Thursday, April 18, 2013

Review: The Place Beyond The Pines

                                               A 'Beyond' Extraordinary Piece of Filmmaking

                 The Place Beyond The Pines is without a doubt, one of the best most flawless movies I've seen in quite some time. It is a triumphant exercise in how actions and consequences affect the lives of those around us.

                The Place Beyond The Pines is about a travelling motorcycle stunt rider named Luke (Ryan Gosling) who reunites with an old flame of his named Romina (Eva Mendes) and realizes she is mothering his child. Once he finds out, he decides to quit the stunt riding gig and provide for his family. In order to do so, he takes up bank-robbing and becomes followed by a rookie cop-turned-politician named Avery (Bradley Cooper).

                What I Liked About It:
               Where do I begin here? I loved everything: the acting, the direction, the story, the beautiful scenery, etc. I loved how the film is essentially three different stories: The first one deals with Luke, the second one deals with Avery after his pursuit of Luke, and the final one shifts over 15 years later with both Avery and Luke's sons wrestling with the legacies they've inherited.

               Ryan Gosling delivers a solid performance as Luke, and Bradley Cooper delivers the best performance in the entire film as Avery. In this film, Cooper really showcases his dramatic acting chops and proves why he is one of the best actors working today, and not just a handsome face. Eva Mendes gives her best performance to date as Romina, Luke's longlost love interest torn between her child's father and her loyalty to her husband. But a few actors that also really stood out were Ben Mendelsohn, who plays Luke's friend Robin who is a former bank robber with a heart of gold, and Dane DeHaan, who plays an older version of Luke's son Jason, who longs for the truth about his father, but struggles to grasp it when he finds out.

               Another thing I really liked about this marvelous film was the direction. This is the first film I've seen from Derek Cianfrance, who also did Blue Valentine, which I haven't seen yet, but when I watched this film, I fell in love with how he directed it. Plus, the scenery, which was in upstate New York, which isn't far from where I live, was gorgeous.

               What I Didn't Like About It:

              Overall, The Place Beyond The Pines is a stunningly flawless epic dealing with themes of redemption, consequences, love, anger, father-son relationships, and most importantly, legacy. I would recommend it to anybody I know as I feel it is noy only a fantastic film, but a rather important film.

Rating: 5/5


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Trailer Talk #2: Sequel Edition- Grown Ups 2, Kick Ass 2, Iron Man 3, Hangover: Part III, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Hello, Bloggers, I had just seen The Place Beyond The Pines, which I will post a review of very soon, and they only showed two trailers. So I figured for my next Trailer Talk post, I would discuss trailers for upcoming sequels. Anyways, here we go:

Grown Ups 2: First off, I'll discuss the trailer for Grown Ups 2. Now, before I watched the trailer, I was unsure of what to expect after seeing Adam Sandler's recent body of work, and after I got through watching the trailer, I worry that Sandler's bad movie streak might continue. I don't even know how Grown Ups got a sequel. I mean, it wasn't spectacular or bad, it was just kinda there. I think I'm gonna skip this one.

Kick-Ass 2: Next up, the trailer for Kick-Ass 2. Now, I was a pretty big fan of the first one, and when I saw the trailer for the sequel, I was pretty stoked. One reason is because this one has Jim Carrey, who never fails to make me laugh. I feel that he's gonna steal the show. Plus, it looks like it's gonna be funny and action-packed like the first one. I'll probably see this in theaters.

Iron Man 3: Next, there is Iron Man 3, the first threequel on this post. Now, unlike the first two, this one looks much darker, which has me pretty intrigued. My only worry is the fact that it has a bit too many villains, but that's more of a nitpick than anything else. Plus, this one looks just as action-packed as the first two. I may check this one out in theaters.

The Hangover: Part III: Next up is the only other threequel on this post, The Hangover: Part III. Now, I loved the first one, but thought the second one was good, but just a carbon copy of the first one. So, that leaves me wondering what this entry in the franchise will bring to the table. I'm sure Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifanakis will be funny as always, even Ken Jeong, who plays my favorite character from the first two: Mr. Chow, but I'm just hoping that this one'll be different. But to be fair, the trailer has me intrigued as they don't give a whole lot of plot details away. I think I'm gonna rent this one, though.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire: Last, and certainly not least, is the movie that I am the most excited for this year, and that is The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Now, Catching Fire is my favorite book in the trilogy, so I was really excited when I saw the trailer for this at the MTV Movie Awards. I loved how they did the same thing they did when they released the trailer for the first Hunger Games and kept out further plot details to increase the audience's anticipation. Even though I already read the books, I still can't wait to see more. No doubt i'm seeing this in theaters.

So, that was episode 2 of Trailer Talk, and I'm unsure of what my next movie will be, but when I see it, I will do another episode, but until then, have a good one!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Review: Evil Dead (2013)

                                    The Most Terrifying Film You'll Ever Experience? Not Really

                      While Evil Dead is one of the best horror remakes I've seen in quite some time, I definitely wouldn't say it lives up to its tagline.

