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. 


#11 of 2015 Furious 7!

#11 Furious 7

Yeah I'm a bit than more surprised that this movie ended up this high, there is a reason for that though and it's probably the same reason many others enjoyed it some much. 

I am not by any means a Fast and Furious fanboy, I saw the first one a several years ago and thought it was okay. but nothing special, I heard 2 & 3 weren't so great, so I didn't bother, but then Fast & Furious was released in 09, with Vin Diesel and Paul Walker returning (Diesel was absent the last 2, Walker not in 3)  and it got decent reviews and the franchise started to peak my interest again, so I think around when Fast Five came out, I watched them (well okay I still haven't seen 2 & 3), 4 was okay, 5 was actually pretty good and Six was maybe the best so far, but they are very heavy on over the top action and light on story, however there is one thing this franchise does possess that was actually a little surprising; heart. so these guys are criminals and stuff but in the end of the day they are trying to do the right thing and they care about each, they family. that may sound a little sappy but it's probably the most appealing thing about this series to me. 

When I heard of Paul Walker's tragic passing, and the things I read about made him seem like a pretty cool guy. it made me sad. I always liked him as an actor and even though he may not have the range that some actors have, he has this certain everyman charm, that is appealing, even quietly charismatic. and the way it was midway through shooting I was curious how they were going to handle it. well that's what they got spot on. 

This is Paul Walker's movie, he is the heart and soul that drives this movie (drives haha ) and it comes across surprisingly authentic and organically. I mean sure this film is first and foremost an action film with crazy stills and even the most over the top action sequences  yet, and it's somehow very enjoyable, but the heart is in sentiment, there is the sequence near the end of the film that is just perfect. this film brought tears to my eyes. and was immensely enjoyable. it's certainly not perfect. but it is a very solid action film, with so really good cgi I must admit, great stunts and a memorable song to bout. It is a great tribute Paul Walker. as well as my favorite in the series so far.


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Best of 2015 #12 Cinderella!

"They are all looking at you" "No I can assure you they are all looking at you" 

Up to this point Disney's live action remakes and renovations of the classic animated films have been a bit of a mixed bag, while I overall enjoyed Alice In Wonderland, and it was beautiful to look at, it was definitely lacking in substance, and Maleficent was well disappointing to say the least. I did however have some hope for this when I heard the master of shapshererion pathos Kenneth Bough (Much Ado About Nothing, Thor) was helming the project. I was right now that, Cinderella lived up to my expectations and was not only good but great, I can remember as a child Cinderella was actually one of my favorite films ever, as an adult male maybe it isn't quite as dear to my heart as some disney classics still are but still a very memorable film,and while the classic tones from the 1950s original are absent, the film is definitely not without music, Patrick Doyle composes an exquisite and enchanting score for the film and one of the best of the year so far, only adding to the already beautiful exterity, with gorgeous costumes and magical set pieces that are sure to generate some oscar buzz come awards season. 

As for the acting everyone seems to fit into their role like a glove, or like Cinderella's glass slipper to her petite foot. Lilly James (Downton Abbey) is quiet and sweet as Ella, the neglect but always hopeful heroine of the story coming into her own, Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) adds a bit of depth and character to the prince that was a bit lacking in the original and really shines here. and Cate Blanchett is terrifying good as the evil step mother vindictive and jealous, while Helena Bonham Carter is if a bit obvious, great as the fairy godmother.

I think the real winner of the show though, is the direction and the way this film embraces the traditional tale,  and while there is definately some renovation doesn't  It. doesn't feel the need to add a crazy twist, it simply embraces the classic tale and runs with it. my one gripe would be that I would have like to have at least a couple of the traditional songs in the mix. overall I feel Cinderella transcends its target demographic and can be appreciated as a good film by anyone. 


Best of 2015 #13 Kingsman: The Secret Service!

"Manners, Maketh, Man"
X-Men First Class director, Matthew Vaughn, once again takes the helm of directing an comic book adaptation, only instead of superpowered mutant, it's british spies as the heroes.

This movie was a total blast, veteran actor Colin Firth was brilliant, totally lethal as well as hilarious in the role of the old school agent Hary Hart, who takes Gary 'Eggsy' Unwin, under his wing after he get deep in trouble with the wrong crowd, I found newcomer  to be fantastic here, as the young protagonist of the film, clever as well witty and likeable in the role, I look forward to seeing his career progress. Samuel L. jackson and of course, Michael Caine are always great in pretty much anything, It was nice to see Mark Hamill, return to the big screen as, tides me over while I'm awaiting his return as Luke Skywalker in a little movie called "The Force Awakens". 

