Friday, May 16, 2014

Godzilla


Godzilla is a sequel? Or it's at least canon, maybe? Or possibly it's just a reboot which pays homage to the original film. Either way, it is a superb summer blockbuster, on a very grand scale. The human characters are weak, and the only purpose for having them is just so we can have a narrative Hollywood story. The thing that makes it worth seeing is Godzilla, and all Godzilla related carnage. The reason why I say it is a superb summer blockbuster, and not summer film, is because to get the full effect of the product, you need to see it on a big screen with big speakers. I don't think it will really hold the test of time, because it won't have the same impact on smaller screens. This is a film I recommend highly in the theater, but not much more than that. Godzilla is badass, and fucks the monsters up. It's better than Transformers, and succeeds in doing what it set out to do. Which is: making a disaster movie with giant monsters and returning Godzilla to the big screen. Mission Accomplished, and it is so much better than The Amazing Spider-Man 2
   -L.K
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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Neighbors


Neighbors is a modern comedy with characters and a plot!!! I shit you not! It' not just a series of nutshots or fart jokes, or people laughing at others because they are different. It is a very funny film about a couple with a baby that has a college fraternity move next door to them. The frat doesn't start off as the enemies but, rather, the feud begins after the cops are called on the frat after Seth Rogan makes a promise to High School Musical to not call the cops on them. After that, it escalates to crazy shit. The movie is actually about growing up. The couple with the baby are upset that they can't do all the fun things that they did when they were kids, and don't want to accept that their baby is their life now, and High School Musical doesn't care about classes because he just wants to keep the party going. I don't want to give too much away, but this is a film that was made with heart by people that actually give a shit about story telling. They could have had nothing but raunchy jokes, and believe me, they were hilarious, but instead chose to have a nice story with themes and morals about growing up, family and responsibility. I highly recommend it to everyone. I don't see a lot of comedies, but I am always welcoming them, because its rare to see a comedy that gives a shit and keeps its humor neutral (albeit, adult), so not just making fun of the handicapped and minorities.
    -L.K
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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Lackluster Spider-Man 2


The Amzaing Spider-Man 2 is a giant piece of shit on Phantom Menace levels. It had no coherence, no clear motivations from characters, a god awful score, an unfocused narrative, and bullshit romance. Wrapped up in all of that, it has the same ending as Rocky 3. It has a pretty terrible lack of resolution and I have decided that I hate Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man. He sucks shit. This movie is so fucking bad. Just fucking terrible. I can't believe how bad it is. I lost respect for a certain youtuber because he said it was the "best Spider-Man movie", and that is a fucking lie. I had really low expectations and I can't believe how far from the bar it actually missed it. I mean, Jesus Christ, its so fucking bad, and if you like this movie, may god have mercy on your soul.
   -L.K
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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Under The Skin


What I've learned from Scottish film makers: Babies must die. Under The Skin is a sci-fi thriller about an alien (Scarlet Johansson) who prays on young men in Scotland and harvests them? Question mark? Maybe. You may think that was strange that I don't know what exactly was done, but that was kind of the point of the film; nothing is told exactly to the audience, but rather is allowed for the viewers to piece it together, themselves. The film had no exposition and was a perfect example of "visual storytelling". It's a great thinking film, and I don't recommend it to people that prefer action films. It really reminded me of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, at times, which is funny because both movies have a similar poster. If you like to be stimulated on an intellectual level, I think you will really enjoy this, other than that, this film may be a bit too much for you. This is the kind of film that I like, but you may not have the same taste as me. It's dark, brutal, has some dicks, and most of it is open to interpretation. That's the best part of it, is that it is a film that you talk about after its finished. It is very memorable, has a lot of interesting ideas and was perfectly executed. It's not my favorite movie of the year from a viewer stand point, but it is my favorite film of the year from an artistic stand point. I applaud Jonathon Glazier for the risks he took and his willingness to put what he wanted in a film and not care about making anyone uncomfortable. I will say: see this at your own risk, but I think your gamble will pay off
    -L.K
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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bad Words


