Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Review The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Rewatch Review

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 

So If you have been reading my blog, you would have known I was more than a little bit disappointed with Mockingjay Part 1, part of the reason was a little unreasonable, I was upset that many scenes involving Katniss and Finnick that were present in the book were not in the film, especially one particular humorous bit, also the book Mockingjay is pretty slowed paced and grim compared to the other two I and I didn’t feel it needed to be split and would actually benefit from been condensed down, but  it is what it is, they made it into two. And I got to be honest I didn’t like Mockingjay Part 1 upon first viewing, although I should probably point out that my theater experience may have been a little dampened by setting next to my nephew who was saying how horrible it was every 10 minutes. I also would not watch it again . But tomorrow Mockingjay Part 2 is coming out, I thought what the heck I’ll give it another shot. And well I got to say my opinion of the movie has changed a bit.

While I still didn’t love this movie and no it’s not on par with Catching Fire or Hunger Games, I actually enjoyed it the second time around, I was much more instilled in it and rarely bored this time. Do I think it needed two parts? Probably not, but it’s slow burn more episodic pace was almost a little refreshing. Which is maybe why watching it at home on a little screen was more enjoyable. The whole war propaganda angle that President Coin and Plutarch Heavensbee are using Katniss more is interesting. Katniss become an reluctant hero and finally seeing herself as the mockingjay was a nice character arch. And I should point out that both Julianne Moore and Phillip Seymour Hoffman are fantastic in these roles.  A little bit of criticism on Lawrence though, while at parts she is very good and believe, at others particularly parts where she starts to cry feel really force and overacted. As well as making Katniss come off as kind of weak to be honest. But this was only a few scenes for the most part she is solid. 

I should point out that I really liked them giving Effie Trinket more screen time than she had in the book and the reason behind it made sense, besides who doesn’t want Elizabeth banks? 
This movie while slow does have some really interesting exciting scenes, my favorite probably being right after Katniss and Gale go back to district 12 the second time to film propos. Afterwords pollecs (Yeah foggy baby! ) asked katniss to sing and she sings “The Hanging Tree” a kind of grim song, but it fits well with the tone of the movie and goes into voiceover scene of rebels attacking  the dam in the capital where they people start singing it in a chat little style, thought it gave the overall oppressed lives of the people and there need for liberation great poise. But while it did keep my attention more this time around I still felt the ending fell a little flat and kind of anti cinematically. However I am not a little more excited for part two which I am seeing tomorrow! 

Sometimes a movie deserved more than one watch, and granted I was watching this movie again with no expectations this time around and I still found it a huge step down from Catching Fire. But I went from disliking the film, to liking it.


Side Note: Also would like to point out this is the second in my re-review post after "Hurt Locker" I am looking at movies I didn't like in the past and giving them another shot. more to come 

Monday, November 16, 2015

About Me

About Me. 

Hey guys well I haven't done a about me post yet, so I thought it was high-time I gave you some info on why I love movies so much what inspired me so much to write reviews and just some info in general. well for starters my name is Alex. I was born in Michigan, and lived there until was 8 my family moved to North Carolina to get away from the cold weather and into the beauty of the mountains. So long story short I pretty much always loved movies, when I was little I loved Disney films- in fact my very first memory ever may be me seeing The Lion King in Theaters when I was 3 years old. I absolutely love that movie it was my favorite movie of all time for several years I would watch it over and over again. I remember making my older sister get up with my early in the morning just so I could watch Lion King. until sadly the VHS tape broke :( (don't worry I have it on dvd now). that along with many other Disney films such as Beauty and the Beast, Toy Story and Mulan. were very fundamental in shaping my early love for movies, and being a kid in the Disney golden era didn't hurt. 

However as much as disney influence my love for movies there is one in particular that really made me a film lover.. and that is Star Wars! as long as I can remember Star Wars was always a big part of my family's life, when I was very small and not really old enough to appreciate it like I do now. (parts of it scared me and I actually remember crying about not wanting to watch it XD). My older brother was a huge Star Wars fan so much so that he had almost all of the 1990s Power of the Force Action Figure colletion and posted them on his wall in his bedroom. which I remember just going down there to look at them. I loved Princess Leia and Han Solo they were like the coolest characters ever to me. so while they may have not always been my favorite thing ever there was always something that I liked about them. and then I heard they were making more Star Wars movies, and that got me really interested. I actually would not end up seeing The Phantom Menace in theaters. but I did watch it on Video once it was released. over and over and over again.. and yeah I know a lot of people hate the prequels and I can see that and I can totally understand why they are incredibly flawed films. but I was 9 when I saw them and because of them, and I loved them and for (mostly) nostalgic purposes. however Sith is great in it's own right, flawed? absolutely but there is improvement on almost every level for that movie- you can tell it was the movie George wanted to make all along, and partily because of the prequels that I ended up loving the original Star Wars trilogy so much, which now Empire Strikes Back is consequently my favorite movie of all time. 

