These are the reviews from January 2015 to now. Enjoy these past reviews.
Review of American Sniper:
The film shows Chris Kyle having savior complex and PTSD very well, as they show him going through life as a soldier and a father.
The best parts are when Chris uses his sniper rifle, because they have plenty of tense moments of when he should shoot or not, or if he is going to actually hit the target.
…I have nothing more to add.
Chris’s recovery of PTSD goes by pretty quickly, and that is bothering due to the fact that we spend time with him during the Iraq War through most of the movie.
Other than Chris’s family and a certain enemy sniper, I do not care about the side characters at all; they are not interesting nor compelling.
…I have nothing more to add.
I will be honest on something: I have never heard of Chris Kyle. I never heard that he is a legend in the US military, nor that he (uh, spoilers) was killed a couple of years ago. My apologies on that, but with that said, let us go to what I think of the movie: I like it. I found it a little confusing on why it is nominated for Best Picture, because this has been done before with The Hurt Locker, and better. However, on its own, it does have certain things that even The Hurt Locker did not do. If you want to watch a movie about a legendary US soldier, watch American Sniper. If you want to watch a movie about soldiers in the Middle East, The Hurt Locker and Zero-Dark Thirty are the better choices.
Review of Seventh Son:
Some of the very few jokes they have are actually kind of funny.
Some of the action scenes are pretty cool, like Tom vs a burning knight.
…I have nothing else to add.
What is the Seventh Son? I have to ask, because the movie does a very poor job explaining many of the lore of this film’s world, ranging from little to no explanation.
You can tell what is real and what is not, because the computer graphics and green screen are very obvious and poorly done.
The writing and dialogue are so tired and poorly done that even the great actors (Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore) cannot escape the terrible performances that they have to do.
What is this? Are they trying to do their own version of The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter? If they are, better luck next time. Seventh Son is a waste of time. I am not sure if it is faithful to the book, or if the book is even good, but this does not deliver a well done story. I did not care about the characters (some of them are not even developed that much), the story is so predictable and boring, I did not understand how the world of Seventh Son works, and I think this reinforces the idea that films in the first couple of months suck. All of this leads me asking one thing: What in the world is the Seventh Son!!??
Review of Kingsman: The Secret Service:
Awesome action sequences with interesting camera work that follows almost every move with almost no cuts.
I find its self-aware writing very intriguing and somewhat interesting.
There are a few clever jokes in the film, and one particular scene that I am not going to spoiler is something I do not think anyone will forget.
The CGI and green screen effects are not good most of the time. It sticks out like a sore thumb.
The best comedy bits are shown in the trailers. There are still a few more in the film, but you pretty much seen most of the jokes in the trailers.
Some of the cinematography can be a bit distracting, particularly when the camera moves to what the character is looking at and back.
This movie pays homage to many of the spy films of the past, especially James Bond. In fact, they even referenced that in the film. Kingsmen: The Secret Service may not exactly be a perfect film, but I love it. It does not take itself that seriously, and it is self-aware on what it is. If you love the old James Bond films (before Daniel Craig) and entertaining action-pack fun, this film is for you. If you love serious and dark films that brood on dark topics, you are going to hate this film. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.
I apologize. It has been a while since I review any movies since I have been busy, but here is the next movie review.
Review of Chappie:
The police robots in the movie look really good. Big plus to the animators and mocap actors.
The voice person for Chappie (Sharlto Copley, who played King Stefan in Maleficent) is pretty hard to recognize, so I applaud the voice filters for that. Not to mention Sharlto as a kid-like robot did a great job.
The action scenes are not bad…no other comment.
This movie is unevenly paced. Many plot lines are not well balanced enough to make me care enough for the characters…
…Speaking of characters, I do not care about any of the characters at all. Some of them are cliched, some of them are stereotypes, some of them are stupid, and others are have dumb motivations. Chappie and Deon Wilson are the closest to be likable, but even they cannot escape being poorly to averagely-written characters.