I think the biggest winner here was the direction, and while yes it was a little too hyper violent for some and hit pretty hard in the language department, it was paced well, had some great action sequences, grand set pieces; that flooded compartment scene in Eggsy's training segment being one of my favorites as well as the,and was very funny. Kingsmen may not be for everybody but I had a heck of a blast watching. and considering the surprise hit it was I think we can expect a sequel sometime in the near future. 


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Best of 2015 so far #14 Kung Fury!

#14 Kung Fury 

"I Could tell right away my partner was gone" 

Let me start by saying I knew nothing about this "movie" until it was already released. and yes technically it's a short film that premiered on youtube. but this is my top 17 of movies and tv of 2015 so far. so I'll make an exception for this besides short films are perfectly eligible. (just don't expect to see "Lava or Frozen Fever" on this countdown).

Okay, so this movie is crazy, it's a total homage to everything media related from the 80s. and while I just missed the 80s when I made it to this earth, I had enough influence from older siblings, to keep me more or less in touch. also Saga if you played a Sega Genesis or any fighting games from the 90s, you'll appreicate the over the top violence and gore here, all played out rather humorous and creatively. The story goes as follows.  the man now known as "Kung Fury" used to be a cop in Miami, until his partner was killed right in front of him and he was exposed to radioactive waste that made him the best kung fu fighter ever, and hence the name Kung Fury, throughout his adventure, he goes back in time to tried to stop Adolf Hitler from taking over the world. meets barbarians, laser shooting T-Rexes and Thor, in the end they must all band together to stop Hitler from succeeding at his evil plan and to quote Tyrannosaurus "Teamwork is very important".

This movie was a total blast as well as totally irrelevant, mindless fun, the visuals for being on a micro budget are quite good. and stylish. one of my favorite scenes if probably when hitler attacks the police station by firing his gun through the telephone and the bullets somehow travel through the phone line. don't ask the logic behind that. Highly recommended.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Best of 2015 so far #15 Avengers: Age of Ultron!

#15 Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers Age of Ultron was among my top 3 most anticipated films of 2015. The first trailer was great, it looked like we were getting a darker gritter film with higher stakes and a mission the avengers may not all come back from. well we did.. sort of, but not really. 
I mean sure Age of Ultron is darker than the first avengers Avengers which isn't saying much, and there is a bit of tension, but it was watered down by inappropriately placed humor which quite frankly more than half the time was not even funny. don't get me wrong it's a superhero film and they should incorporate a few laughs, but they were ill thought out and poorly timed. that being said it wasn't enough to completely ruin the movie for me, like say Iron Man 3. this is a much better movie than Iron Man 3, and there is actually quite a few things about this move to like, love even, but at the end of the day it was still a disappointment to me. 

Some things it did get right. The Vision's introduction, the reason he was made, how he was played seamlessly by Paul Bettany, in the flesh. (as we previously was the voice of JARVIS, Iron Man's IOS computer system). I just loved pretty much everything about him, I also really like the Twins Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, that dream sequence scene with Scarlet Witch was one of the highlights of the film in my opinion. The party scene in the beginning of the movie was very entertaining and I felt setup the film well showing that by now they super people all know each other and they can even hang out together and have fun sometimes, a very well done scene as well as the "are you worthy scene" which is more significant than you would think, there was also a bit of strife between Captain America And Iron Man, foreshadowing the coming Civil War, though I felt it could have escalated a bit more. 

Ultron himself (voiced by James Spader) was actually a pretty interesting villain and he was surprisingly funny. he had some good dialogue, however for being a all knowing computer enmity he seemed surprisingly non threatening, I never really felt that the Avengers themselves were never in real danger, it was mostly just another day at the office. and there was a lot of easter eggs of build up of things to come, which in a film that is supposed to be the compilation of everything beforehand made it feel largely insignificant. 
the final showdown was also very Deja vu escue of the first avengers, which is kind of sad because I thought the final battle of the first avengers was one of the weakest points of the movie. 

At the end of the day Age of Ultron although I felt lacked a sense urgency, had some kind of stale dialogue and out of place one liners.  it was still was a very entertaining film and even great at parts. I just hope marvel can keep jungling their ever expanding universe and keep giving us quality films. 


Best of 2015 so far #16 Pitch Perfect 2!