I would also like to point out that I am a Christian was raised that way and not ashamed of it Jesus rules! and my reviews may reflect that some. however I don't consider myself one of those uptight ones. I am pretty liberal in my love for movies.. a little too much so some may say. but hey do whatever you feel is right.

 Anyways as I got older I started watching lots of movies, The Lord of the Rings came out and opened my eyes to how masterfully a movie can be made, it made me want to be a director and make films I wanted to know everything about the process, I may or may not end up directing films. but I certainly will write about them. I may not be the best reviewer in the world, but if we never try we'll never grow and we must keep moving forward as well as pursue our dreams and fight for what we believe in. this is just a little bit of insight into who is the nerf-herder hope you enjoyed reading!

Opening this weekend: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Opening this weekend: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 11.20.15

I wanted to do a holiday preview- but alas it's now the middle of November. however It really has just started for me. (already saw The Peanuts Movie. fantastic! Spectre.. eh passable, reviews coming soon) as one of my most anticipated movies of the season releases this weekend The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. 

Now I have a somewhat mixed relationship with this series. and as an added ratiy I actually read the books before I saw any of the movies, I loved The Hunger Games and Catching Fire was amazing. ripped right through them both. and I ended up really liking Hunger Games and loving Catching Fire so much so as it's now one of my favorite movies. however once I started reading Mockingjay I found the first half to be rather dull and boring.. and well the movie was no different. it was slow paced and almost entirely revolves around people talking about making commercials.. literally on top of that katniss is kind of crazy and only seems to care about rescuing Peeta. so I didn't like part one so much, that and my favorite thing about the book (the first half anyway) was Katiness' interaction with Finnick, which is reduced greatly in the film. funny thing is when I heard that they were splitting I thought oh great they can beef it up a little now.. No, but hey if you were a fan of that you should be pleased now part 2 was different, the pace picked up a lot there was lots of action and tension. it was also gut wrenchingly grim. but definitely better than the first part. there was one thing about it that angered me very much at the time. but I've had a couple years to get over it and I can live with it now. so I believe part to should at least be a vast improvement from part one. funny that this series is already coming to an end feels like it just started, but I feel the timing is right. am looking forward to seeing it conclude. 

so what are your thoughts? write them in the comments section below and May the Odds be ever in your favor!

December preview coming soon!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

New Movie Review! The Hurt Locker (2009)

The Hurt Locker (2009)

When I was 19 after hearing the Hurt Locker won the Academy Award for Best Picture at the 82nd Oscars, I decided to rent it, And at the time Transformers was one of my favorite movies of all time, and I loved the blockbuster bombastic style. Not that my taste was necessary bad back then, but I didn’t not appreciate nor understand certain kinds of films, this was one of them. I found it lethargically paced and boring with no coherent plot. So I lost interest quickly watching after about an hour. I left the room to do something else But over the last three or four years since then, by taste has expanded I’ve broadened my idea of what a good movie is and notice certain details that I didn’t in the past. So I decided to give this movie another shot.

And while yes it’s definitely a slower paced film, and it’s not exactly stuffed with complex subplots, I understood the gist of what the film was trying to say more. I Found this to be a rather interesting character study and found it to showcase the ugliness of war as well as explore the injustices that can before innocent lives in the process.  Jeremy Renner leads the cast  as Sergeant First Class William James. The bomb squad disarmer, who is made a part of their squad after their last bomb disarmer was killed, he is cocky and even careless at times, and this makes him but heads with Sergeant JT Sanborn. 

Most of the film is scenes  take place with the squad discovering and disarming hidden bombs in cities in Iraq, which is where most of the tension come from for the characters and the tone of the film, which is grim and realistic character’s are shot and killed with very little flair, save for a few bomb sequences  but it only adds to the realism of the film, Renner is excellent here,  as is Mackie (who ironically would both play superheroes later in marvel films). I admire director Kathryn Bigelow’s  knowledge of warfare, the way the war boys act and interact with one anther plays of very organically as well, being buddies one minute then  raging angry and wanting to kill each other the next. I have to give a shout out to the Camera work as well, though it gets a little shaky at times, it for the most part is brilliantly executed, one thing I am a little surprised about is that this movie was nominated for best original score, but I hardly remember there being a score at all. 

After a second try I definitely enjoyed this film a lot more, although I’m still not sure I would say it deserved best picture, but an interesting watch about modern warfare and the Iraqi war none the less.  


