Monday, December 31, 2012

On the last day of 2012, Indy Movies gives to you... Five new reviews!

With scheduling conflicts and time restrictions, I don’t have much time to thoroughly review every new movie I watch. More often than not, I find myself having to bunch a whole slew of reviews all at once. I usually don’t have as much to say about these films as I do in individual reviews, but I love jotting them down anyway. I hope you enjoy reading these five reviews, and stay tuned for more reviews during Oscar season. Have a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Lincoln movie review.

I’ve been eagerly anticipating this movie for months, and what wasn’t there to look forward to? It’s directed by Steven Spielberg, my favorite living director, as well as the director of my all time favorite movie Jurassic Park. It stars a magnificent cast, including Daniel Day-Lewis, one of my favorite actors, and it’s written by Tony Kushner, the mind behind the masterpiece Angels in America. With all three of them working together, how could this go wrong? In short, it doesn’t. Lincoln is among the best movies of 2012, and at least better than that horrid Vampire Hunter clone.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Happy Birthday to Hayley Williams!

I know this has absolutely nothing to do with movies, or the holidays, but how could I not address this? Hayley Williams (24 today) is the madly talented lead singer of my favorite band, Paramore, after all. I've been a die hard fan of their music since I first heard them ("That's What You Get", to be specific), and a huge reason for that is because of Williams' strong, passionate, energetic vocals. Doesn't hurt that she has such an energetic, likable personality. Seeing the whole band live in concert is an experience I'll never forget. I guess I'm also very spoiled by their style, because I can never bear to listen to a cover of one of their songs.

I'll admit that, like my fellow fanboys, I had worries about the future of the band since the departure of the two Farro brothers. However, their most recent songs following Brand New Eyes (a collection of perfection I'll never get tired of) have put all my worries to rest. I am beyond excited for their upcoming fourth album, and I look forward to everything else they've got coming up in the future.

Attached here is the music video for "The Only Exception". Not only is this my favorite Paramore song, it's my favorite song, period.
Just do me a favor, and never listen to Glee's cover of this song. They completely BUTCHER it!

The rest of my favorites: Misery Business, Renegade, Ignorance, That's What You Get, Brick By Boring Brick, My Heart.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Rise of the Guardians movie review.

Happy Holidays, everybody! Well, it won’t be long until Christmas day finally comes, and boy, am I excited! One of my favorite traditions this time of year is the numerous Christmas movies and specials that come out leading up to the day itself. With that in mind, one movie that I decided to lend my attention to was Dreamworks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians. Does it meet the high standards of How to Train Your Dragon, or, even worse, does it prove to be just as boring and stale as Madagascar 3? I’m leaning towards the former, because this holiday treat brought me nothing but enjoyment.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Happy Birthday to Steven Spielberg!

Today, director Steven Spielberg turned 66 years old. I’d say the day a filmmaking legend was born is worth a big celebration. I often look to the man as my favorite living director. Not everyone loves him, though. There are just as many who criticize his movies for over-sentimentality as those who love his movies, and I can see the detractors’ point, but I’ve always found his sentimentality to be less syrupy, and more honest and well deserved. Raiders of the Lost Ark and E.T. are among my favorite movies of all time, and I love movies of his like Schindler’s List, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Saving Private Ryan, War Horse and Jaws.

By far my favorite film he’s ever directed is 1993’s Jurassic Park. Not only is it my favorite Spielberg movie, it’s my single favorite movie of all time. Period. I could go on and on about how much I love that movie, and what it means to me, and I still wouldn’t be doing it justice. It is, always has been, and always will be my favorite.

Attached here is a clip that is not only my favorite scene of my favorite movie, but my favorite scene in ANY movie:

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Perks of Being a Wallflower movie review.

I'll confess, that when this movie ended, I wasn't entirely sure what I wanted to say about it. All I knew is that I loved it. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, based on the beloved book by Stephen Chbosky (who actually wrote and directed the movie), really seems to resonate with a lot of people, and I can see why. I can also see why others might not like it.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Anna Karenina movie review.

