2014 Movies Reviews In Facebook

Greetings.

These are my reviews back in 2014.  Like the 2013 reviews, forgive me if these are not done well, but I am starting to get better at it.  Enjoy these past reviews.

Review of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit:

Pros:
Interesting set-up of the conflict.
Good tactical atmosphere.
…That is it.

Cons:
Kevin Costner seems to be bored with this movie, because he does not seem serious on the conflict.
Romantic conflict is awkward at times.
The tagline “Trust No One” is deceiving.

Overall:
I have only seen one Jack Ryan film: The Sum of All Fears, and I have no recollection on what happened in that film. For Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, I say it is all right. There is nothing really special about it that stands out, but if you have nothing to watch, this is a good start.

7/10

It is that time. I am going to talk about the Top 10 Movies of 2013. Not only will I say what the best movies of the year in my opinion, but why I think they are great. I am going to apologize for any of the movies you like that did not appear on this list. It is either I do not agree that they go to my list, or I may not have seen it (I will discuss this on my opinion on who and what is going to win the 86th Academy Awards). Let us begin…

10.) The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
The story really stands out to me, because I can relate to Walter Mitty. He has “zoning out” moments that occur in his life just like I do (especially when I was young). I also love many of those environmental shots that makes a great peaceful atmosphere as opposed to the busy and distracting city area. I probably understand why some people may not like it (I heard it is not really true to the original), but I still find this movie interesting to watch.

9.) Instructions Not Included
This film is pretty hilarious and heartwarming. A story about a Mexican man who received his daughter by his ex-girlfriend originally went all the way to California to give her back the daughter, only to end up living in Hollywood and loving his daughter, only to have his ex-girlfriend to come back and wanting to get the daughter back is a great setup for a movie. The chemistry between the father and daughter is excellent, and the conflict is well-done. The comedy is pretty good too, but I can think of a funnier film…

8.) The World’s End
A good way to end the Cornetto Trilogy, The World’s End is hilarious and ridiculous at the same time. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost once again nailed the performances and comedy duo through this third film after Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. While the premise can be a bit stupid, it is still enjoyable. Edgar Wright did pretty well on this trilogy, and I cannot on what he will do on the Ant-Man film.

7.) Gravity
Directed by the guy who directed Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, this film shows how space can be truly frightening and dangerous. I give compliments to the CG, because it looks very realistic. I do like the lesson of when everything seems hopeless, just give up… I am joking. I mean do not give up even when there does not seem to be a way out. Very suspenseful in deep space.

6.) Prisoners
I like a good mystery, and this film delivers as advertised. Not only is this a good mystery film, but it also delves the difference between two men and how far they can go to rap a case. One tries his best to find the missing girls without breaking protocol, while the other would do anything to find his daughter, even if it means compromise. I like how it paid out in the end, but no spoilers here.

5.) Saving Mr. Banks
This feels like a Disney movie meant for adults rather than children. I never knew how difficult it is to work with the original creator of Mary Poppins, and how that book was inspired by her childhood events. I also like Walt Disney manages to work with Ms. Travers despite her attitude toward the film. Great acting, story, and characterization all around.

4.) 42
Being a baseball film is a good thing for me, being a great true story about Jackie Robinson is even better. Not only is it very close to the source material, but I enjoy the performances, the writing, and the sport. There are changes from what actually happened, but they are meant to enhance the story, and at least the director admitted the changes. It is a great way to tell a story about a great baseball player.

3.) Lone Survivor
Another film based on a true story, Lone Survivor shows the hard works of SEAL. I get the idea how Marcus Luttrel suffered the failed operation, but became the only survivor thanks to skills and help. I also like to compliment the sound team, because they did a REALLY good job show how much pain these soldiers go through when they were attacked by the Taliban. It shows how it is not easy being a soldier.

2.) 12 Years A Slave
Speaking of not being easy, this film shows how a free man’s experience from freedom to slavery can easily be traumatizing. This film does not hold back on how much suffering these slaves go through: from being whipped (in excessive detail) to being hanged. I heard this film is very close to book, so that is very good. It is satisfying how this all ends up, and I enjoy every minute. However…

1.) Frozen
THIS IS MY ALL TIME FAVORITE FILM OF 2013! If you guys have been paying attention to my Facebook posts for the past couple of months, you know how much I LOVE this film: the music, the story, the characters, the acting, the writing, the animation, EVERYTHING IS SO GOOD! What makes it better is this: Frozen makes me feel like I watched the old Disney Renaissance films, something I have not felt in a long time. To this day, I have watched this film FOUR TIMES. You guys should go watch it; it is still in theaters to this day, and I cannot wait to own the DVD.

Those are my Top 10 Movies of 2013. Feel free to give your opinions of your own favorite movies of 2013. Here are some honorable mentions on some films I considered for this list, but did not make it:

Iron Man 3
Star Trek Into Darkness
Pacific Rim
Captain Phillips
Ender’s Game
Thor: The Dark World
The Book Thief
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

I will give my opinions on who and what will the 86th Academy Awards soon. And if you want, I can give my Top 10 Worst Movies of 2013 if you guys ask. Thanks for reading.

Review of I, Frankenstein:

Pros:
Pretty good fight scenes
Pretty good transformations of gargoyles
Pretty good certain shot in the climax…

Cons:
…but TERRIBLE character development
TERRIBLE CG
TERRIBLE screenplay

Overall:
I can think of several more cons of this film. From terrible costumes for the demons to cliches and stereotypes of plot and characters, this film failed miserably to make me actually care about the characters and story. What a terrible start for the films of 2014.

1/10

Review of The Lego Movie:

Pros:
Great voice acting.
Very clever plot twist.
Amazing animation…

Cons:
…However, there a few flops of animation.
Some jokes miss the mark.
The animation is so good, it may be hard to see everything on screen at once.

Overall:
This movie is funny and clever. It will probably appeal more to children than adults, but it still puts in room both audience demographics. If you want to enjoy more of this comedic carnage, I suggest the Lego games, especially the recent ones like Lego City Undercover.

8/10

By the way, the one song that is stuck in my head because of this movie is “Everything Is Awesome!!!” It is not the best song in the world, but it is my head all the time for some reason. Maybe I should “LET IT GO, LET IT GO!!!!” …That movie is never going to grow old for me.

Review of RoboCop (2014):

Pros:
Great designs for the robots and RoboCop.
I actually like the political conflicts in the film.
Supporting cast is awesome.

Cons:
Joel Kinnaman was not impressive until he became RoboCop.
Samuel L. Jackson is in the movie as an exposition dump.
The film barely gets interesting until the second part of Act II.

Overall:
This movie has its problems, but I still thought it was pretty good. I do not know if I can recommend the original, since it has been a long time since I seen that film, but RoboCop is at least a good popcorn flick to distract you if you do not have anything else to watch.

6/10

Review of Non-Stop:

Pros:
Pretty good premise.
Pretty good tension.
Liam Neeson’s charisma pulls of in this film…

Cons:
…Despite the bad execution of this film’s story.
The villain’s motivation is confusing.
If you think about it, the mystery and its payoff does not make sense.

Overall:
If you argue that this is one of those films that you can enjoy if you turn off your brain, I can see your point. However, Non-Stop is also a mystery film, so that is hard to go by in that subject. Overall, I cannot say much about this film, other than it is mediocre at best.

5/10

 

Sorry it has been a while since I have done this, but here it goes.

