Monday, January 27, 2014

My final reviews of the year 2013...

Here’s a series of short reviews I’ve had the time to sit down and write. These will be my last reviews of the year, but that doesn't mean I'm quite done with the year yet. I still have plenty more to say about certain films, and it helps that until The Monuments Men comes out, there's nothing being released that interests me. In a few days, I'll be getting around to a couple of special features I plan on doing. One will be the list of the worst films I've seen all year, and one will be of the best I've seen all year, so I hope you'll join me for those in the future.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Her movie review.

Thank god for Megan Ellison!

Perhaps an odd opening for a review, but I really mean it. Ever since her company, Annapurna Pictures, was founded, it has given so many great films (including the likes of Zero Dark Thirty and The Master) the much deserved attention and financial backing to films that, otherwise, would never have seen the light of day. One of these films that received backing from the company was Her. An at once poignant, but also deceptively bizarre sounding film from director Spike Jonze, of Being John Malkovich and Adaptation fame, the film was one of the best received films of 2013. After it won the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay, my interest in the film had piqued drastically. Having had time to let all my thoughts on the film sink in since my first viewing, I can enthusiastically declare it one of the best films of an already fantastic year in films.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Walking with Dinosaurs movie review.

"SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!" I chanted furiously at Justin Long.

Dinosaurs are fascinating creatures. Even though none of us ever saw them live and up close, what we have discovered of them have intrigued us for hundreds of years. Dinosaurs have been admirably brought to the screen numerous times, and one of the most famous instances happen to be BBC’s Walking with Dinosaurs series of specials, creating a fondly remembered, spectacular and realistic documentary-esque presentation of the creatures in their own time, to which numerous imitators have recreated in the years since. When a film adaptation of the miniseries was announced, you bet I was excited. I was hoping that it would finally give the dinosaurs the treatment they deserved for the big screen, but much like previous movies such as Disney’s Dinosaur, the filmmakers made the last minute decision to add voiceover performances, wasting the potential for what this movie could have been. As a result, I’m left with the ultimate love/hate movie.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug movie review.

They are drawing this out, aren’t they? It’s been about a year since we last left Bilbo, Gandalf, and the dwarves thirteen on their epic adventure in An Unexpected Journey, the first entry of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, the prequel trilogy to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Now, we are once again following the group in The Desolation of Smaug, and the series still has the promise of 10 more dollars to come in December with There and Back Again.

Perhaps I’m too harsh on the series. After all, after the immense success of his original trilogy, Peter Jackson was only setting himself up for disappointment with the much awaited prequel.  Much of my compliments and criticisms of The Desolation of Smaug are so similar to that of An Unexpected Journey, I could just as easily copy and paste most of my original thoughts verbatim. However, for what it’s worth, Smaug does represent a marked, albeit still problematic, improvement over its earlier sibling.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

American Hustle movie review.

“If this ever changing world in which we’re living makes you give in and cry, say live and let die.”

Truly, it is a live and let die world in American Hustle, a crime dramedy from director David O. Russell, clearly channeling the legendary Martin Scorsese. American Hustle has garnered enthusiastic praise as one of the best movies of the year, and has elicited comparisons to Scorsese’s own Goodfellas, and while I wouldn’t go so far as to call it among my best-of choices, I still had a pleasant time with it.