I think this movie has several messages that it wants to talk about (from humanity to robots with minds of their own), but they are not subtle about it.
When the credits roll at the end of the movie, I sat in my seat in disbelief in what I just saw. Not only is this movie not good, but how it ended just makes me question what the director, Neill Blomkamp is thinking. I am going to talk about this after I put in my rating, but to keep a long story short, I cannot believe what he just did. Chappie is not good. Even with good actors, they cannot save this film. None of the characters are interesting nor likable. The writing needs work. In fact, there are several better movies/video games that did similar writings, but better. All I am going to say is this: now that I have seen this movie, I am going to watch a better movie (hopefully) next week: Frozen Feve- I mean Cinderella.
In the movie, Chappie and Yolandi talk about souls inside other people, including robots. In the climax, when Deon gets injured, Chappie manages to save him by transferring his consciousness (or soul) into another robot. This happens again when Chappie transfers Yolandi’s consciousness into a robot (with a human-like face) by the end of the movie. I highly question what the director/screenwriter was thinking when he did this. This is highly advanced scientific feat for that to happen if that is even possible (which I do not believe). I heard movie called Transcendence did the same thing, but did not work. Overall, this is not impressive.
Review of Cinderella (2015):
Great costume and set designs.
Characters are more fleshed-out and interesting than their animated film counterparts.
Writing is better than the animated movie version.
There are some fairy tale tropes that may annoy some people.
While most of the CG are pretty good, there are still a few obvious fake CG moments.
It is a little slow when it comes to the First Act.
I am…surprised. This film is actually good. Really good. It is not only faithful to the original Cinderella animated movie, but surpasses it. The writing and characters are much more interesting than the originals. Even Prince Charming, who was a blank slate in the animated film, has some character in this live-action version. I originally wanted to watch this movie so I can watch Frozen Fever, but this is actually a great film. If you want to see a movie that is faithful to the original and more, this movie is for you. If you want a movie that is different from the original and makes it dark and gritty (like Maleficent), this will not do for you.
As for Frozen Fever, it is a great short. The only complaints I have are that is way too short for me, and the second one might slightly spoil what happens, so I will not say it. That is all right, there is a sequel coming soon (although, I admit I am a little worried).
Review of Insurgent:
Pretty good CG despite some obvious flaws and cracks in them.
Shailene Woodley is the best actor out of all the other actors…
…That is all I have to say…
…which is probably needed for some of the dialogue that are stale and stock.
Some of the character motivations are dumb, confusing, or out of nowhere.
A couple of plot lines are not resolved or are introduced for a few seconds, only to be left in the dust and never mentioned again (and do not tell me that is explained more in the book).
Many people did not like Divergent, but I did. However, the last time I watched that movie is when I watched it in theaters exactly one year ago. I completely forgotten about it, and I had to look up the synopsis to completely get the story again. As for Insurgent, I do not like it. The writing is not good enough to make care for the characters enough to be engaged in their conflicts. They are not in the levels of Chappie (in which I do not care or like any of the characters in that film), but it is still not good. It also did not help that I forgot about Divergent, so maybe it is a little better if I remembered, but I doubt it. If you want to watch a movie about a strong female character, watch the Hunger Games (which by the way, there is a teaser trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 in Insurgent).
By the way, I need you opinion on a name for my blog that I will have very soon. The best name that I got so far is “Benz Eye View.” What do guys think? If you can think of a better name, let me know.
Benz Eye View: Run All Night:
Many of the technical stuff (editing, camera movement and placement, etc.) are done terribly. It is so distracting that it is easily noticeable to people who are not experts at those crafts.
A very bad way for this movie to give backstories to these characters is tell, not show. Rule #1: show, not tell in any visual medium.
Even the action sequences are a bit boring when there are so many dumb things that interfere with it.