Review of The Muppets: Most Wanted:

Pros:
Many of the good jokes they have are very funny.
Cool celebrity cameos.
*Personal opinion* Sam Eagle is the best character in the movie.

Cons:
Only one song is memorable.
A few plot holes in the plot.
*Personal opinion* If they are going to have celebrity cameos from around the world, why not get Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith, and/or Peter Capaldi to come in when the Muppets go to London.

Overall:
I am sad to say that The Muppets: Most Wanted is not as good as its predecessor: The Muppets. However, it is still a decent movie that provides some entertainment, but more towards children than adults. If you do not anything else to watch, this movie will do for you.

7/10

As for the Monsters University short: Party Central, it is all right. Nothing special about it, so I have nothing to say about it. It did not really help that I did not watch Monsters University.

Review of God’s Not Dead:

Pros:
Interesting conflicts and situations.
Most characters are believable and interesting.
The debate is the best part of the film.

Cons:
Too many characters and their arcs to follow…
…and for those character arcs that are interesting, the film barely follows it, and does not really resolve.
Writing and dialogue can be sloppy at times.

Overall:
I am going to be careful about this review, because I know that some of you guys are not Christians. Here are two perspectives of this review: Christian and film critic. As a Christian, I do like this film. It has many great messages and teachings that are well-thought out(for the most part) and well-put together. I recommend it to every Christian people to go watch this movie before it goes down from theaters in a couple of days. As a film critic, the movie is a little messy. There are too many characters to follow, some characters that are two-dimensional to the point of what they do is dumb, and I can barely remember some of those characters I was supposed to follow. In fact, they can be completely removed from the movie since they provide little to no impact to the overall plot (in fact, the movie might be a little better like that). I am struggling to give this a score since I like it as a Christian, but not that much as a film critic. I think will give this a 6.7/10. This is a film I recommend for Christians, but for everyone else…well, I would like for you to watch it, just do not expect it to be the best movie ever made.

Review of Noah:

Pros:
All the actors are great in this film.
Interesting symbolism.
Settings are fine.

Cons:
CG is horrendous; the Watchers especially stand out from this film…
…which leads to many Biblical inconsistencies.
I…I cannot believe how they make Noah so much different than his actual counterpart.

Overall:
*Head slams at table* *Head slams at table again* *Head slams at table so hard, I am surprised that I am not unconscious let alone have a concussion* I cannot believe how wrong they got the story of Noah, and even the character himself. Not to mention they managed to create one of the greatest insults I have ever seen: they blend God’s creation of the world with evolution and the Big Bang. How does that even work? Putting these aside, once the ark life begins, another plot point starts that makes Noah become the antagonist (sorry for the spoilers, but this really annoys me). At that point, you may be wondering when this movie is going to be over. The plot before the ark was unbelievable enough as it is. I am going be merciful, and give this film a 5/10. If I was not merciful, I would have given it a 3/10. If you want to watch it, do NOT expect it to be like the actual story of Noah.

Review of Captain America: The Winter Soldier:

Pros:
Great character dynamics.
Great action scenes.
An interesting direction on Captain America’s life in our world.

Cons:
Shaky camera on some of the action scenes.
The Winter Soldier is barely seen in this film.
*Minor spoilers* The traitor in this film is pretty obvious.

Overall:
Marvel is on a roll. First the Phase I Marvel films (and others before), then Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World, now this and three more Marvel films coming soon (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of the Future Past, and Guardians of the Galaxy). This film gives a great direction on Captain America, and an interesting plot. I am bit reluctant to give a grade, because part of me does not really like this film, because it is a change of atmosphere from its previous Captain America film, but it has a point for its change. It reflects to how Captain America has to deal with the changes of his life when working in our current world. Despite that, this is another great Marvel film. You better keep up, DC.

8/10

Review of Heaven Is For Real:

Pros:
Great actors to play in their roles.
A great message for people to think about.
The best parts are when Colton explains his experience in heaven.

Cons:
It takes a while for the film to introduce its plot…
…And even after that, there a few moments that interesting in the entire film.
The child actors are not the worst I have ever seen, but they are not the greatest either.

Overall:
I have to think long and hard about this, because there are some things that I do not like about this film not only as a film critic, but also a Christian. Heaven Is For Real is based a book of a real-life event written by the real Todd Burpo. It has its controversies not only by non-believers, but also Christians as well. What do I think? I admit, I do not have much experience about this, but if you really want me to give you an answer now, I say it tests out your faith; if you can really stand on what you believe in even you do not see it yourself. John 20:29 said, “Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'” This is not a sermon, however. This a film review. Give this film a watch, because it gives an interesting thought of what I just mentioned.

6.9/10

Review of Divergent:

Pros:
Shailene Woodley and Theo James are the best actors in the film.
Great-looking sets.
The world of Divergent is interesting and spectacular…

Cons:
…Except I have seen similar worlds like it with several other book-to-film adaptations (i.e. The Hunger Games and Ender’s Game).
Found a few plot holes here and there.
The plot is pretty predictable.

Overall:
While I do think this film has its problems and predictability, I enjoy Divergent. Two reasons: The main actors’ charms, charisma, and acting holds this film together, and the world of Divergent appeals to me despite similarities with other worlds I have seen before. I am looking forward to the sequel: Insurgent, and I hope they do fix some of the problems I mentioned here.

6.9/10

Review of The Amazing Spider-Man 2:

Pros:
Awesome performances, especially from Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone.
Spectacular action scenes.
Amazing third act.

Cons:
The plot is a bit jumbled.
Electro is under-developed and under-utilized.
Do the web shooters ever run out?

Overall:
I was a little worried when the reviews of the film did make it look promising, however it is still really good and slightly better than the first Amazing Spider-Man despite its flaws. It is very entertaining and fun, while giving us a thrill ride in the eyes of Spider-Man. I enjoy it, so will you guys. There is only one BIG problem with this film: WHY CAN’T HE JOIN THE AVENGERS ALONGSIDE WOLVERINE?!

8/10

After thinking long and hard, I decided to change the score for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 from 8/10 to 7.5/10. The reason why: there is too much crammed into the plot of the film.

Review of Mom’s Night Out:

Pros:
Good lessons.
Somewhat good representations of what mothers have to go through…somewhat…
…That is about it.

Cons:
Most jokes fall flat, or overdone.
Characters can be annoying and obnoxious.
Show, don’t tell. That is an important rule in visual mediums.

Overall:
Throughout most of the movie, one thing came to my head: “When is this movie over?” Many plot points just end up finishing, because it does, THAT IS WHY! Most of the time, the film ends up being too long, because events in between are slow and annoying. I can think of some moments that should have been cut out, and the film would at least been tolerable. This film is not recommended as a Mother’s Day movie to watch, unless you can tolerate what is in the film. Look at this way, at least it is not another Adam Sandler film.

4/10

Review of Godzilla:

Pros:
Incredible special effects.
The film does a great job showing the danger and terror of Godzilla and the monsters.
Bryan Cranston is the best actor…

Cons:
…Unfortunately, I cannot say the same thing to the other actors. They are either overacting, underacting, or just terrible.
In some cases, you have to suspend your disbelief plenty of times.
The people in charge of handling the conflict are pretty stupid.

Overall:
Godzilla has not been around since Godzilla: Final Wars back in 2004. America tried to make their own Godzilla film back in 1998 which did not justify the King of Monsters well. In this film, Godzilla is treated well and proper. There are some things that the creators did well, and there are things that they did terribly. Despite that, it is a movie that is best seen in theaters. Watch it if you are a HUGE Godzilla fan, and enjoy some carnage and fear.