Man, Keira Knightley must really enjoy love triangles. As if movies like Love Actually, The Duchess, and Never Let Me Go weren’t enough, she has another one to add to her résumé, Joe Wright’s unique and experimental take on Leo Tolstoy’s classic Anna Karenina. Wright has directed some terrific films such as Pride & Prejudice (My favorite movie of 2005), and Atonement (One of my favorites of 2007). He faced a recent slump with The Soloist and Hanna, and it appears he may still be in that slump, even when he’s in his natural element.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 movie review.

Hello, everyone, and I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving. Over the holiday, I’m sure everybody had something to be thankful for. “For what” you may ask? The final chapter of the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn Part 2, that’s what.

Fans of the series - the films, and the books by Stephanie Meyer that they were based on - will be thankful that it ends in a way that will satisfy them, although they’ll also be saddened that the series is now over. Those who hate the franchise will be thankful that it’s all finally over. Bottom line: If you love the franchise, you’re not going to be disappointed. If you can’t stand it, this will not change your mind.

NOTE: Be careful, because the end of my review will go into detail of major spoilers.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Skyfall movie review.

Sometimes, a movie title can bear an ironic metaphor. Indeed, longtime James Bond fans could find little solace amidst the disappointment of Quantum of Solace, the lackluster follow up to Martin Campbell’s Casino Royale, the thrilling 2006 reboot to the 007 franchise. Amends had to be made, and with Sam Mendes (Of American Beauty and Road to Perdition fame) in the director’s chair, the hype behind Bond’s 23rd venture in 50 years was justified. The result, Skyfall, an exhilarating, intense, and even emotional movie that should please longtime devotees, and even win the franchise some new fans.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Argo movie review.

After an unfortunate string of critical and commercial failures in front of the camera, Ben Affleck made a complete career turnaround behind the camera, wowing everyone (myself included) with his thrilling directorial debut Gone, Baby, Gone. He would direct something even better three years later with The Town, a fabulous movie. His latest effort is Argo, where he pulls triple duty as director, producer, and actor. I will admit that I thought all the hype and buzz surrounding this movie might be all for naught, as there are certain kinds of movies with hype I just can't buy into (just ask Prometheus), but this is one of those cases where I was happy to be wrong. The tense and highly entertaining Argo is a seriously great movie.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Looper movie review.

“This time travel crap just fries your brain like an egg”, quips Jeff Daniels in Looper, the latest movie from modern film-noir favorite Rian Johnson. This marks the third movie for Johnson, director of the 2005 cult classic Brick, and the forgotten The Brothers Bloom from 2008. Looper had a lot of hype leading up to its release. It was the opening film of the Toronto International Film Festival, received enthusiastic word of mouth, and the three main stars even hailed it as the best movie they’ve ever done. If you want to talk about ORIGINAL screenplays, then Looper’s well worth your time. It’s hard to find movies as original as this one.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Review catch up: Arbitrage, Cosmopolis, Five Year Engagement, Moonrise Kingdom.

It’s been a slow movie watching period over the last few weeks. Recent schedules have held me back from writing new reviews, but due to some recent viewings of mine, I figured I’d take the time to make this post. I don’t know how often I’ll be updating the blog, but stay tuned for more. I even have a review for the new movie Looper that I plan to write.

Monday, September 17, 2012

My top seven most anticipated movies coming from TIFF.

Every September, as the summer movie season comes to a close, all eyes of the cinema loving community turn their attention to the film festivals that start off awards season. One of the most eagerly anticipated is the Toronto International Film Festival. For Oscar lovers, in particular, it can be a very significant indication of what the voters of the Academy Awards might go for. As usual, there was a lot of hype, with plenty of disappointments, unexpected hits, and split decisions.