Bad Words is about a sociopath that enters a children's spelling bee through a loophole in the rules, and beats the pants off them. Not much to say about this, but if you like simple adult comedies, you will be thoroughly entertained. It is basically Jason Bateman's one man show, and he is amazing in this, as always. The plot is a bit deeper than my initial synopsis, but I don't want to give away the plot. Although juvenile on the surface, the film is surprisingly grown up, despite the potty talk and the childish premise. Some people seem to be turned off by this, which is disappointing, because I think those are the people who would end up enjoying the movie. It isn't the best movie so far, and certainly not the funniest, but it is well worth a ticket price if you are in the mood for some grown up laughs.
    -L.K
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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier


Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the new Marvel studios action film about Metal Gear Solid 4. It has a very dark tone, that involves loss, loneliness, identity, and paranoia. It has an Ed Brubaker tone to it, and it will be all the more pleasing to fans of the modern Captain America. I was very surprised with this film, and it went in a direction that I didn't expect, even though I wasn't sure what to expect. The action sequences were very grounded. There were a lot of foot chases, gun fights and hand to hand combat scenes. It was like a Daniel Craig James Bond. It kind of has that Skyfall feel to it, and the action doesn't feel like an excuse to show action scenes, like the other Marvel movies, but rather as a way to show how hopeless the characters really are. The Winter Soldier (who has always been a favorite of mine) is badass, and I would really like to see him in future Marvel movies, especially as Captain America. One funny thing about this is a trend that I'm noticing in the Marvel movies where the sequel has a black sidekick, but come the Avengers, they are all gone. I expect that The Falcon will be absent from Avengers: Age Of Ultron. The moment that really got me hooked was a surprise twist in the second act. This is essentially me gushing as a fanboy here, but a character that I was not expecting made a fantastic appearance, and the film, from that moment on, had my full attention and emotional investment. I keep using the words "expect" and "surprise" because those are the key words. It compliments the film's post modern and paranoid political tone, and it may be the smartest (and best?) Marvel film to date. I recommend it to everyone, and this is, so far, the best film I have seen this year, and by a good margin.
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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Grand Piano


Grand Piano is a classy fucking thriller about a concert pianist who is being held at gunpoint to put on a perfect performance. Frodo plays the pianist, and John Cusack plays the gunman. It's a very simple story that is, basically, Frodo at a piano for an hour with John Cusack talking to him. This film is the black tie gala of thrillers. In order to keep it from getting boring, it keeps you entertained with a constant classical score, marvelous cinematography that allows the audience to take everything in, subdued performances and a very laid back pace, all of which reflect the setting of a symphony orchestra. It also has the feeling of a Giallo horror film at times; it's great. It isn't what I expected it to be, but it is hypnotically watchable. The film is very similar to the movie Phonebooth. Each one is shot in a manner that is complimentary to the setting: Phonebooth takes place in a dirty city, so it has handhelds and quick cuts to keep it exciting and on the edge of your seat, and Grand Piano has long shots and elegant lighting, in order to keep it feeling fancy. This is a film that is made by somebody who understands the language of cinema. It is the equivalent of a classical music piece: it has a lot of moments of rage and unease, but overall, it is just an elegant piece of art that should satisfy anyone who is in the right mind set to take in its beauty.
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       -L.K