7.9/10

I did watch this film in 3D. Other than the rain effects, there is nothing worth watching, so skip the 3D, and watch it in regular dimensions.

On a side note, I find it interesting that Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen played as a couple in this film, and in Avengers: Age of Ultron, they are going to play as siblings. Interesting; I hope they do not use the Ultimates version of the siblings…

Review of X-Men: Days of Future Past:

Pros:
An emotional and heartfelt story.
All of the cast do very well.
A good atmosphere of hope despite so much despair and tragedy.

Cons:
Still have many continuity issues and a few plot holes (i.e. How did Kitty Pryde have the ability to send someone’s conscious back in time?).
Visual effects need a little work.
So many cool new mutants (i.e. Quicksilver), and we barely get to know them.

Overall:
The X-Men series is very popular before the Avengers was even made, and it holds very well in this film. While I have issues with its continuity like X-Men: First Class did, the film makes it up with a great plot and story just like the previous film I mentioned. It has great charisma and charm that can pull it off despite some of its glaring missteps.

8.5/10

One more thing. Quicksilver in this film is awesome. Evan Peters did a fantastic job playing a funny and cocky jerk. I hope Aaron Taylor-Johnson can pull it off in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Review of A Million Ways to Die in the West:

Pros:
Beautiful landscapes and interesting sets.
An interesting satire of the Old West.
Some jokes absolutely hilarious…

Cons:
…While other jokes are offensive or disgusting.
In fact, the jokes spend more time on screen than the actual story.
Because of that, the movie goes on a little longer than it needs to be.

Overall:
This film is REALLY stupid. I will admit that it is hilarious, but with offensive or disgusting jokes, predictable and long story, and an anti-climatic finale, this film is probably not worth it unless if you have nothing else to watch. If you do not, go ahead, but watch at your own risk.

4/10

Review of Maleficent:

Pros:
Visually stunning.
Nice costume and creature designs.
Angelina Jolie is great as Maleficent.

Cons:
The tone is inconsistent.
Many plot points and certain characters are not well-written.
Many elements from the original animated film is forced in, and unnecessary.

Overall:
Maleficent is one the best Disney villains ever made, and for good reason. She is cunning, dangerous, frightening, and devious. This film does not make her look good, in a bad way. I do not mind making some changes on the original Disney story, but they did a poor job trying to make their own story. Some parts do not make sense, or they are confusing. I suggest you watch the Sleeping Beauty animated film rather than Maleficent. They only reason I would recommend Male is Angelina Jolie; that is it.

3/10

*Maleficent (on the second to last line). My apologies.

Review of Edge of Tomorrow:

Pros:
Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt have a great partner chemistry.
Cool concept of a story.
Makes good use of repetition thanks to good editing skills…

Cons:
…Although, the repetition can be tiring for some people.
The alien designs are interesting, but get tiring over time.
While the ending is not bad, it could have been better.

Overall:
Based off a Japanese light novel “All You Need Is Kill,” Edge of Tomorrow is a nice and interesting story that has an interesting premise, and good execution. While they make good use of Tom Cruise’s character dying so many times (for some, it is a dream come true), it does get a bit tedious as it progresses. Plus, it could have ended a bit better than intended. However, you guys should give this movie a watch, whether or not you love or hate Tom Cruise.

7.9/10

Review of How to Train Your Dragon 2:

Pros:
Amazing animation.
Great Hero’s Journey story.
Aerial battles and travels.

Cons:
The mother subplot takes a little more time than the main plot.
Something about the main villain I do not understand (major spoilers if I say what it is).
The main villain is slightly forgettable.

Overall:
I watched the first How to Train Your Dragon, and I thought it was pretty good. The story was good, the animation was great, and I had a fun time. With its sequel, it is SO MUCH BETTER. Almost everything in this film has improved from its original. It is another rare movie that the sequel surpasses its original. Before I give it a ranking, I heard that How to Train Your Dragon 2 is better than Frozen. That is debatable. I agree that both of these films are great in their own way. However, if you want me to pick which one is better, I say Frozen. That film has a little more charm than How to Train Your Dragon 2, despite HtTYD2 has more realistic animation. Plus, the songs are what wins me over. However, How to Train Your Dragon 2 is an amazing film, so give it a watch.

9/10

Review of Jersey Boys:

Pros:
The amazingly talented actors…
…Along with the incredible songs, and their singing.
Settings and costume design are coherent (I guess).

Cons:
Why are the four characters narrating to the audience by talking to the camera while they are still interacting with their lives?
The grey screen filters throughout the film is unnecessary.
The film follows several plot lines with the four characters until the last part of the second act where it just follows one character.

Overall:
Based on a famous Broadway show, Jersey Boys definitely shows off its talents and energy…on its music and actors. The execution of its story seems to have to put in most of the elements of the Broadway show. I have not seen the Broadway show, but if you watch the film, and tell me that most of those elements are in the movie, that explains it. The difference between Broadway and films is that Broadway has four hours or more to tell a story, while films have at most around two hours. Putting too much in the film makes it messy. Its saving grace are the actors and music. If you are going to watch this film for the music, you will be entertained. If you are going for any other reason, you will not walk like a man, or become a big girl crying.

6.5/10

Review of Transformers: Age of Extinction:

Pros:
I guess it has glorified destruction for those who like those type of action.
Mark Wahlberg is a better choice of a main character than Shia LaBeouf.
Cool Transformers design.

Cons:
Very poor plot and characters.
TOO MANY ACTION SCENES THAT GO ON FOR TOO LONG. In fact, the last act is what I consider it to be the full-length action act.
Huge continuity issues (i.e. one scene shows the Transformers in their car forms, the next shot shows the human characters, and the last shot shows the Transformers in their robot forms without any evidence of them transforming like sound).

Overall:
The first film was entertaining and fun, but pretty stupid. The second is awful with so many cliches and terrible writing. The third one is not as bad, but still awful. How does the fourth installment hold up? TERRIBLY! I cannot believe that Michael Bay cannot make a decent Transformers film after making three of them. There is no excuse for screwing up a series that he can easily learn from its mistakes, but he keeps on going anyway. I do not know what is wrong with this guy, and how manages to still make these films. I have some pain in my head and eyes after watching this; it is that bad. Do NOT watch this film, UNLESS you somehow enjoy all that explosion carnage.

2/10

* Actually, forget 2/10. Even its pros cannot save this film. 1/10.

Review of The Fault in Our Stars:

Pros:
A great romantic story…
…with great romantic leads and chemistry.
Subtle symbolism.

Cons:
*Minor Spoilers* The love scene is not needed.
A little more explanation on a certain character.
…That is about it.

Overall:
I do not mind romantic stories, but if I have to watch it, then they must do a good job on it. I am glad to say that this film does an excellent job. The characters are completely human and well-written. The story is very captivating and interesting. How it all ends is heart-warming and heart-breaking. If you are in a mood for a bit of romance, I highly recommend this film.

9/10

Review of Earth to Echo:

Pros:
The child actors are pretty good.
What a cute little robot.
Interesting idea to make this “film” created by one of the kids. (You will understand when you watch it)

Cons:
The jump cuts are annoying. I understand using it sometimes, but not almost all the time.
I am confused on the multiple cameras and its changes in angles.
Other than the robot, the visual effects need a little more work.