Long review short, this movie is terrible. The only thing that somewhat saves from being the worse movie of the year is the lesson, but the huge amounts of flaws cannot save this movie. Avoid it, even if Liam Neeson is in it.
Benz Eye View: Do You Believe?:
Some of the conflicts shown in the movie do have some interesting relevance.
The theme, unlike God’s Not Dead, has true relevance with all the major characters.
The climax…I did not see coming, and it is the most interesting thing that happens in this movie.
There are too many major characters to follow in this movie. Condense to one to three characters, then the movie will at least be all right.
The time we spend on each character is really unbalanced. One character we spend for a few minutes does not come back until twenty minutes later.
Like any Christian film, the big problem about this movie is that it is too preachy. Likely because of too many major characters.
Christian films are not really popular in the world right now, and for good reason. They are usually not done very well to the point where that only Christians themselves only watch it, and even some of them notice the problems of these films. For example, I probably was too forgiving on giving God’s Not Dead a 6.7/10. After watching it more carefully, I give a 3.5/10. What about this movie? It is slightly better than God’s Not Dead, but it still has those problems that any Christian film has. Personally, I prefer if these films do something a little more daring to their works. However, if they want to keep doing this, they have to do a better job than that.
Benz Eye View: Furious 7:
The action and car scenes are entertaining and stupidly awesome.
The self-aware humor is pretty good, although it is better for the Fast and the Furious fans.
The major actors did a great job interacting with each. It feels like they have known each other for a long time now; the writing in those moments probably helped…
…However, I should let you know that I have NEVER watched any of the Fast and the Furious movies, so some of the interactions in this movie made me a bit confused or think of certain assumptions. It is not bad enough that I NEED to watch the other movies, but I am not as emotionally invested enough to care for them.
The CG is not really that impressive, especially with the obvious CG-face cover of Paul Walker.
The main antagonist, Deckard Shaw (played by Jason Statham) is barely in the movie. In fact, the trailers are a little deceiving, because the movie is about something else, while the main antagonist plot is just a subplot.
As I said, I have NEVER watched any of the Fast of the Furious movies, so I am left with a disadvantage. I originally did not want to watch this movie because of that, but few people I know encouraged me to watch it anyway. What do I think? It is stupidly awesome. There are so many things that are cool about this movie, but it is the type of movie that realizes it is dumb, but goes all out on it anyway. If you are a fan of these movies, go ahead and watch it. If you are not, go watch it anyway unless you are really nitpicky.
By the way, the tribute to Paul Walker in the end is nice. Probably going to make some people cry.
I am going to do something a bit different in this review post, because I am going to review a TV show called Marvel’s Daredevil:
Charlie Cox as Daredevil is awesome. He is so much better than Ben Affleck’s version in the Daredevil movie years ago.
Certain backstories (like Matt Murdock’s dad) are very interesting and impressive.
I like how this is the first time Matt Murdock becomes Daredevil, and how he struggles to keep on with his superhero work while going through his lawyer and religious life…
…That being said, this may not work for everyone considering that he gets his butt kicked so many times, and this series spends most of the time with Matt Murdock without his mask.
Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk (aka Kingpin) should have been a great choice, but it is not. The only emotion that this character/actor seems to convey is sadness. Rarely does this guy have another emotion (besides anger), but it goes by pretty quickly. His romantic interest, Vanessa Marianna is much more interesting character and actress than he is.
The first couple episodes are pretty good, but it gets a little predictable and cliche throughout the rest of the season. It is not bad, but it gets a little annoying when they have to talk about certain things over and over again, especially if they do not show it.
The first of Marvel’s Netflix series (the next three are A.K.A. Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist), Marvel’s Daredevil is another way for Marvel to expand its Cinematic Universe. This TV series is different than the Marvel films you guys have seen on the big screen. This series is darker and more down-to-earth so to speak. However, it does has its problems as I pointed down in the cons. The Marvel Netflix series has potential, but it does need some work. I hope to see how A.K.A. Jessica Jones will turn out later, and how the Marvel Cinematic Universe will fit into all of this. Might as well prepare for Avengers: Age of Ultron then.