Saturday, March 8, 2014

300 2


300 2 is a movie about the unification of Greece that takes places during the battle of the hot gates. It has more of the same visual splendor, visceral action and boobs that make the first one great. Overall, this is a better movie than the first one. The reason the first one is so revered is because of the visual style that it had; that and the quotable moments. It was like a new Matrix. But with this film, although it isn't as fresh as the first one, it is more like a Hollywood film, rather than a comic book adaptation. It follows the same structure as the first film, except for the ending. In that regard, it is very Hollywood. It's not as grim, but it is much more violent, and gory. That, though, is the film's strongest point. Normally, I would think the excessive action without an interesting story to drive it would end up boring, but this is one of those action films that makes you want to see more action. The filmmakers identified what was good about the first one, and just improved on that formula: The action is still thrilling, the visuals are still striking (and more consistent), and the drama is kept to a minimum. There is just enough back story to justify the motivations of certain characters, but it never feels bogged down with it. The movie goes by at a thunderous pace, and never feels boring. That is very important for a film that's main selling point is the action. And the pristine bow that ties the whole package together is total commitment from Eva Green. She is so phenomenal as the villain, and I can't really picture anyone else doing a better job, and the film might feel kind of silly with any other actress. She is a classic diabolical femme fatale. For a movie that really had a lot going against it, 300 2 is a surprisingly great pre-summer blockbuster, and I heartily endorse it as the first great live action film of the year. If you are into violence, that is. If you aren't into blood and gore, I suggest you pass on this, but otherwise I highly recommend it, especially as a big screen movie.
    -L.K
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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Top 30 Most anticipated films of 2014


I waited a few months to do this, because I wanted to get a little more of a glimpse into the films coming out this year, plus I was inspired to do so because of the Oscars this year. So, again, you will have a good idea of what films to give your money to, here are my top 30 most anticipated films of 2014:
30. Sabotage/Rating: R/Director: David Ayer. And then there were none
29. Tusk/Rating R/Director: Kevin Smith. A serial killer obsessed with Walruses kidnaps a stranger and forces him to act like a walrus.
28. Godzilla/Rating: PG-13/Director: Gareth Edwards. Godzilla is back.
27. Zero Theorum/Rating: R/Director: Terry Gilliam. A hacker tries and find a reason for human existence.
26. Noah/Rating: PG-13/Director: Darren Aronofsky. Noah's Ark.
25. Transcendence/Rating: PG-13/Director: Wally Pfister. A dying scientist downloads his mind to a computer.
24. Intersteller/Rating: PG-13/Director: Christopher Nolan. Sci fi film about interplanetary corn harvesting.
23. Maleficent/Rating: PG-13/Director: Robert Stromberg. A retelling of Disney's Maleficent.
22.Expendables 3/Rating: R/Director: Patrick Hughes. 80's action heroes fight Mel Gibson.
21. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Rating: PG-13/Director: Jonathon Liebesman. Reboot of the Ninja Turtles franchise.
20. 22 Jump Street/Rating: R/Director(s): Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Jenko and Schmidt go to college.
19. Dumb and Dumber To/Rating: TBD/Director(s): The Farrelly Brothers. Harry and Lloyd go searching for a long lost son.
18. Exodus/Rating: TBD/Director: Ridley Scott. Moses leading the slaves out of Egypt.
17. The New (as of now) Unnamed Terrence Malick Film/Rating: TBD/Director: Terrence Malick. Who the fuck knows, but, Terrence Malick.
16. Dead Snow: Red Vs. Dead/Rating: R/Director: Tommy Wirkola. The Nazi Zombies are back.
15. Oculus/Rating: TBD/Director: Mike Flanagan. A woman tries to exonerate her brother by proving a crime he committed was supernatural.
14. The Babadook/Rating: TBD/Director: Jennifer Kent. A mother who grieves her husband's death realizes there is a sinister figure lurking in her house.
13. The Grand Budapest Hotel/Rating: R/Director: Wes Anderson. Whimsical mumbo jumbo from Wes Anderson.
12. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes/Rating: PG-13/Director: Matt Reeves. The monkeys are back!
11. Deliver Us From Evil/Rating: R/ Director: Scott Derrickson. A cop teams up with a priest to fight possessions in a city.
10. Captain America: The Winter Soldier/Rating: PG-13/Director(s): Anthony and Joe Russo. Cap fights that old asshole, Robert Redford.
9. Wolves/Rating: R/Director: Solid Snake. Werewolves with balls
8. Grand Piano/Rating: R/Director: Eugenio Mira. A concert pianist with stage fright learns that a man watching him has the pianist's life in his hands.
7. Foxcatcher/Rating: TBD/Director: Bennett Miller (Note: This was on my list last year). The story of an Olympic wrestler that was killed by a paranoid schizophrenic.
6. Inherent Vice/Rating: R/Director: Paul Thomas Anderson. A detective in the 70's investigates the disappearance of his former girlfriend.
5. Gone Girl/Rating: TBD/Director: David Fincher. A woman disappears on the day of her wedding.
4. Frank/Rating: TBD/Director: Lenny Abrahamson. An aspiring musician gets in over his head when he joins a pop band led by a crazy Michael Fassbender.
3. Guardians Of The Galaxy/Rating: PG-13/Director: James Gunn. The Marvel event of a lifetime.
2. Sin City: A Dame To Kill For/Rating: R/Director(s): Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez (Note: This was on my list last year). More visual and striking thrills in the underbelly of Sin City.
1. X-Men: Days Of Future Past/Rating: PG-13/Director: Bryan Singer. Shirtless Hugh Jackman and prejudice Robots.
That's my list for this year. Initially I didn't think there was a need to do this, but after the Oscars, I saw that a good amount of the films that I wanted to see last year ended up nominated for that illustrious golden prize. This year looks pretty good, especially since most of these films here are horror films, and they don't look cheap or cranked out for quick profit (Paranormal activity). We are a bit light on the comic book front, and the indie dramas, but I think we all earned a break from both, with just a few Marvel Blockbusters, and less guilt trip inducing Oscar bait. You may be wondering what the Ninja Turtles reboot is doing on this list, but I am a big TMNT fan and I am optimistic that they are going to try and make an entertaining film about the Turtles, but not bloody likely.
    -L.K
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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Top ten films of 2013