Overall:
I am willing to bet that every one of you saw the trailer for Earth to Echo and thought, “That looks a lot like E.T.” You know what, you are absolutely right. There are elements that are similar to this film, but it does feel like E.T. Putting that aside, this film is… all right. Nothing about it really stands out to me. The story is all right. The characters are all right. The character dynamic is fine. There is nothing special about it. There is nothing really bad other than the technical work (i.e. camera and editing). Plus, it is odd that it is a found-footage film, but it also shows the perspective of Echo sometimes. Weird. This film may not impress that much to you guys, so I only recommend it if you have nothing else to watch. Maybe you should watch E.T., or if you want something in theaters, watch Deliver Us From Evil…I am not reviewing that film.

7/10

Review of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes:

Pros:
Great character development and story.
Very good look at both apes and humans’ good and bad sides.
Incredible mocap acting and visuals.

Cons:
Very few moments of bad visual effects.
Can be slow at times.
Be more satisfying if you watched Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Overall:
Ignoring the Planet of the Apes film by Tim Burton, Rise of the Planet Apes was a great start with its story and characters, as well as mocap acting. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is one of the few films that overcomes its predecessors. If there are any errors that this film made, it is very few over the great stuff it has. I highly recommend watching this film after you watch Rise of the Planet of the Apes first; it gives a better impact if you do.

10/10

Review of Lucy:

Pros:
The first act is a little sloppy, but decent start.
It is short (you will understand later).
It is pretty cool to see Lucy using her powers…

Cons:
…but that makes me care less (not hate) about Lucy since she is invincible; not a very good in terms of writing.
The antagonist is a joke compared to Lucy.
I feel like every “scientific” observation in this film is completely made up when the creators were drunk, even the ones that “may” be true, they made it sound made up.

Overall:
A movie based on a misconception. That is not a good start. And it goes downhill as the movie progresses. It feels like the creators were just making stuff up as they go along, and they are just making this, because it is cool; it is not. This film feels insulting and stupid. It is not Transformers-insultingly bad, but it is close. I heard this film is just like the Japanese anime film Akira. I disagree. Where Akira was actually clever (and weird), Lucy is dumb. I suggest you guys look elsewhere, probably Hercules (maybe).

3/10

Review of Guardians of the Galaxy:

Pros:
Great team and characters dynamics for the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Amazing costumes, characters, and environment designs.
Great-looking visual effects on the characters…

Cons:
…Although the same cannot be said on the environments; they sort of stick out.
Some things are not explained enough, or explained too quickly to make me process that information.
*SPOILERS* A somewhat Deus Ex Machina way to take out the villain.

Overall:
Sorry it took so long to review this film. I have to watch it twice, because the first time I watched I cannot figure out what the characters are saying (maybe because of the theater). Anyway, I bet most, if not all, of you do not know who the Guardians of the Galaxy are. Well, have no fear, because this film is a great way to introduce a new team/heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Some critics even call this the best Marvel film to date. I would not go that far in my opinion. My best Marvel film is Howard the Duck…Just kidding. It might be Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but that is what just comes to my head. Watch this movie, and you will be delighted that you did, unless if you want Rocket to capture as bounty.

8/10

Review of Get On Up:

I know. Many of you want me to review TMNT (2014). I will watch it tonight, and post my review as soon as I can, but all I got in the morning is Get On Up, so here it goes.

Pros:
Songs are pretty good.
Plenty of great actors on board on this film…
…And Chadwick Boseman is great as James Brown…

Cons:
…However, for the life of me, I can barely understand what in the world James Brown is saying. He does a good job speaking like James Brown, but he ends up sounding like Vito Corleone.
The film is told in so many flashbacks and flash-forwards that I have no idea which is which when they tried it a few times in the first act if the film.
Certain plot points that come in will not come back way later in the film (i.e. James Brown’s mommy issues)

Overall:
With all the cons I mentioned on a two hour and eighteen minute film, this movie ends up being longer than it needs to be. So many scenes can easily be removed, and editing can be improved, then this movie may end up being pretty good. What it is now, I cannot say the movie does not “feel good.” In fact, Jersey Boys did a slightly better job in their part, and they can “walk like a man.” I do not think this is a good send-off to James Brown, so just at least listen to his music.

4/10

The review you guys have been waiting.

Review Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014):

Pros:
Shredder’s armor looks pretty cool.
Some of the jokes are funny (although second viewing will probably negate it).
…That is it.

Cons:
The visual effects really stand out, and look fake. The closest realistic visual effect is the Turtles, but that is not saying much.
Plot holes and inconsistent moments occur, along with dumb motivations and characters.
Megan Fox as April O’Neil is clearly the worst actor of the bunch.

Overall:
I AM A HUGE TMNT FAN. I watched so many versions of these characters: the films (even the third film), the TV series (1987 and 2003), and played some of their games. I love TMNT…but I hate this movie. Whether or not your fan, this movie sucks due its huge amounts of problems. So many things wrong with this movie, I probably have to make a full-length review if I have to point out everything that is wrong with it like terrible camera movements in action moments. The worst part of the film is the first half is clearly about April O’Neil, and the second half is about the Turtles, but it is not a good transition. It is not Transformers films bad, but it is VERY close.

2/10

Review of What If:

Pros:
Great romantic leads with great chemistry.
The idea of how to restrain yourself on pursuing the girl despite she has a boyfriend.
I like many moments that you do not normally see in a typical romance film.

Cons:
A bit too much exposition.
The third act almost ends up like a typical romance film.
Some of the characters are supposed to be likable, but they end up being jerks.

Overall:
When it comes to romance films, I do not mind them at all if as long as they are done well. This film does a pretty good job fulfilling its romance quota, but it does not stand out like any other romance films. There are some elements I do like they have done, but it is not enough for me to completely say, “That is the best romantic film I have seen this year.” The contender for that phrase is The Fault In Our Stars. Not to say What If is a bad film, it is pretty good. I just wished that some moments could have been better if they changed a few things a bit more. All in all, this is a pretty good romantic film.

7.9/10

Review of The Expendables 3:

Pros:
Pretty cool action scenes.
Great character dynamics and interactions.
Plenty of great cast members.

Cons:
Terrible visual effects work.
Barely got to know the new members of this film except for at least 3 or 4 of them.
Dumb dialogue and action moments.

Overall:
The Expendables series is hardly a masterpiece of films everywhere, but at least it is a fun series with its action and its interesting moments. This new installment barely has any entertainment, and instead adds dumb moments. Very few things hardly ever interest me, and many moments made me think, “Why would they do this when something similar happened to them before, and they did the exact opposite of what they just did?” I only recommend this to hardcore action fans, no one else more.

4/10

Review of The Giver:

Pros:
The film starts out black and white, and then color; it has a big significance and interesting symbolism.
Good-looking environments (I guess…)
The veteran actors (i.e. Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep) are the best actors…

Cons:
…While the younger and main actors are not good in their performances (except for a couple like a 9-year old girl…that is sad).
For a world without emotions and feelings, some of the people of that world show it very well…their world already sucks.
Many things are not explained, and some are not explained well.

Overall:
I get what they are trying to do: a movie that explains that emotions and feelings are good despite its flaws and weaknesses. However, this film does not do a good job no matter how hard they tried. It is not that terrible of a film, but potential, great ideas are not executed well with this one. I am willing to bet that the book is much better. I can see they are trying, but I have seen better.

3.5/10

Review of If I Stay:

Pros:
The cello/orchestral and sometimes vocal music is cool.
A few side characters are interesting.
The third act is the best act.