Today, I’ll be talking about my seven most anticipated movies coming from the festival, and my reasons for why. Think of this as an updated version of my most anticipated movies of the year post.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Snow White & The Huntsman movie review.

The movie that went up against Tarsem Singh's Mirror Mirror, challenged the cinematic juggernauts of June, and was the beginning of the current controversy surrounding star Kristen Stewart. Snow White and the Huntsman may be more of an exercise in style over substance, but as a simple action fantasy adventure, it's not bad.

Friday, August 31, 2012

An animation 4-for-1 review. Madagascar, ParaNorman, Pirates, & Arietty.

After months of seeing hits and disappointments of untold hype, the summer movie season has finally come to a close. With awards season right around the corner, I decided to take some time to review some animated features I’ve had a chance to see. Many of you have probably already read my review of Brave, but I haven’t had a chance to review any others. From what I’ve watched, it’s looking to be a strong year for animation, and we still have promising movies like Frankenweenie, Rise of the Guardians, and Wreck-It-Ralph to go. Today you get a four-for-one. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mini-Review: Big Miracle

Depending on my schedule, this may be my last review of August. I've still got a review of some animated features I've seen to get done, as well as one for the great new TV series The Newsroom, but whatever my schedule may be, enjoy this one.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Expendables 2 review.


Okay, so that above statement isn't true. Without ever trying too hard, The Expendables 2, a movie that recreates the mindless high octane thrills of the 80's, is even bigger and better than the guilty pleasure original. It features a cast of former and current action stars including, but not limited to Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Terry Crews, Chuck Norris, Dolph Lundgren, Bruce Willis, and the catch-phraseinator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island review.

Just caught up with this one on Blu-Ray, and while it's certainly not smart, it makes as an adequate guilty pleasure. Continuing after Journey to the Center of the Earth, Journey 2 sees Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson) going on an adventure with his step-father Hank (Dwayne Johnson). Sean is searching for his grandfather (the exuberant Michael Caine), a Vernian who believes the tales of author Jules Verne to be based on truth rather than fantasy. Hitching a ride with a sleazy helicopter pilot and his daughter (Vanessa Hudgens as Sean's obligatory love interest), they set forth to find the legendary Mysterious Island, complete with big special effects, terrifying monsters, and in your face 3D.

Friday, August 10, 2012

My top five most anticipated movies for the rest of the year.

Hype. It's an overwhelming thing. For movies, in particular. Whether it be for stars, directors, or just the premise in general, everybody can either embrace it, or wonder what the big deal is, myself included. I've had cases where I was one of the few who never once bought into a movie's hype (Ridley Scott's overlong and confused Prometheus, for one example), and times where the fanboy within me couldn't be more excited to see a movie (Pixar's heartfelt and hilarious Brave, for another). But Kingdom of the Crystal Skull kind of hype is the worst, where a movie is so built up that the end product is bound to disappoint. We're not sure if we'll even like a movie that won't be released for months, but it always gives you something to look forward to.

So that's the focus of today's post. Here is where I'll be listing my top five most anticipated movies for the rest of the year. If you don't see a favorite of yours on here, it's because I haven't heard of it, I'm not quite looking forward to it enough to put it on here, or nothing about it interests me at all (that last one's for you, Cosmopolis).

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Triple feature catch up - Jeff, Marigold Hotel, & Ted.

It's been a little slow recently, so I thought I'd take the time to post some reviews I've been meaning to write for a while.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises movie review.

Christopher Nolan is one of the most interesting directors currently working. Despite a rabid fanbase, Nolan is often regarded for his portfolio of creative movies which improve with multiple viewings (Memento, The Prestige, Inception, etc.). In 2005, he recreated the origin of one of the most iconic superheroes of all time with Batman Begins, giving this universe a darker and more realistic edge that had rarely been seen in superhero movies. He even bested himself with its sequel The Dark Knight, which I myself called the pinnacle of the superhero genre in my review of The Amazing Spiderman, highlighted by Heath Ledger's already iconic performance as the Joker. Now Nolan brings his Batman saga to a satisfying close with The Dark Knight Rises, a movie that somehow manages to exceed its already high expectations.