#16 Pitch Perfect 2

Pitch Perfect 2 takes place a few years after the first, the Barden Bellas are in their senior year of college where they are performing their national finals,  but after a humiliating accident disqualifies them from the tournament they must regain their composure to compete in the international competition that no american group has ever won.  

I really liked Pitch Perfect, it was funny and heartfelt. but nothing spectacular like some would lead you to believe, so I was looking forward to a Pitch Perfect 2, but it wasn't exactly a must see for me either.
when I did get around to seeing it, Pitch Perfect 2 turned out to be a pleasant surprise, Rebel Wilson is great once again as Fat Amy, and is the center of most of the best parts for the movie, I was excited that  would be entering the fold this time around, in the end however she was fine, but didn't really add much to the film. the introduction of the Das Sound Machine's was cool, they were intimidating and quite funny at times, and got off some nice tunes. 

my favorite thing about this movie was probably the romance between Fat Amy and Bumper, it was just sweet and hilarious and well here's my favorite scene: (well song couldn't find the scene)

In the end while I would call Pitch Perfect 2 amazing or anything it was a funny entertaining time and worth a watch.


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Sorry for the delay. rest of countdown coming soon!

Hey guys, sorry about the delay of my countdown, but I am ready and raring to go. and should continue the countdown either tomorrow or monday at the latest. and plan getting the top 17 (I saw two more films that would make top 15 so it's 17 now). out in hopefully no longer than a week.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Best of 2015 so far #17 Slow West!

#17 Slow West 

Set in the mid-eighteen hundreds, Slow West, follows Young Scottish immigrant  Jay Cavendish, (Kodi Smit-McPhee ) who teams up with an outlaw Silas Selleck (Michael Fassbender), to track down his lost love.

The title "Slow "West" seems to fit quite well with the film as it is paced and even embodies a slow moving story, and while the story is neither extraordinary or particularly original, the prowse of the incredibly talented cast and the off-beat, even quirky at times direction of the film makes it a very enjoyable film to watch. I would describe it as a adventure drama with a comedic self-awareness. and while most of it isn't laugh out loud funner it has a light-hearted feel, but with definite grit and grimness to it as well. all this makes it interesting and fun to watch, Michael Fassbender being one of my favorite actors gives a very solid performance as the out-law Silas, and I've had my eye on Kodi Smit-McPhee, ever since his impressive performance in "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" he proves an admirable co-lead here. both actors are ironically set to appear in another film together next year, albeit a very different one. X-Men: Apocalypse. which I am vastly looking forward to. 

Overall, while the film was a bit soft on-plot and a smaller film, I found it very enjoyable, the cinematography of the film was quite impressive as well it making bold colors such as the blue sky or green fields really pop l with forests and fields being most of the setting it was quite a pretty film to watch even the gore and grittier bits were filmed to stand out.  if you like westerns, you should definitely check it out.  it's good, good enough to make the #15 placement of 2015 so far 


Well with the summer winding down, I thought it a good time to review the best of the year so far. and since I started this blog late in the year, rather than write a bunch of reviews separately first, I will do a countdown of the top 15 of films and television in 2015 so far. and to complement that I will afterwards do a 15 films still to see in 2015. I hope you enjoy!  

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Apocalypse Now (1979) Review

Film Review: Apocalypse Now 

Captain Willard, is sent on a secret mission to terminate a renegade colonel in the cambodian jungle, who now declares himself as a god among the tribe that follows him.

I finally got around to watching this film and what I walk away with after viewing it is Wow! is what I think while watching this film just wow. Apocalypse Now was released in 1979, before digital effects, before the advanced technology we have today. However while watching this film, I felt like one of the realest films I've ever seen, Martin Sheen plays captain Willard, the weathered protagonist of the film, at least the closest the film has to one, Martin sheen plays the role near to perfection, showing what the horrors of war. Especially the horrors of the Vietnam will do to a man.   

The Majority of the films takes place on a boat, with a small crow, escorting Captain Willard up the vietnamese river into the heart of the jungle of cambodia, this slow build, shows many voice over scenes of Captain Willard, speaking of Walter Kurtz, (played by Marlon Brando), reading his military classifieds, and trying to determine what drove him to his state, as they travel along the jungle river, the slow build of tension comes into play almost effortlessly, the farther they go the worse it gets, like a literal descent into madness, and the build up of fear is evident, in the crew which translate to the audience. they captures the scope of the film masterfully, and plays out like a horror film that in many ways it is. 