Cons:
The romantic chemistry between the two leads is mixed at best.
I do not care much on what is going on in Mia’s love life; nothing in this film interests me except Mia’s out of body experience.
The film starts out with Mia’s out of body experience, and frequently shows flashbacks before that about her relationship with Adam… This is a bad way to present a film.

Overall:
This movie is not really insulting, but not very interesting either. I do not hate the characters, but I do not think they are that great either. The story is all right, but I have seen WAY BETTER romance films (remember The Fault In Our Stars anyone? Maybe even What If.). If the pros I have chosen are the smallest details in the film, then they failed to at least impress me. I recommend skipping this film, and watch the two romantic films I mentioned, or watch Ghost, a film very similar to this one, but MUCH BETTER.

5/10

Review of The November Man:

Pros:
Decent action scenes…
…Followed with great sound that gives the idea of how painful each attack blow is.
…That is it.

Cons:
Too much plot points and plot holes.
Most of the characters (even the main character) are not likable, and for those that are at least bearable are really dumb.
Very typical spy cliches, and pretty predictable.

Overall:
I…I do not know what else to say other than this movie sucks. Very few things I like about it cannot save how much this is dumb. Wait…I have one: it is not as bad as Transformers: Age of Extinction. Still, I do not have anything else to add; just do not watch this film.

2/10

Review of The Maze Runner:

Pros:
The world of the Maze, and how we learn it through the protagonist’s eyes is well done.
Most, if not all of the characters in this film are likable and interesting.
Intense moments are well done (although I prefer no shaky cam).

Cons:
A few cliche lines here and there.
Green screen and CG can be pretty obvious, or not that well made.
The main female lead has very little to do, and the actress is not that good.

Overall:
Like November Man, I do not have much to say about this film. UNLIKE November Man, this is a pretty good film. I do not know if it is that close to the book or not, but I enjoy almost everything in this film, and the world is full of immersion that does not break its flow (with a couple of exceptions). I recommend watching this film if you do not have anything else to watch (OTHER than Guardians of the Galaxy).

8/10

With that review out the way, I have an announcement to make. I would like to thank you guys for reading my reviews for the past year. Because of that, I am going to start making a blog on reviewing films. The difference between the reviews on Facebook and on the blog is that the blog version goes more in depth and more detailed on what is good or bad on the films I am reviewing, where as the Facebook version is brief and to the point. I will even take requests on what movies you want me to review in the blog, but know that the process is going to take a while since I am going to have to think about the movie as a whole. The blog is not ready yet since I am a bit busy with college, but I will announce when it is ready pretty soon. Also, I am planning to also review video games both in Facebook and in the blog. Like the blog reviews, that also has to wait since I have few ideas on how game designs work. Fortunately, I have found a book that gives a very good idea on game reviews, so hopefully I will be ready when I finish reading it. Keep in mind, I can only review video games that I HAVE. If you want me to review video games that are coming soon (like Super Smash Bros. on the Wii U) or games that I do not have, you are going to have to wait for a while until I get it and play through most of it. Thank you guys so much for reading my reviews, and I hope to get the blog and video game reviews up very soon. Enjoy watching movies!

Review of The Equalizer:

Pros:
Both the protagonist and the antagonist are interesting (although the protagonist is more interesting).
It can be clever on its actions and tense moments.
It mixes well between serious and funny.

Cons:
Takes a bit too long to establish things.
The subplots take over the main plot for the first half of the film.
Has a tendency to tell and not show sometimes; not a good idea in film media.

Overall:
I am going to type this down right now: The Equalizer is much better than Taken. You are reading this right. Taken was a decent movie, but there are some things that bothered me in that film. The Equalizer manages to fix at least some of the mistakes that Taken has. It is entertaining, interesting, and pretty cool film to watch. Denzel Washington is awesome, and I hope to see him very soon in many more films (I guess I should watch Flight then). There are some glaring flaws, but this is one of those movies of which I said to myself, “Who cares? This movie is so cool.” Unless if you are that nit picky and hate these types of films, I suggest you watch this movie.

7.8/10

Review of Gone Girl:

Pros:
Very tense atmosphere with help of music.
Well-constructed story.
Interesting editing that reflects the entire film.

Cons:
When a certain major reveal happens, I am confused how that certain character learns about it. I do not know if I missed it, but this is probably a minor problem (I hope…).
*SOMEWHAT SPOILERS* Some people may not like the ending.
In fact, there are certain content here that some people may not like.

Overall:
……….HOLY….! This is one of the most well-made mystery films I have ever seen. It has been a while since I seen one (Prisoners). This movie instantly grabs your attention throughout the entire time. It is tense yet very attentive, it is disturbing yet irresistible (that sounds like a REALLY bad thing if you watch and think about it), it is a film that may not satisfy everyone, but it is worth watching. Watch it at your heart’s content, but be warned; you may not like what is coming. >:)

9.5/10

Review of Dracula Untold:

Pros:
Generic (if sometimes bland) characters.
Generic (if already done) plot.
Pretty decent fighting choreography…

Cons:
…If I can see what is going on, thanks to the lack of lighting and intense camera movement.
Dracula can be pretty stupid on very obvious solutions to many problems.
Many continuity errors, and predictability on the plot.

Overall:
A movie about a man that has to make a deal with a devil (or vampire in this case) in order save the people he loves? It has been done before. Put it on a movie about a person that is originally completely evil, but changed it to a misunderstood character. That has been done before (Maleficent), except done a little better. Despite that, there is nothing very interesting about it, nor does it stand out when compared towards any other film that has done that before. It seems pretty soulless in comparison. It is not a terrible movie, but not a good one. If I were you, I avoid making this deal watching it unlike what Vlad did.

5/10

Review of Fury:

Pros:
Intense tank battle scenes
Dark imagery with war and tragedy makes a great atmosphere (probably not good for insensitive people)
Somewhat balances war and peace moments…

Cons:
… Although, certain peaceful moments can go a little too long.
Certain scenes that involve characters enjoying killing Nazis ruin the theme of this film.
In some ways, it is kind of predicable.

Overall:
With many films that involve the tragedy of World War II, Fury does an adequate job. It does what it needs to show: war buddy dynamic, dead bodies, cruelty of war, destruction, tragedy, peace time despite the times of war, etc. Nothing really stands out on this film. Saving Private Ryan does a better job, but Fury does well on its own despite its used plot and cliches. It could have been better, though.

7.5/10

Side Note: I do not know if I have bad hearing or not, but I cannot hear what the characters are saying either because of their accents or the film’s audio. I will let you decide when you watch it.

Review of The Judge:

Pros:
Great acting abilities, especially from Robert Downey, Jr. and Robert Duvall.
It can be very funny.
The jury scenes are the best parts in the film…

Cons:
…While the rest of it takes WAY TOO LONG to establish many things.
Many scenes and sub-plots do not affect the overall story that much.
The characters are not interesting until PROBABLY the third act.

Overall:
This movie has so much potential to be good: its actors, story, and ideas could have at least be a good watch, but with terrible directing, it ends up being tedious and uninteresting until the third act. Despite the best acting performances in this film, it does not save how much potential is lost here. I give this a movie a skip despite having Iron Man or some of the hilarious jokes.

4/10

Review of John Wick:

Pros:
Amazing fight and gun choreography.
Great camera movement (little to no shaky cam, thank you very much).
Most, if not all the characters serve purpose, and are used well.