Sorry this was so late, but I had to see Her before I made this. Unfortunately, it did not make the cut, although I will say that it's not just a look at modern relationships and the effect technology has on human beings, but it is also a charming tale of loneliness, humanity, and what love can do to us. But it is less about love, and more about a lonely beta schlub, and him trying to make an emotional connection. That being said, lets get started.
10. The Wolf Of Wall Street: The funniest movie of the year. The Wolf of Wall Street is the best paced film of the year, and is classic Scorsese. He uses music to transition, builds up tension in what seemingly are overly stretched scenes, and makes uncouth criminals into sympathetic and likable characters. Great acting all around, and very reminiscent of Goodfellas, and that is not a bad thing
9. Riddick: Exactly what it needed to be. It perfectly celebrates the iconic action hero trope that this decade is deprived of. It has tight action, one liners, masculinity, and the film being guided by Vin Diesel's gravelly voice really hearkens back to a time when it was okay to be macho. Riddick delivers, and it delivers where most action films nowadays fail.
8. Side Effects: FUCK YOU DON JON!!!!!!!! This is a film about manipulation and paranoia, and it just tells its fucking story. It never panders, it never pulls its punches, it just cares about what its doing. And what it does, it does well. Fuck the imaginary patriarchy, fuck the feminist over-analyzation , its just about criminals, and what happens when somebody fights back and stands up to them.
7. Dallas Buyer's Club: A perfect workshop for acting. Just all around perfect performances, especially from Jared Leto, and my man, Matthew McConaughey. Jared Leto was phenomenal, granted he couldn't hold a candle to Daniel Bruhl in Rush, but McConaughey was the real diamond in the rough. After being snubbed for Killer Joe, I would love to see him win an Oscar this year.
6. Before Midnight: Its a better look at love than Her, not that I'm shitting all over Her, but it shows where love can take us, and how people eventually grow apart. But if the love is strong enough, somebody will fight for it. Handsome Hawke
5. 12 Years A Slave: Steve McQueen is the new Paul T. Anderson. Not that Paul T. Anderson is going away, but he is a pure artist, pulls no punches, is an actor's director and shoots the most gorgeous films. I have been an open advocate for Shame and Hunger, even though I don't recommend them to everyone. His films are hard to watch, but if you can make it to the end, there are no other film makers that give you that much emotional or mental stimulation, apart from documentary film makers. Plus Michael Fassbender is, as ever, among the top actors in the game, and his performance was second, only to Daniel Bruhl in Rush
4. Inside Llewyn Davis. The least Coen Brothers-y film ever made. Inside Llewyn Davis is a somber, yet beautiful tale of a young musician, just trying to make it through life. We all go to the movies to escape reality, but sometimes its nice just seeing somebody who goes through the same shit we all go through. Accompanied by great music and a very sympathetic lead, I place this so high, because of the relatability of the film.
3. The Conjuring: Classic fucking horror. Not only is this the scariest film of the year, it is actually scary, and made by people who give a shit. Unlike those god awful Paranormal Schlocktivity films, The Conjuring works by utilizing tension build up, clever camera work, editing, and sheer terror, rather than relying on the illusion of scares by slamming doors, and other loud noises that startle, rather than scare. The Conjuring is the kind of movie with images that stay with you, rather than the cheap and exploitative paranormal fucktivity. Fuckin Annabell
2. Pacific Rim: BAM! BOOM! POW! IN THE FACE!!!!!!! The best adaptation of Rock-em, Sock-em Robots. Pacific Rim is a film that is made by someone who wants to please their audience, and thank you Warner Bros, for letting that happen. It is a movie that I wish I had as a kid, but I'm so thankful that I have it as an adult. You all should be praising this film for the rest of your days, because it is a simple action film that embraces everything that makes this type of film succeed. This should be celebrated, while Transformers should be shunned. Lets work hard to get a sequel to this made. My love for this film is on par with my love for Dredd. Let us all unite to show Hollywood that we want quality pictures with likable leads, strong women, comic relief that doesn't distract us from the tone of the overall picture and Giant Robots
1. Rush; Duh. Rush is the best movie of the year. Fuck everything else. Brilliant cinematography, exciting racing scenes, raw emotion, and Ron Howard's tightest direction since Apollo 13 (granted I think it is better than Apollo 13). But the real thing that drives this thing home is the performance of Daniel Bruhl. While he comes off as an asshole, everything he says is right. He is my favorite character of the year, even though he is playing real life legend Nicki Lauda.
There it is. Sorry Iron Man 3, sorry Mud, but sometimes, its just not enough to be amazing and well written films. Sometimes you need to hit your audience. I will see you all next time
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      -L.K

