Monday, May 27, 2013

Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013) review


This new installment to the Star Trek franchise is action-packed, visually impressive, and a treat for most Trekkies out there.

PLOT:After an attack on Star Fleet killing off many innocent lives, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) is sent on a mission, accompanied by his Spock (Zachary Quinto) and the rest of his crew, in the Enterprise to go destroy this madman in enemy territory known only as John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch). However, Kirk and the crew decide to bring this criminal back to Earth for a fair trial and eventfully take him from the planet. This move, however, sparks a rebellion against Star Fleet and an interesting story involving Kahn. It's a great plot executed greatly.

ACTING:The acting in this movie was very good. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto did a great job reprising the roles of Captain Kirk and Spock. Benedict Cumberbatch also did a fantastic job as (SPOILER) John Harrison/Kahn. There really wasn't a bad performance in the movie, but Quinto's Spock still doesn't hold a candle to the original. The other shiners were Karl Urban as Bones, Zoe Saldana as Uhura, Simon Pegg as Scotty, John Cho as Sulu, Anton Yelchin as Pavel, Alive Eve as Carol Marcus, Bruce Greenwood as Christopher Pike, and Leonard Nimoy as older Spock.

SCORE:The score was very well done by the great Michael Giacchino. Not only did the score match the mood, but it was very intense and intricate. I liked it.

EFFECTS:The visual effects of this movie were very stunning and impressive. From the first scene to the last frame of the movie, the effects were just brilliant. The effects for the foreign planets, big spaceships, eventful dogfights, and futuristic equipment were just sleek and impressive overall. I bet it took a long time just to get the effects right.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie was a really great modern adaptation. There's plenty of action and humor accompanying a familiar story. For the Trekkies who have seen it, you would notice the story is heavily inspired by (SPOILER) "The Wrath of Kahn". However, there are a few drastic changes that throw the movie off for them. Also, the new modernized look for Star Trek may not be agreeable to some of the hardcore Trekkies.

OVERALL,a great movie with a great plot, very good acting, intense score, impressive visual effects, lots of action, some humor, and a well adapted story, but some hardcore Trekkies may not appreciate it as much do to some drastic changes in story and time period.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dawn of the Dead (1978) review


This classic zombie film has enough gore, story, political undertone, and creeps to satisfy every horror film fan and most movie-goers in general. Romero knew what he was doing around the time this was made, but does it stand the test of time?

PLOT:Taking place not too long after "Night of the Living Dead", this film puts us into the chaos of the media and general public dealing with the zombie apocalypse. Our main characters here are two National Guard troops who were sent to clean out any infestation, Peter (Ken Foree) and Roger (Scott Reiniger), and two members of the crew at a local TV station, Stephen (Davide Emge) and girlfriend Frances (Gaylen Ross). These four snitch a helicopter and head for the country, but decide to not to after coming in contact with a few ghouls around that area. The eventually stumble upon a shopping mall infested with the creeps to hide out in, but life isn't easy living on the higher floor's deep recesses. Not to mention a biker gang find out about them and makes life even harder for the four of them. It's a good plot executed greatly.

ACTING:The acting in this film is really good. Ken Foree and Scott Reiniger are really great as the two National Guard officers, as are David Emge and Gaylen Ross as the "happy" couple. The four really added personality to their roles. There really wasn't a bad performance in the bunch. The zombies were pretty well played too.
SCORE:The soundtrack in here is brilliant and composed by one of the kings of horror score, Dario Argento and his band, Goblin. The score was very unique and pretty creepy at times. I really liked it.

EFFECTS:The effects in here were very gory and somewhat realistic for the time period. For the time period, the zombies looked fairly realistic and very creepy. The blood and gore effects are still very well done and rather brutal as ever.

OTHER CONTENT:This film was more than just your basic zombie film. There was enough action, drama, and comedy for it to have been generally accepted among more than just one audience. This film actually deserves a lot more respect than it gets by the general public. The film is also fairly realistic to how life might be and how the world might react if a zombie apocalypse really broke out. However, a lot of the scares and basic make-up effects don't stand the test of time; they aren't scary compared to today's standards. There are a good bit of scares that still leave a lasting impression on the audience, but for the most part, they're really dated. I was hardly scared by this film at all, but it is still a good film, especially for its time.

