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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.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

[5.00/10] Barely Lethal (2015)

Barely Lethal (2015)

Quick Review: Honestly said, it's a brainless action comedy, made with a pretty tight budget (and it shows), that much like its protagonist suffers big time from identity crisis, trying to figure out for itself, whether it wants to be a spy action, or a high school comedy, as it hardly works as both. On the other hand, "Barely Lethal" is all about 'silly fun', and never tries to be serious, plus, for an indie flick, it flaunts a mostly A-list cast, all of whom do well, considering the weak script, and flat direction.

Monday, August 10, 2015

[6.75/10] A Brilliant Young Mind (2015)

A Brilliant Young Mind (2015)

Quick Review: Heartfelt, touching, often inspiring, but far from brilliant, due to some low points, "A Brilliant Young Mind" depicts the struggles of raising a child with special needs, as well as being one, in a sensitive and delicate way, while at the same time praises the amazing gifts, and sheer cleverness most autistic kids possess, letting all the positives be the driving force and not the drama, all of that aided with some wonderful acting from a great cast.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

[4.00/10] Fantastic Four (2015)

Fantastic Four (2015)

Quick Review: Murky, inexcusably humorless and devoid of any proper action until the very end, "Fant4stic" wastes too much time in introducing us flat characters with little to offer, whilst rushing its third act, which is supposed to be the highlight (but it ain't), neglecting the importance of its already hollow and funny-looking villain, and also unaware of the fact that there's zero chemistry between the leading foursome, all resulting in a pretty lackluster reboot, that's not even remotely fantastic.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

[6.25/10] Unexpected (2015)

Unexpected (2015)

Quick Review: The intimate stories of the two protagonists are moving enough on their own, but what really makes the film as affecting as it is, is the warmly genuine teacher-student relationship between them, and the natural, and heartfelt performances by Cobie Smulders and Gail Bean, whose friendship, with all its ups and downs, feels like a real-life one. Yes, it may be an ordinary-looking movie, with an almost indie feel about it, but "Unexpected"'s visual simplicity adds more realism to the plot.

Friday, August 7, 2015

[6.75/10] Dark Places (2015)

Dark Places (2015)

Quick Review: It's no "Gone Girl", but this downbeat, visually subdued drama manages to be involving and quietly intense pretty much from the first to the last minute, without even having that many big thrills, mainly thanks to the skillful narration of its cinematic riddle of a plot, where the creator unravels the mystery piece by piece for us in mind-boggling, yet credible way, keeping the story very unpredictable. The well-picked cast do a great job with Theron yet again stealing the whole show.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

[6.00/10] Unfriended (2015)

Unfriended (2015)

Quick Review: For an 'all concept' film with zero plot, this modern-day cyber horror manages to provide a few solid thrills, using different types of social media interaction, and wins some points for originality, due to its fresh, if not clever approach. It ain't scary, the story is absurd, and you wouldn't care about any of the teen characters, and yet "Unfriended" still keeps you drawn in the whole 'angry cyber teen ghost seeking for bloody revenge' thing, reveling the mystery behind it in a twisty way.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

[8.50/10] Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)

Quick Review: With its intricate yet never confusing plot filled with many unexpected twists, ingenious sense of humor, adrenaline-rushing action sequences, and a powerhouse turn from Ferguson, who happens to be the film's biggest asset, pretty much overshadowing Cruise, "M:I - Rogue Nation" is nearly on-par with its killer predecessor, and proves that action movies can be smart and thrilling at the same time without the help of 3D effects or tired gimmicks.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

[4.25/10] Unfinished Business (2015)

Unfinished Business (2015)

Quick Review: It's nice to look at, but as a comedy, it fails one pretty much every other level -- watching a bunch of losers from 3 generations trying to make some business, while doing tons of other really dumb stuff for ninety minutes is not particularly interesting, let alone hilarious, and even a capable comedian like Vince Vaughn is not able to change this fact due to the poor script he has to work with. The back story doesn't fit in with all the other crap.

Monday, August 3, 2015

[5.00/10] Extinction (2015)

Extinction (2015)

Quick Review: It has more than enough character development, and those "Descent"-inspired creatures are formidable, and freaky-looking, indeed, but for an almost two-hour long movie, "Extinction" focuses way too much on the dialogue, and not enough on the action, with the end result being a so-so zombie horror, that tries hard to be deep, but fails to achieve it. The frozen scenery is supposed to add some grit to the visuals but, it's so obviously CGI-y, it makes it look so cheesy.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

[6.50/10] Trainwreck (2015)

Trainwreck (2015)

Quick Review: Apatow's uneven, at times generic direction doesn't bring to live Schumer's clever script in the best way possible, and the film itself, while constantly funny, is not exactly hysterical, but watching the amusing protagonist grow from a selfish sex- addict to a devoted woman is really worth it. What truly sets "Trainwreck" apart from the most rom-coms is the utter lack of cheesiness, plus, Amy Schumer elevates it from 'ho-hum' to 'pretty good', thanks to her comedic talent and honest acting.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

[4.75/10] Slow West (2015)

Slow West (2015)

Quick Review: Thanks to a strong presence, M.Fassbender dominates the screen every moment he's on it, and the connection between his and Smit-McPhee's character is silently powerful, yet natural, but to be fair, "Slow West" lives up 100% to its title and not in a good way -- it is slow, like lazy slow, and it's all about the west, and its terribly savage nature. Made with little cash, and shot with even less imagination, this sluggish nag of an indie western hardly adds any value to the genre.