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Worst films of 2013


AVOID THESE AT ALL COSTS!!!!!!!!!
5. Don Jon: Uninteresting story, unsatisfying resolution, a monstrously hate-worthy female lead (character, not performance), and the point of a villain that you hate is that you can't wait to see something bad happen to them. (Play Misty For Me, Road House, Total Recall)
4. Dead Man Down: Questionable motives, thin characters and really dull plot. Unlike Man of Steel, which at least had a handful of cool action sequences and Michael Shannon, Dead Man Down has nothing redeemable. They even scarred the gorgeous Noomi Repace!!!!!!!!!
3. Beautiful Creatures: Hard to believe there are worse things this year than this steaming pile of shit. This was torture. Some of the worst dialogue I have ever heard. This film is worse and more exploitative than Twilight. On top of that, its portrayal of the south is fucking offensive. I'm so sorry, Jeremy Irons
2. Only God Forgives: PRETENTIOUS BULLSHIT!!!!!!!!!!!! If you decide to watch this, (if you do, you have been warned) just see how long it takes you to either scoff at its pseudo-art house crap, or roll your eyes at its attempt at symbolism. Movies do not need incest inserted into them. And who the fuck has a desire to fuck a 14 year old? That is a strange number
1. You're next: For faggot, neck bearded hipsters only. If you are part of this demographic, I don't value your opinion anyway, and I hope you move to North Korea
That's it. I do these reviews because I care about you, and I want you to not be subjected to the same horrors I have been
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    -L.K