Despite the gloomy theme of this film, It is full of beautiful scenery, enhanced by excellent cinematography, weather it be an overview of a set of helicopters flying over a sunset or a intense action sequence, this film is beautiful shot, and everything feel so authentic and believable. apparently the production of the film was nearly as trouble as the theme of the movie so to come out with such a magnificent product is an achievement of its own. 

While the film's overall story is really somewhat small, but the scope and feel is very epic, drawing the viewer in, eager as well as dreading to see where it will take you, For those of you who haven't seen it, I won't give away the end, but I will say although Willard's character is flawed you are definitely rooting for him in the end, not so much to complete the mission, but so he doesn't succumb to the same fate of the wayward colonel who is by the way played excellently by Marlon Brando, the films climax has to be one of the most terrifying and psychologically intense scenes ever put into a film. 

While this movie is probably not for everyone as it is dark, intense, and deals with issues, of madness and the horrors of war vary realistically it is one that most film lovers should love, one of the best made films I've ever seen, with superb direction from Francis Coppola (The Godfather Trilogy). phenomenal acting, a tight development script and breathtaking cinematography, Excellent! 


Monday, July 20, 2015

Ant-Man Review

First review Ant-Man!

I took it upon myself to see what marvel studios was cooking for the 12th time in their ever expanding marvel movie universe, and I must admit that, I was a bit sceptical about this movie, not because it was about a man who receive a special suit and can shrink down to bug size and communicate with ants, but because of all the chaos in the production, Edger Write the original director leaving the project because of creative differences, after being attached to the film for years, being replaced by a much less known and far inferior director Peyton Reed, who's best known films are midrange comedies, one titled "Yes Man" I think you get my drift. Anyways who knows what really went on behind closed doors, maybe Wright's ideas were terrible, unlikely but it happened.

The premise is as follows: Stott Lang (played by Paul Rudd (Clueless, I love You Man) former Con man must team with scientist, and former shield agent Hank Pym (played by Michael Douglas) to Stop an Evil CEO  Darren Cross (played by Corey Stoll) from releasing his yellowjacket tech suits, dawn the Ant-Man suit and save the world! 

Ant-Man to me was a pleasant surprise! while it certainly had it's shortcomings, I still enjoyed the film quite a bit, and maybe it was in part due to my deflated expectations. especially after good but ultimately disappointing Age of Ultron earlier this year. however considering all the rewrites, directors replaced and cast shuffling, it could have been a lot worse, in fact at the end of the day I'd say it's a pretty darn good film. The story I found to be tighter and smaller in scope than most of marvel's recent bombastic outings, giving the film a more personal touch, I applaud them for choosing intimacy over spectacle for once, not to say that there wasn't spectacle but I'll get into that later. 

Paul Rudd is pretty much the center and heart of the movie, pulling off the down on his look heist man turned hero with a poise and just the right amount of charm, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly and Corey Stoll all add a layer to of their own to this film as well, Michael Pena as his quaky side-kick was a bit hit and miss for me as was some of the humor, but the fact the most of it work for me is saying something.
One of the aspects I really was impressed with was the visuals- not just how really they looked but the sheer inventiveness, and sometimes humorous way they were incorporated into the film. I especially love the shrinking aspect as I was a huge Honey Shrunk the Kids fan as a child. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a visual effects nom, come Oscar season. 

As I referred to Honey I Shrunk The Kids, I did get a very early nineties vibe when watching this movie, which considering my childhood was in that era I got a little nostalgic for. Yes it could have been a little deeper, and maybe Edgar's pizazz would have made the film more meaty and unique, cause the handprints of marvel were definitely all over this film, and the direction seemed show that, but all things considered this was a pretty solid entry into their ever growing universe of films, not near the heights of Winter Soldier or Guardians, but a step up from Ultron, and certainly not the dud it could have been.

vastly enjoyable film! 4/5 

Hello folks! Welcome to my new blog; The Nerf-herder a movie review blog! I had a previous film review blog, and was thinking of just reviving the blog, however I haven't posted in that blog in over a year, so I thought I shall do a new blog!

The purpose of this blog is to review as many films as I can, I may occasionally review a tv show or video game review here as well, hopefully I can be more diligent with this one than my last, I moat only review films in theaters for my last blog, I'm going to try and review any movie I watch and do write ups for some old classics, I also plan to do most anticipated lists, and a decent amount of film speculation, about future releases and various film discussions. I hope you guys enjoy!