Cons:
Keanu Reeves is not half bad, but he still shows signs of his weak acting.
The third act is pretty weak.
The last fight and ending is underwhelming.

Overall:
I have not seen a single trailer or advertisement about this movie other than hearing it is pretty good. Like Frozen, this movie blew my mind (not literally) and expectations (although it is not as good as Frozen). While this is a pretty typical action thriller movie, it does well on what it is, and it is satisfying for many action fans of the genre. If you are in a mood for great action, this is a movie for you. If you want a deep and interesting story, it will only give you partial satisfaction.

8.5/10

Review of Nightcrawler:

Pros:
All the actors, especially Jake Gyllenhaal have made fantastic performances.
Amazing use of tension and atmosphere.
The characters drive the story forward very well.

Cons:
……….Um, I cannot think of a single con.

Overall:
I want you to read this very carefully…….Nightcrawler may be my film of 2014. Everything in this film is done very well. I cannot express how much you guys should get up, go to the nearest movie theater, and watch this movie. The only reason I can think of not watching this movie is that if you really do not like movies about bad people, because the main character is not a good person at all. Still, go and watch this fantastic film!

10/10

Side Note: This film gives a good example of communication, and some lessons on RTVF. Big plus for me.

Review of Big Hero 6:

Pros:
“Fantastic” animation, especially coming from the micro-bots.
I find the world of Big Hero 6, or San Fransokyo “amazing.”
“Incredible” art design for buildings, robots, technology, etc.

Cons:
Pretty bad pacing.
It is predictable if you have seen so many super hero films, but to be fair, they do point out that cliche.
For a movie called Big Hero 6, I only got to know Hiro and Baymax. I barely know anything about the other members of the team; making them stereotypes, except nerd versions.

Overall:
A Disney movie based on a small-time Marvel super hero group that is based on America’s depiction of anime…interesting. I will say this, this is no Frozen. Do not get me wrong, it is still a pretty good film, but unlike Frozen, Big Hero 6 does not break any barriers. It does what it needs to do, but it could have been so much better. The one thing that completely bothers me about this film is the team dynamic. This movie is not about Big Hero 6, it is about Hiro and Baymax, the rest of the members are there along for the ride. An example of a film that does a better job with the team dynamic is Guardians of the Galaxy; I know and learn every single one of the members of that team, and they have their own character arcs, unlike four of the members of Big Hero 6. In fact, they are not even called Big Hero 6 throughout the entire film. I really need to start a blog, because I actually have more to talk about. Long review short, I do recommend this, because it has a good lessons and it is very encouraging, especially towards nerds. However, if you want a movie with good team dynamics, watch Guardians of the Galaxy or The Avengers. If you want a really good Disney movie, watch Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph, or Frozen, because Big Hero 6 is not better than any of those films, but at least it tried.

7.8/10

Side note: The short animated film, Feast is very well done with great animation and storytelling. It is a “spectacular” watch.

By the way, there is something after the credits that may amuse you…

Review of Interstellar:

Pros:
Amazing visuals in outer space and other planets.
Cool designs for spaceships and the coolest (and weird-looking) robots I have ever seen.
Interesting cinematography for space exploration parts.

Cons:
The plot can be very complicated for some people.
There are some pacing issues.
For a movie about interstellar travel, plot holes are expected.

Overall:
Sorry it took some time to finally review this movie. I had to watch this twice for two reasons why: the plot kind of confused me, and…the first time I watched was opening night when I was tired, resulting me sleeping most of the first act. After watching this twice, I can say that this is a well done movie. However, it strikes me that this is one of those movies you have to watch multiple times to get the full details, many of the symbolism, some clever moments, etc. Maybe this is why I enjoyed this movie more the second time than the last, and I may like it more if I watch it multiple times, but I do not have the time for it unless if I REALLY like it (which I do not like THAT much). Go watch this movie, IF you have two hours and forty-five minutes to spare.

8/10

Review of Dumb and Dumber To:

Pros:
The comedic duo of Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels holds this film together.
A pretty good emotional conflict for the main characters.
There are plenty of funny jokes; some of them are clever…

Cons:
… But some jokes are disgusting or offensive.
The film has to reuse some of the story elements from the first Dumb and Dumber, making it a bit predictable.
There are a bit too many jokes, making it hard to be completely in the story.

Overall:
Dumb and Dumber is a classic comedy, and it still holds up to this day. Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd…I am going to pretend that never happened (and I think the sequel is doing the same thing). As for Dumb and Dumber To, it is actually a good film. It is not as good as the original, but it definitely holds on its own (especially better than Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd). Unless if you are really not a fan of disgusting and rude humor, watch this film and prepare to laugh with Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels.

7.8/10

Review of Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance):

Pros:
Fantastic acting with people trying to play their characters playing their characters.
Pretty clever symbolism that I am still trying to decipher.
Impressive cinematography that does its best not to have any cuts…

Cons:
…However, the cinematography may annoy many people because of the lack of cuts.
While the story has a point, it may not appeal to everyone due to its execution and atmosphere.
This is a very dialogue-heavy movie, so there is going to be more tell than show.

Overall:
Birdman is a very clever film with its cinematography, acting, and symbolism. However, while I will admit that this is probably one of the most well-made films I have ever seen, I am not a fan of its story and execution. This is an example of very deep and thought-provoking films; directed, written, and produced by Alejandro González Iñárritu, the man who created the “Death Trilogy” (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, and Babel). His films are pretty popular in the film world, but not so much for me (mainly because I did not watch that many films of his). If you are really into his films, Birdman is a movie for you, but if you are like me and do not care about this, watch something more heart-warming and exciting like Big Hero 6.

8.5/10

Review of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1:

Pros:
Does a great job showing the dark and grim tone.
Pretty good amounts of character development.
I felt that there is more at stake; everything is going to fall apart.

Cons:
Pretty bad CG.
Many parts drag on a bit too long.
For anyone who is into action, this movie barely has any.

Overall:
The first Hunger Games was pretty interesting and exciting (except it is ripped off from Battle Royale). The Hunger Games: Catching Fire felt like a repeat from the last one with an underwhelming conclusion. I hate to say it, but this film is a little more underwhelming than its predecessors. I know some of you may say that they are saving the best parts for Part 2. That is fine, but the film still needs to make it interesting as it progresses. I do look forward to Mockingjay – Part 2, but I can only recommend this movie to people who are fans of the series.

7.5/10

Review of Hector and the Search for Happiness:

Pros:
Simon Pegg remains a charming and great actor, not just a comedian.
The subtle comedy works with Hector’s interactions with the world.
I like the main theme of this film: what makes a person happy?

Cons:
I find that there are a few contradictions between the story and its theme.
The film goes on a bit too long with many plot points that are not really balanced well.
How the film ends may end up making people confused (I will explain why on the overall section).

Overall:
Hector and the Search of Happiness reminds of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, except not as good. What troubles me about this film is not the theme and story, but its execution. Hector’s journey of happiness is interesting and exciting, but his journey’s end and conclusion to his question left me confused, because it seems to contradict the theme, and leaves a few plot holes. I am not going to spoil the movie for you, but it did bother me. That said, there are still good things about this movie, but it could have been so much better. If you want a movie that answers what makes people happy, look somewhere else, because the answers you seek is not in this movie. At least, not the actual answers.

6.8/10

Review of Exodus: Gods and Kings:

Pros:
All the actors do very well in their roles, especially Christian Bale as Moses.
The costumes and sets are extraordinary; reminds me of many historical epics of the past.
Nice visuals, whether it is computer-generated or by the set pieces.