NOTE: Remember to take this review with a grain of salt, because this is just my opinion, which may not necessarily be yours.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Amazing Spiderman movie review.

Most would probably look to Chris Nolan's intense and morally complex The Dark Knight as the pinnacle of the superhero genre (which it arguably is), but if you ask me, the Spiderman films from quirky director Sam Raimi were what validated the genre in the first place. With an expert mix of sincere emotion, stylistic action, and just the right amount of Raimi's trademark goofiness, Spiderman and its superior sequel saw the genre at its most entertaining. After the disastrously disappointing Spiderman 3, it seemed like an odd move for Sony to reboot the series so quickly. But what the newly released The Amazing Spiderman may lack in the same creativity, it makes up for with heart and scale.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Prometheus movie review.

Ridley Scott. Does the name ring a bell? It should. Scott is the cinematic mastermind behind classic movies like Alien, Blade Runner, and Gladiator. He's also the unfortunate creator of recent clunkers like A Good Year, Body of Lies, and Robin Hood. Which category does his latest movie Prometheus - an ambitious indirect prequel to the Alien franchise he started 33 years ago - belong to? Hard to say, simply because the movie is just that divisive. This really is one of those love it/hate it movies, and I can certainly see the points of both sides of the argument. Despite well intentions and big visual style, I just cannot get nearly as enthusiastic about this movie as many fellow movie-goers.

Friday, June 8, 2012

EXCLUSIVE review - Disney/Pixar's Brave

When thinking of the best animated movies, one's mind always flashes immediately to the Pixar filmography. Since 1995 with the first Toy Story, they've been charming audiences with wonderful movies like Finding Nemo, Up, and WALL·E (the latter being one of my all time favorite movies). And after a recent critical lashing to Pixar's previous Cars 2, and a year of waiting impatiently, I was given a chance to finally see their latest movie Brave in advance.

Consider me stunned, and unsurprisingly so! Breathe a sigh of relief fellow movie-goers.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Men in Black 3 movie review.

Did you love the first Men in Black? Me too! With its razor sharp writing, awesome visual spectacle, brisk pacing, and the hysterical chemistry between stars Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, it was the Sci-Fi genre's ultimate answer to the buddy comedy. And even if you wanted to neuralyze the second film right out of your memory, fear not. Men in Black 3 recreates the same unabashedly campy, slightly gross charm of the first movie, adding up to one surprisingly satisfying whole.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Hunger Games movie review.

When it officially went into wide release over two months ago, The Hunger Games, based on the first book of Suzanne Collin's acclaimed trilogy of books, was the most eagerly anticipated literary film adaptation since Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Before you ask: Yes, I AM a fan of the books, and I can say that the Hunger Games movie, directed by the great Gary Ross, is one seriously good movie.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dark Shadows movie review.

Grim and wacky auteur Tim Burton, a director who you may remember best for terrific movies like Edward Scissorhands, Big Fish, and Ed Wood, gives us the first of his two 2012 directed features. Dark Shadows, based on the long running TV series created by Dan Curtis, features Burton's undeniably quirky stamp, but it also turns out to be his least entertaining movie since Planet of the Apes.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Avengers movie review.

Nearly two weeks after its official release, it would appear I'm off to a late start. Well, better late than never.

Starting in the Summer of 2008 with the first Iron Man film, and wrapping up with Captain America last July, Marvel finally brings the "Avengers Initiative" full circle in high fashion. The Avengers finally arrives, receiving mad critical raves, and smashing box office records (Specifically grossing $207 million dollars opening weekend, more than any movie in history), and all for good reason. The Avengers is straight up one of the most thoroughly entertaining movies ever made. It's the Raiders of the Lost Ark of superhero movies.