OVERALL,an awesome zombie film with a great plot, really good acting, brilliant score, very well done gore effects, more genre possibilities besides the horror label, and realistic situations pertaining to any possible zombie apocalypse, but some of the scares and general make-up effects don't seem to stand up to the test of time.

Friday, May 10, 2013

If.... (1968) review


This was a very interesting film to watch. It made me think a lot about what could happen. This was smart, realistic, and a fairly new idea for the time period it was released.

PLOT:Mick Travis (Malcolm McDowell) is a senior student attending a private school in the English society. Travis is very rebellious and doesn't follow the crowd. Along with a few of his friends, Travis starts to plan a revolt to rise up against the harsh adult rule in the school. Starting with the simplest means of defiance, he sparks up a bloody revolt. It's a great plot executed excellently.

ACTING:The acting in this film is very great. Malcolm McDowell does a brilliant job as defiant and rebellious student, Mick Travis. McDowell was clearly the star of the show and ruled his part. None of the other characters were as memorable as he was. The other shiners would have to be David Wood as Johnny, Richard Warwick as Wallace, Christine Noonan as the girl, Robert Swann as Rowntree, Peter Jeffrey as the Headmaster, and Hugh Thomas as Denson, even though there really weren't any bad performances in the film.

SCORE:The score in this film is made up of a few interesting films, some hymns, and a few songs sung in a choir. The score is really well done and everything else is fairly well-arranged I'd say.

OTHER CONTENT:This was a very interesting film overall. It left me with a lot to think about. The idea of a school rebellion is actually very realistic nowadays. Back then, this idea was a fresh spark into all viewing minds. I like the whole realism to it now, and I appreciate the controversy it received back then. Laced throughout this film, also, was a lot of dark humor, good dialogue, and shocking moments. I also liked the editing of putting certain scenes in black-and-white while the rest was color. However, there were a few parts of the film I didn't necessarily get the point of or understand. Those kind of threw me off for a bit.

OVERALL,an awesome film with a brilliant plot, very great acting, well done score, a realistic plot, appreciated controversy from its release date, dark humor, a good script, some shocks, and good editing, but some parts of the film lost me.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Lion King (1994) review


This has to be my favorite Disney film of the '90s canon of films. This film's touching, emotionally deep, and just beautiful above all. This one shall forever remain a classic.

PLOT:Mufasa (James Earl Jones) is the king lion ruling over all of Africa. One day, Mufasa and his wife give birth to a son, which they name Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas), eliminating Mufasa's brother, Scar (Jeremy Irons), from taking the king's place on the throne. Mufasa tries to teach Simba everything he knows to be king one day, but Mufasa's life is cut short by a tragic accident caused by Scar. All Simba ever wanted to be for his dad was brave. Now, however, Simba is convinced by Scar that the best thing to do is to run away and never come back. Simba, down on his luck, is found by the two, loveable, careless outcasts, Timon (Nathan Lane) and Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella). Here Simba learns the life of no worries until he grows up to be an adult (voiced by Matthew Broderick) and his past comes back to haunt him, not even knowing how bad his former pride is actually doing. It's a great plot exected very well.

VOICES:The voice acting in this film is brilliant. All of the voices are entertaining, fitting, cartoonish, and all-star. The best voice performance had to have been by Matthew Broderick as the adult Simba. He performed his role best. James Earl Jones and Jeremy Irons also played excellent roles as Mufasa and Scar. The other shiners would be Nathan Lane as Timon, Ernie Sabella as Pumbaa, Rowan Atkinson as Zazu, Whoopi Goldberg as Shenzi, Cheech Marin as Banzai, Jonathan Taylor Thomas as young Simba, Moira Kelly as Nala, Robert Guillaume as Rafiki, and Jim Cummings as Ed. As you can see, there really wasn't a bad performance in the cast.

SCORE:The score was beautiful and very well done by the collaboration of Hanz Zimmer, Lebo M., and Elton John. Every song in the film is either fun or beautiful, including the score itself.

ANIMATION:The animation in here is also beautiful. The animation is realistic, rich, and shows evidence of a lot of effort. Disney didn't laze around on the job with this film.

OTHER CONTENT:This film is more than just a fun Disney animation. This film contains a bunch of touching, emotional twists as well as a realistic story (if you replace the animals with humans). This film can make you laugh, cry, and cheer more than most animated films nowadays. This film has all of the techniques and such needed to make a good film.