                     The new Evil Dead is about a recovering drug addict named Mia (Jane Levy) who is brought to a cabin by her brother David (Shiloh Fernandez) and their friends (Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, Elizabeth Blackmore). Once they find the Book of the Dead, all hell breaks loose and they become possessed by demons one by one.

                       What I Liked About It:
                     First off, I loved the actors and the solid character development. Jane Levy truly shines as Mia, the main protagonist who struggles with being possessed by demons and her own personal demons as well. After her performance in this, I really look forward to her future work. Shiloh Fernandez also shines as David, and even though this is technically the first thing I've seen him in, as i've only seen smidges of Red Riding Hood, he is truly amazing in this. Lou Taylor Pucci delivers a solid supporting performance as Eric, who is probably the bravest character as he is constantly beaten and stabbed, yet he never gives up. Even though Jessica Lucas and Elizabeth Blackmore have smaller roles, they manage to hold their own amongst the other three actors. Even though some Evil Dead fans were skeptical about this move, I liked how they didn't include Ash. If they did, then people would just draw comparisons between Bruce Campbell and whoever would play Ash.

                    Another thing I really liked about the film was the old-school feel that it had. From the score to the bleak, dreary atmosphere and the practical effects, it just seemed like a wonderful homage to classic horror. While I do LOVE horror films, if there is one thing I don't like about today's horror films, it's the extensive use of CGI effects. To me, they are just cheap and unrealistic. I only don't mind them if they have to be used. So because I prefer practical effects, I was glad that director Fede Alvarez decided to use practical effects to make the look of the monsters and the scares more effective.
                      What I Didn't Like About It:
                   Overall, Evil Dead is a solid re-imagining of the 1981 classic and is a wonderful homage to classic from the 70's and early 80's. Anyone who enjoys horror films should definitely give this one a watch.

*Note: Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, watch if you are squeamish!

Rating: 4.5/5

Friday, April 5, 2013

Trailer Talk #1: You're Next, Scary Movie 5, The Conjuring, The Purge,This Is The End, Carrie

Hello Bloggers, I figured for my next post, I'd do something different than a normal review. Now, while I was leaving the theater after I saw Evil Dead, which I will post a review of soon, I had an idea of posting reviews of trailers I've watched before the movie, in a new segment called Trailer Talk. After I talk about each trailer, I will say whether or not I will see the film in theaters, rent it, or just skip it. For my first post, I'll start by doing reviews of trailers I saw when I saw Evil Dead, and here we go:

 You're Next: First, they showed the trailer for an upcoming horror film titled You're Next. Now, the movie has a very old-school title, but that's what I like about it. It deals with a very simple story about a home invasion and the title gives the film a very old-school feeling. I might check this one out.

Scary Movie 5: Next, I had the slight misfortune of watching the trailer for Scary Movie 5. As I have seen the first four films and thought they were funny, this one just doesn't look funny. I predict the critics will tear this movie to pieces, and i'm more than likely going to skip this one.

The Conjuring: Next, there is the trailer for The Conjuring, which is made by the makers of Saw and Insidious. While I'm not overly fond of haunted house movies, this one definitely looks promising, as it features a stellar cast which includes Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, and Ron Livingston. Plus, it looks pretty "f'in" scary! I think I'll see it in theaters.

The Purge: Next, there is the trailer for The Purge, which is another home invasion thriller, and stars Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey. Now, what really intrigues me about this film is the plot: The Purge is about the U.S. government and how they give criminals a 12-hour period to let off steam, so to speak. A hunted man is then let into a family's home, only for the family to be victims of a home invasion. It looks scary, original, and action-packed. I am definitely seeing this in the theaters!

This Is The End: Then, there is the trailer for This Is The End, an apocalyptic comedy which stars such funnymen as Seth Rogen, Danny McBride, Jonah Hill, and Craig Robinson, playing fictional versions of themselves. That alone is a good enough reason to see this film. Plus, it comes out seven days before my birthday:) It looks like something to see in theaters, so I probably will.

Carrie: Lastly, there is the trailer that got me the most excited, and that is the trailer for the remake of Carrie. First off, I am a HUGE fan of the original Carrie, and I will probably watch it before I go see this in theaters. Plus, I can't wait to see Chloe Grace Moretz play Carrie, and Julianne Moore play Carrie's mother Margaret. Even though it looks slightly different from the original, it definitely didn't bother me as I don't expect all remakes to be carbon copies of their original counterparts. But, this looks like it'll be amazing, and I especially loved the cover of the song "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" by The Shirelles that played at the end of the trailer. No doubt I will see this in theaters!

Well, those are the trailers I saw with Evil Dead, and for the most part I was impressed with them. I'll do my next "Trailer Talk" segment once I see my next movie, which is tentatively The Place Beyond The Pines. Catch ya later!