget, and not just because of its lavish art direction, slick cinematography, and stellar international cast.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

[6.50/10] Monk Comes Down the Mountain (2015)

Monk Comes Down the Mountain (2015)

Quick Review: Kaige's latest tries to blend one too many genres in it, and as a result the whole thing feels a bit messy and unbalanced, but at least the unusual style of storytelling makes it far from predictable. Due to the superb wire-work, sharp editing, and creative choreography, the fight sequences end up being best parts, and, luckily there are plenty of them. Moreover, "Monk" cares as much for its secondary characters as it does for its quirky protagonist.

Monday, August 31, 2015

[4.75/10] Z for Zachariah (2015)

Z for Zachariah (2015)

Quick Review: Featuring loads of wow shots of New Zealand's pretty nature, "Z for Zachariah" may be the most beautiful post apocalyptic film you will ever see, but that aside, it's mostly a pretentious piece with soap opera-like plot, that will bore you out with its lack of substance, and clear direction. The casting is odd, which results in a little chemistry between the three actors, who fail to engage the audience with their interactions. The abrupt ending only adds to the overall disappointment.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

[7.50/10] Straight Outta Compton (2015)

Straight Outta Compton (2015)

Quick Review: Full of attitude and rage, if a bit rough in the beginning, this controversial biopic depicts the struggles of street life, and those of success, in a brutally frank manner, never losing its dramatic impact and gritty feel and benefiting from Gary's passion for black music, and his raw visual flair. The cast is on point, with all of the actors portraying the iconic rappers with sass, spirit, and sheer dedication. To sum it all up in N.W.A style... This shit is dope!

Friday, August 28, 2015

[7.00/10] Bessie (2015)

Bessie (2015)

Quick Review: This biopic about the rise and fall of legendary blues singer Bessie Smith may have a few flaws, but its imperfection is exactly what turns it into such an emotional roller-coaster ride, you cannot help but being constantly engrossed by. Sure, it may be a made-for-TV film, but visually "Bessie" never feels as such prettily-shot, bursting in retro authenticity, and slickly-produced by HBO, it's a pure delight for the eyes. Latifah is on fire, but Mo'Nique is the one that really triumphs.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

[3.75/10] Hitman: Agent 47 (2015)

Hitman: Agent 47 (2015)

Quick Review: It features several solid action scenes, that worth your attention, but that aside, "Agent 47" is a shockingly lifeless action movie devoid of any sense of fun, that is so contrived in terms of plotting, and so lame in execution, it earns every right to be called 'the dullest action movie of the year'. It's Bach's debut feature, and it shows -- his direction is bland, and for a film with so much violence it has zero tension or vigor. Moreover, the acting from the entire cast is horribly wooden.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

[5.25/10] Strangerland (2015)

Strangerland (2015)

Quick Review: Set in the Aussie desert, the film has that earthy feel about itself, which combined with the reddish tinge of the cinematography set the dreary tone from the get-go, and the performances are all great, but storytelling in it shifts drastically from predictably melodramatic in the first half, to pretty unconventional in the second one, as it starts to focus more on the bizarre behavior of its characters then the actual drama it should deal with, and as a result, it breaks down in the end.

Monday, August 24, 2015

[5.75/10] Survivor (2015)

Survivor (2015)

Quick Review: It's about as by-the- numbers as its premise implies, and the plot itself is not only ridiculously absurd, and but has as many holes as Swiss cheese, however, the neat direction makes it a lot more intense and entertaining than it should be. In other words, "Survivor" is a mixed back of a thriller you would probably enjoy for what it is, but forget just as soon as the credits roll. The teriffic cast saves it from total failure, with Jovovic being super-engaging every minute she's on screen.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

[3.25/10] Exeter (2015)

Exeter (2015)

Quick Review: Nispel's worst effort so far is a pure example of what is the messy result, when you attempt to blend various horror sub-genres in one movie, while borrowing ideas from a dozen other films, that aren't clever anyway. Playing as a hybrid of a 'haunted house' movie with an exorcism spin, and a hint of slasher, "Exeter" doesn't know in what horror category fits in, nor has a clear idea what to do with itself, not to mention the real bad twist in the end further ruins its over-ambitions.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

[4.75/10] Hot Pursuit (2015)

Hot Pursuit (2015)

Quick Review: More of a hot mess, rather than a hot pursuit really, this action comedy is so loud, talky, and chaotic, it is actually exhausting to watch, and instead of making up for its lousiness with some decent jokes and hilarious situations, it fails to do so, delivering very few good laughs, all thanks to the seductive Vergara, who's charisma saves the film from being awful. Witherspoon, however, turns in a neurotic performance that makes her annoying character even less appealing than it is.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Editor's Note: CineMarvellous' 6th Anniversary!

Dear readers,

Yesterday on August 13, 2015 CineMarvellous! celebrated its sixth anniversary! So far, my blog has been visited 403,767 times by 71,088 unique visitors from 193 countries, and as a founder and editor, I'm more than pleased with these results. Huge thanks to all of you, who have visited CineMarvellous regularly or accidentally... I truly appreciate every single visit. I mean it.

For the past year, I finally decided to create a Facebook page of my blog, which now has 300+ likes. Also, CineMarvellous' Twitter account hit 1,300 followers, and I joined Networked blogs -- a great social network for all type of bloggers. Last but certainly not least, the amazing guys from White Cat Publications yet again asked me to write a movie review for their site, which I did without hesitating. You can check it out HERE.

Thank you for reading this, and I promise to keep you cinematically updated and help you decide which movies you should watch, or skip!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

[5.50/10] Max (2015)

Max (2015)

Quick Review: Dramatic opening aside, it has that Disney feel about itself, quickly turning into a crowd-pleaser, you can't help but enjoy in spite of all its corniness, but midway through, "Max" suddenly goes in a 'not so PG' direction, becoming a bit too violent and crime-driven, which quickly ruins its sympathetic nature. Manipulative or not, this canine flick has its moments and the connection between the boy and the war dog is heartwarming, but everything else in between is sort of 'meh'.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

[3.75/10] Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (2015)

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (2015)

Quick Review: James is strangely likable, regardless of how dumb the character he plays is, and the cute Rodriguez provides the only decent parts in this sequel, but other than that and the stunning Vegas hotel, probably picked for a setting just to distract the viewer from all the rest, "Mall Cop 2" is a poorly-made action comedy with sloppy action and even sloppier attempts at humor, that is at times so embarrassing to watch and not even close to funny.