Cons:
There are so many Biblical inaccuracies that will bother many Biblical/historical people…
…And the changes are stupid, because many of the characters actions are dumb, stupid, and nonsensical.
Pacing and development issues will make so many people confused, impatient, and wonder why a scene takes too long or goes on too quickly.

Overall:
Like Noah, this movie is based on the life of Moses, and does not do a good job reflecting it onscreen. Unlike Noah, in which at least the writing is decent, Exodus: Gods and Kings is TERRIBLE. I cannot believe they made a movie based on a source material that explicitly states what happens in Moses’s life, and they did not follow that. You may argue that they are making a different interpretation of Moses, then they did a terrible job regardless, because this feels insulting. Many actions are not explained, moments you wonder why Moses is even following God (who is portrayed by a child, by the way), they make Moses and God look like tyrants, and…my head hurts so much I cannot even finish this statement. This movie sucks. Jews and Christians will not like this movie. Non-believers will not like this movie either, but may end up getting some amusement. There are so much better movies based on Moses’s life. Do NOT watch this movie, and instead I recommend watching The Ten Commandments or The Prince of Egypt. If you are curious, read the Book of Exodus to get the complete picture about Moses. Otherwise, avoid this movie at all costs.

2/10

Review of Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie:

Pros:
Few funny moments are laugh-out loud funny.
I enjoy the music, especially Bear McCreary’s version the AVGN theme.
Some of the practical effects are well done (especially the big monster moments)…

Cons:
…While other practical effects are pretty bad (i.e. I can tell some of those vehicles are toys instead of actual vehicles) or obvious (i.e. people running in place in front of green screens).
This movie is actually pretty predictable; if you have seen movies similar to this, you know what to expect…
…Well, sort of expect, because there are some moments that are dumb, stupid, or confusing (probably intentional, but it did not really work).

Overall:
If you guys SOMEHOW do not know, James Rolfe a.k.a. The Angry Video Game Nerd is a popular internet game reviewer that has been around since YouTube’s birth. He is SO popular that he decided to make this movie about his character’s attempt to review the worst video game of all time: E.T. Many of his fans supported his work, and even donated money to him in his Kickstarter campaign. What do I think of this movie after a couple years work? …I did not think it was that great. Trust me, I really do want to like this movie. I am a fan of AVGN despite his rude and crude humor, but I cannot like this movie. There are still good things about this movie I like, but not enough to completely enjoy it. The writing, for all its good intentions, is pretty poor and predictable. Especially when they have cameos of other famous internet celebrities (i.e. The Nostalgia Critic, Pat the NES Punk, The Black Nerd, etc.) that are usually pointless. I do applaud that he is trying, but maybe he should try getting more help in writing, stick with the AVGN show (I know that is a bit early to judge), or make horror films that he enjoys. I can only recommend this to AVGN fans, but I am not sure if they are willing to watch it (but if you really ask me, I think they will).

4.5/10

A good reason to get the Blu-Ray movie is the enormous amount of content (i.e. The Nostalgia Critic’s review of the movie, audio commentary of the audience’s reaction, outtakes, etc.). Get it for that reason.

How are guys doing? Enjoy Christmas? Great! Right now, I have a new review for you.

Review of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies:

Pros:
The battle scenes are pretty cool to watch with its battle formations, and…fighting attacks…
…Some of the characters are…interesting…
…(sigh)…I am sorry, but I am going to skip to the cons…

Cons:
I am not spoiling anything, because it is shown in the first few minutes of the film: Smaug dies in the coolest, but anticlimatic way to start a film… Shouldn’t that part be in the end of the second film?
Certain subplots go on for WAY too long (i.e. Thorin’s obsession with the throne), or it is just dumb (i.e. the dumb romance between Tauriel and Kili).
While the CG and special effects are impressive, they REALLY stand out badly. Not only do they use this most of the time, but they also look like they belong in a PS4/XBox One video game, making it very distracting.

Overall:
I really wanted to give this movie a chance. When I came out of the theater, I thought it was not that bad, but after thinking about it and discussing it with my dad, we both realized that this movie sucks. For a two hour and twenty-four minute movie, it goes on for WAY TOO LONG when it could easily be condensed to…well, I will explain that later. The very few pros that are in this movie are not enough to save it from the HUGE glaring problems I can see in this movie. Some of the things that are not well explained are probably explained better in the book, which I have a feeling that the fans of the book are ticked off right now. If you want a true fantasy movie experience, watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy. If you are curious to see how this all ends, read the book, or if you are REALLY that curious, knock yourself out and watch this movie, but I have a feeling once you watch it, you are going to agree that this should have been a single movie instead of a trilogy.

3/10

Speaking of the trilogy, I might as well put that into one single word: weak. An Unexpected Journey may have been slow, but at least it builds up to the second act/movie. The Desolation of Smaug is better and more interesting, especially when we meet Smaug in the last part (although, why he wants the gold is beyond me). The Battle of the Five Armies…well, I already gave out my opinion. This was a pointless trilogy that should have been summed up with one film. Say what you want about the Star Wars prequels, but at least it got better with each film, and got interesting as it progressed. The Hobbit got boring, then interesting, and insultingly long in the end. I do not know what else to say than this: it is a waste of time.

Some way to start the end of the holidays…

Review of The Imitation Game:

Pros:
Benedict Cumberbatch does a fantastic job portraying the brilliant, yet flawed Alan Turing.,,
…Speaking of Alan Turing, he is the most interesting, but flawed character I have ever seen in film.
The film does a great job of supporting the main characters, but also show that even they have conflicts that are subtle and connected. Plus, interesting symbolism and subtle comedy on the Imitation Game.

Cons:
Like many films based on true stories, there are historical inaccuracies that I have heard about this film.
A couple of subplots are forgotten by the film’s end.
The flashbacks and flash forwards are a little distracting, but it is balanced well.

Overall:
The Imitation Game is a great and interesting film to watch. The one thing that makes it worth watching is Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing. His performance is what stands out in this film. He plays a very interesting character: he is brilliant, but flawed. He is smart, but arrogant. He is a genius, but can be clueless on simple things. That is a three-dimensional character in a very interesting story. Although there are things about the character I question, I still find it enjoyable to watch with this guy. That is how you hook your audience: have an interesting character with an interesting story. I do not have anything else to add; watch it (if you can).

8/10

On that note, Happy New Year, everyone!

Review of Annie (2014):

Pros:
Most of the actors (even the child actors) did a great job performing in the film (except Cameron Diaz…sorry).
There are some moments that are funny like Will Stacks attempting to be a nice guy with the poor.
Some of the songs are amazing to listen to, and they are entertaining…

Cons:
…But most of the time, they are usually played during unnecessary moments, or they are pointless and uninteresting.
Too much exposition since we already get an idea on what is happening (i.e. Cameron Diaz sings about how much she hates raising the girls fifty minutes in despite that we see that ten minutes in).
Too long of a movie that is also predictable if you have seen many movies involving a nice person changing a bad person’s heart when he/she wants something desperately by any means necessary.

Overall:
I have not seen the original Annie film or Broadway show, but I am willing to bet they are much better than this 2014 film, because it is not good. I did not find anything interesting in the film, because I have seen these types of film before. If they are going to make films we have seen before, they at least have to do a good job on it, but they did not, because there are plot holes, bad writing, and uninteresting story. It is not a terrible film, but it could have been much better. I would recommend watching the original Annie, but I have not seen it, so I think I will watch that when I have the time.