OVERALL,an epic Disney film with a great plot, brilliant voice acting, beautiful and fun score and soundtrack, beautiful and rich animation, many touching moments and emotional twists, a realistic story, and all of the elements a good film needs.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Tamara Drewe (2010) review


I surprisingly liked this movie more than I believed I would. It's a sly comedy that also tells a very compelling story as a drama.

PLOT:Tamara Drewe (Gemma Arterton) is a young girl that was raised in the small town of Ewedon, right outside of London. She left town a long time ago, got plastic surgery on her nose, and then came back into town and the lives of several others, including her past flame, Andy Cobb (Luke Evans), who now works as a farm hand for a writer's colony in town. The writer's colony is led by famous crime novelist, Nicholas Hardiment (Roger Allam), who is not very faithful to his wife, Beth (Tamsin Greig), and used to be the crush of Tamara in the old days. However, Tamara is swooped up by the drummer of the indie rock band named Swipe, Ben Sargeant (Dominic Cooper). This, however, leads into an interesting chain of events including love, scandals, and a couple of crazed fans. It's a great plot executed very well.

ACTING:The acting in here was very good. Gemma Arterton played a pretty good part as Tamara Drewe. She doesn't stand completely out, but she does the job rather well. The best performances would have to have been by Roger Allam as Nicholas Hardiment and Dominic Cooper as Ben Sargeant. They really did a good job. The other shiners would have to be Tamsin Greig as Beth Hardiment, Luke Evans as Andy Cobb, Charlotte Christie as Casey Shaw, Jessica Barden as Jody Long, and Bronagh Gallagher as Eustacia. However, there really wasn't a bad performance in the movie.

SCORE:The score in here is very well done by the great Alexandre Desplat, as well as some entertaining song by the fake-band, Swipe. I'd probably buy a song by them.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie wasn't anything too special, but it was still very much worth a watch. There were several good jokes as well as a good, dramatic story to tell. Some things about the end of the movie actually shocked me and also impressed me that it would take a turn like that. The movie overall is quirky and compelling, but it isn't anything truly memorable.

OVERALL,a good movie with a great plot, very good acting, well done score and soundtrack by Alexandre Desplat and "Swipe", some good jokes, a good dramatic story, a shocking ending, and some compelling quirks, but it just isn't anything truly memorable or able to stand out.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Naked (1993) review


This was a peculiar film in my opinion. I enjoyed most of it, but a lot of the humor and theme didn't seem to click with me. On the brighter side, I enjoyed a lot of the script and emotional depiction.

PLOT:Johnny (David Thewlis) is a man from Manchester with an ear for philosophy and a bad attitude. At the beginning of the film, we see him committing the nasty act of sexual assault to a young lady. He immediately steals a car and flees from his Manchester home to London to live with his old girlfriend, Louise (Lesley Sharp). This film documents his journey wandering the streets and meeting random people as he deals with his life and the deeds that have been done. It's a great plot executed excellently.

ACTING:The performances in here were pretty brilliant. David Thewlis played a solid and entertaining part as the nasty English criminal, Johnny. The script really seemed to connect with him. Another couple of really satisfying performances would be Lesley Sharp as Louise and Katrin Cartlidge as Sophie. They really did a good job. The other shiners would be Greg Cruttwell as Jeremy, Claire Skinner as Sandra, Peter Wight as Brian, and Ewen Bremner as Archie. There really wasn't a bad performance in the film though.

SCORE:The score wasn't too important and not too memorable either. but it satisfied and got the job done.

OTHER CONTENT:This film was very interesting. I liked a lot about it. The script had to be one of the best parts due to the dark humor, emotional study, and philosophical thoughts. The dark humor inspires a few shallow chuckles, the philosophical thoughts give people something to really think about, and the emotional study is just the root of the whole film, honestly. This is an intense film study and narrative of one man's life and emotions. It really was good. However, there were a few things that I didn't agree with. The film's main emotions are sadness and depression as well as anger. If you're in a happy mood, this wouldn't be the film to watch. It's very down-bringing for the most part; you have to be in the right viewing mood. Also, a bit of the humor and script I didn't seem to get or understand, which just put me off a bit more. It was a really great film, but I have just a couple problems with it.

OVERALL,a great film with an excellent plot, brilliant acting, satisfying score, good dark humor, thoughtful philosophy, and an intense study of emotions, but it's really depressing and has a few things I didn't get.