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Oh man I did it again! ... but I'm back

Sorry folks, I abandoned my site shame on me! I wish I had a good excuse. I mean have been busy with the everyday mundane stuff in life working on another community countdown from a site work and of course geeking out about the impending release the most anticipated film of my existence Star Wars the Force Awakens. but no no that's no excuse. the thing is I let you guys down and I'm sorry I am going not planning going to get back into reminiscing about movies and reviews. but considering how Summer is long over and the Holiday season is already upon us, my top films of 2015 so far seems a little belated because well the year is almost over.  let's just put it this way, May favorite movie so far is Mad Max Fury Road and my favorite tv Show is Daredevil they are both amazing both A++ experiences, I will do more in depth reviews on them either as a single review or a end of year best films and tv shows. along with others. I am going to try and review as many movies and tv shows as soon as I watch them right now. I just saw The Peanuts Movie, Spectre and Steve Jobs this week and will try and get reviews out for them soon. I may do a Star Wars speculation article. I also am rewatching the entire star wars series soon and I plan to review all films as well as The Clone Wars tv Show (which I am currently watching and finishing for the first time) the clone wars  movie, the Clone Wars micro tv show. and perhaps even season 1 of Star Wars rebels and of course somewhere in there I will thrown in my most anticipated movies of 2016 as well as other exciting tidbits. that is a lot of meat and I can PROMISE that some of it will be post this very month. but wanted to let you know that I am back! and lots of tidbits to come babies!

Friday, September 11, 2015

#9 of 2015 Jurassic World!

#9 of 2015

When I was a boy about 5 or 6 I saw Jurassic Park, and it scared the crap out of me, in fact as a child I was scared pretty easily and well didn't care much for being scared. and didn't watch the movie again for over a decade, I did finally rewatch it and really enjoyed the film, I don't hold it in the reverence of some people, but I found it to be a great ride of a movie with a great sense of awe with ground breaking visuals at the time. 

I then watched Jurassic Park II: The lost World. and while it certainly had some redeeming qualities I found it a massive step down from the first and decided to skip the third. but when I heard if them downing Jurassic World in a sort of sequel sort of reboot I was intrigued a fresh start sounded just like what this franchise needed, and I was totally on board when I heard Chris Pratt would be taking the lead role in this film, one of my favorite actors thanks to Parks and Recreation and Guardians of the Galaxy. so the film came out and got sort of positive but not amazing reviews as well a broke nearly every box office record in history.

so I saw it and well I pretty much loved it, yes there are moments of cheese and some silly dialogue and the story isn't that in depth, and the visuals while great aren't quite as ahead of their time as they were for the first time and some of the writing wasn't the greatest, there is one thing this movie captured very very well, the sense of awe and wonder of the first film for example when Gray (play by Ty Simpkins) first arrivals at Jurassic World and his brother is like "we'll see it tomorrow" he rushes to the balcony and "says I can't Wait till tomorrow" and the Jurassic Park theme plays and I believe I got chills, the good kind. the park felt like a real place that would be every kid's dream to visit.

Now for some criticism. I do love Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt. and felt they were great when they were doing their own thing, however they did not have the best  on screen chemistry together, although their forced romance/sexual tension was pretty poorly written. but they just seemed awkward. and Bryce Dallas Howard outrunning a dino in highheels was of course completely unbelievable. those are by biggest complaints I know some people complained about the kids acting, but I liked their story arch and thought they both did respectable jobs, especially for making the environment feel scary. so yeah some people loved it some hated it, I really liked it. and universal is currently swimming in a pool of gold, so I'd say it was a success. 


#10 of 2015 Southpaw!

#10 Southpaw 

The Story is as follows professional boxer Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) loses everything including, custody of his daughter Leila Hope (Oona Laurence), because of reckless behavior after the tragic loss of his wife Maureen, and must straighten his life and career out to get back on track. 

Let me start my saying I am a huge Jake Gyllenhaal fan, and will see just about everything he does, if you have not seen Nightcrawler, it is a must. it may be a bit dark for some but if you can handle that you'll love it, so anyways I love Boxing/MMA movies, Warrior and Rocky being among some of my favorite films of all time. so when I heard about Southpaw I was extremely excited to see it.

I must say I really enjoyed it, there was some criticism of the film not hinting the mark like it should or being a little overly sentimental, and while an argument could be made for that I still really enjoyed the film. Jake Gyllenhaal was as always excellent, and I was actually pretty surprised by new comer Oona Laurence as Oona Laurence, who I found to be very believable as his daughter and had good chemistry with Jake, Rachal was fine in what little part she had, and I really enjoyed  Forest Whitaker's turn as Billy's reluctant trainer Tick willis. 

To name a couple negatives were the film dragged a bit here and there. and some people might complain the story was a little by the numbers, but I'm a sucker for this kind of story so it didn't bother me. over I really enjoyed this film  it was a great boxing movie, with a good father daughter element and while it's not on par with "Warrior" or "Rocky" in my opinion I would highly recommend it.