4/10

I going to add a new rule to my review: if I cannot think up to three things in my pros or cons, I will put in “…Nothing else stands out.” (Unless I have something special mentioned)

Review of Unbroken:

Pros:
I love how miserable these characters look from being hungry to dirty to bruised.
…Nothing else stands out.

Cons:
This movie is SOOOOOO SLOOOOOOWWW. Its expositions goes on too long; I got what is going on, so please move on already.
The plot (how the story is being told) is weirdly placed: it starts out with the present time, then a flashback, then present time, then a flashback, and the rest of the movie is the present time. The flashbacks have a point, but the movie should been placed in order.
I did not feel the impact of “never giving up in a difficult situtation,” because I have seen plenty of movies like this before.

Overall:
How does Angelina Jolie’s first directorial movie hold up? Not bad, but she has much to learn. As I mentioned before, this movie is slow, probably because the trailer shows off the entire movie (I saved you guys a few bucks if you have not seen the movie already). There is nothing new to this movie that I have not seen before, and it is not really that interesting nor does it stand out. The story is fine, but unless you want to a movie that moves on snail’s pace, go right ahead, but watch something more inspirational, or keep watching the Unbroken trailer.

6.5/10

Review of Selma:

Pros:
David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr. does a fantastic job playing a character that is charismatic, brave, kind, helpful, and charming person that has to deal with racism in a non-violent way.
I love that there are conflicts not only in a white person’s point of view, but also black and Christian points of view with some people arguing on how to be violent towards the white racist people, and others explaining that is a bad idea not only just a Biblical view, but also a factual view.
I also love that this film is very subtle on its Christian themes without blasting the lessons in the people’s faces. This is meant for everyone, not just a single race or religion.

Cons:
This movie assumes you know your history, so some of the things mentioned in the film are not explained, and mentioned briefly. Plus, historical inaccuracy on President Lyndon B. Johnson.
The movie is a little slow to the point I did not pay attention some of the times during the first and most of the second acts.
I do not like the camera work, particularly how there is so much extra space in the over-the-shoulder shots, making it really distracting.

Overall:
The first film of 2015 (technically December 2014 in select theaters) that I am reviewing in January: the month that is known for movie people when the worse movies come out. How does Selma hold up? …Pretty well, actually. A pretty good start for the January films (although, I am prepared to say that it may be the only good film in January). Come to think of it, a couple weeks later will be Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday…fitting. Anyway, this film is great, and you guys should watch it in the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his upcoming birthday holiday. It is inspiring to watch for everyone, not just for a single race.

8/10

Review of Into the Woods:

Pros:
I like how many of the characters’ arcs are connected to each other for an overall story.
I am surprised that this movie has elements of the original Brothers’ Grimm version of these fairy tales (although some of those elements work against this film).
All the actors did pretty well, even the child actors did a fantastic job not just their acting, but also their singing.

Cons:
As great as the songs are, there are too many of them. Some of them are not needed, or in one case, it is absolutely ridiculous. Also, do not use those songs as excuse of telling what is going on instead of showing.
If you actually think about it, this movie has plenty of plot holes. I am not going to spoil them, but think for a minute, and you will realize it has story problems.
This may have been foreshadowed, but when everyone has their moments, a new plot line begins almost out of nowhere, making this movie feel longer than it needs to be.

Overall:
Charming. That is how I describe this movie: charming…but a little problematic. There are things I like about it, but there are things I do not (like a certain plot element tries to rip off Frozen…Maleficent tried that and failed). The songs and the actors are probably what hold this film together, but the rest did not appeal to me that much. It is not a bad film, but it is certainly the best film I have ever seen. It is all right. Although, a different interpretation of these fairy tales is pretty cool.

7.5/10

I guess I should consider Selma a 2014 film, since it is nominated as Best Picture in the Academy Awards.

Review of Whiplash:

Pros:
Oh, man. The story and writing is very well done. I cannot find a single flaw in its storytelling (unless if I re-watch it again, and maybe there will be nitpicks) of a college freshman who wants to achieve his dreams to the point of abandoning the people who care for him.
The acting is incredible, especially J.K. Simmons as Terence Fletcher. How can I describe this character? I say if J. Jonah Jameson had a really bad day that lasted…pretty much his entire life, and he is actually is serious on telling how bad a person you are if you screw up even a single tone in your instrument; a.k.a. a mean-spirited perfectionist.
The music is very impressive, too. I still have the music’s beat in my head.

Cons:
…I cannot think of a single con, except with some change of musical history that was mentioned in the movie that got some musicians ticked off.

Overall:
I am attempting to watch all the Academy nominated films of 2014, even the ones I have missed from months ago (Boyhood, and The Grand Budapest Hotel). Starting with Whiplash, how is this movie? …This is one of the best movies I have seen in my entire life. Everything about this movie is well-constructed. The music, the acting, the camera work, the editing, the writing, pretty much everything is so well-made. There are some symbolism in there as well, but since I am not a music expert, I do not really understand. I recommend this to everyone, especially music people, but this movie is also tough to watch, because of Terence Fletcher, so do not say I warn you.

10/10

Review of The Theory of Everything:

Pros:
Eddie Redmayne is fantastic as Stephen Hawking, especially when he goes to his later stages of his motor neuron disease…
…Speaking of the disease, I love how subtle the director shows that the disease is on Hawking in the first act without acknowledging it until it gets to its bad stages.
All the characters are human; balancing out between being depressing and serious to funny and interesting. Their struggles on a genius with that disease is very well done as well.

Cons:
Goes on a little too long and slow for my taste. May not be a problem to everyone, but it does bother me.
The title is somewhat misleading, because it is clearly more about Stephen and Jane Hawking rather than the theory.
A small nitpick, but I wish that certain character gets a little more screen time, because he is pretty cool in my opinion.

Overall:
Another movie worthy of an Oscar nomination. Well, I can see how it is, but I have seen this before (i.e. A Beautiful Mind), but arguably a little worse situation for Stephen Hawking. I do not really have much to say about this movie other than it is well done, because it is not exactly my type of movie. If you are interested in biopics (in this case, about Stephen Hawking), this is a movie for you. Heck, Stephen Hawking himself likes this movie.

8.8/10

Hi, guys. I am so sorry this is late, but I manage to watch both Boyhood and The Grand Budapest Hotel. Here are the mini-reviews for both of these movies:

Boyhood:
An indie movie that took 12 years to make, and so many film critics are praising it. What do I think of it? …I think this is one of the most overrated movies I have ever seen. The biggest problem I have about this movie is the story/narrative, or lack thereof. This movie makes us spend almost three hours of a kid from being 6-years old to a college student. There is no apparent wants or needs that this kid has to make us have interests on him. The rest of the movie qualities are fine (cinematography, acting, “writing,” etc.), but if I do not get invested in the characters or story, I am not going to care. You may argue that this indie film is being artsy; fine by me, but it has to be good (plus, I do not care about art films). Overall, it is very likely that if you are going to watch this movie, you are going to find it boring or tiring.

6/10

The Grand Budapest Hotel:
This movie, on the other hand, is awesome. The best things about this film are the cinematography and the characters (especially some of the actors). I have never felt so entertained and interested in the story, and how the director works with this film. It is clever, funny, interesting, entertaining, and a little messed up all at once. I enjoy it, and you guys should watch it as well.

9.5/10

I will post on what I think is going to win the Academy Awards soon, so hang in there.

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