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!