The review process will be different in the TV series. Instead of a points score, I will give out one of three review choices: Pass, Occasional Viewing, or Watch It.
By the way, do not expect many TV series reviews. I do not have that much time to see these anyway, but this is the only exception since I am a huge Marvel fan.
Benz Eye View: Woman in Gold:
This would normally be a film I do not care for, but it did a great job for me to actually care about what is going on.
I love the subtle, covert comedy in this. It is not forced, but the comedy is well done that is natural to the characters.
The best actors in the film are the old and young versions of Maria Altmann (played by Helen Mirren and Tatiana Maslany respectively).
Ryan Reynolds, as much as I can tell that he is trying, is the weakest actor of the bunch.
In the first two acts, the scenes should slow down, because each scene goes on for like a couple of minutes, and goes on to the next scene that goes on for a couple of minutes. In other words, better editing, please.
NITPICK: This film is supposed to take place between 1998 – 2004, right? Then, why did I notice a Guardians of the Galaxy billboard later in the film? I think there are also a few continuity errors that I missed in here.
I notice that in the reviews that people gave it around a 6-5/10. I like this movie. Maybe there are some things that I did not notice, but if there is one thing appreciate about this film is the characters. I genuinely cared about these people, and support them (especially Maria Altmann during the Nazi regime). If the story do not impress, hopefully the characters will. Then again, if the story is not strong enough, why should we care? I still like this movie, nonetheless. Go ahead and watch it, and maybe you will appreciate the small details if you do not fully enjoy it.
Benz Eye View: The Age of Adaline:
I like the subtle hints of Adeline’s immortality in the first act (in the other two acts, it got a little old).
Blake Lively as an immortal Adaline does a great job acting like an old woman in a young body.
The best parts are Adaline’s flashbacks. How she goes through her life as an immortal (like how she is accused of being a Communist) is interesting. However…
…The flashbacks are poorly done. They show these certain flashbacks…only for the characters to mention them later; not very good…
…Speaking of characters mentioning things, there are too many expositions to the point where it gets boring…
…Speaking of boring, the romance is not interesting. The main leads are all right at best, but there is nothing in them that stands out other than Adaline having immortality.
A romance about a woman that has immortality and has to live through it sounds like an interesting concept, but its execution was not well done. The only thing that probably is helping this movie is the actors, who do a great job despite a weak story. If you want the same old romance stories with a couple of interesting plot points, this is the movie for you. If it does not suit you, I say this is the end of the Age of Adaline and the start of the Age of Ultron. J
Benz Eye View: Ex Machina:
Fantastic story and writing; they point out certain plot points and lessons in this film.
Amazing acting, especially Alicia Vikander as Ava with her robotic movement and human-like expression.
Great computer effects on Ava and the robots; they look very real.
It can be very slow for some people.
I am not going to spoil it, but there may be certain things in the film that some people are not going to like.
…That is all I have to say.
This film…is amazing. There are some things that some people are not going to like (even I admit that), but this one of the greatest films of the year. The subtle messages and lessons, great writing, awesome acting, intriguing ideas are what stands up to this film, and done well. Watch it, and you will be amazed (if you can handle it).
Benz Eye View: Avengers: Age of Ultron:
I love many of the character interactions in this movie, especially between the members of the Avengers. It makes them feel so alive.
Since you have seen several movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (at least, I hope you guys have been watching them), you easily care the old characters you already know, and automatically get into the new characters or characters that you barely know.
There are plenty of great action scenes to go through. From the Avengers fighting Ultron to Hulkbuster Iron Man fighting Hulk, there are plenty of well-choreographed fights…
…Although, probably a bit too many fight scenes, which makes me glad there are quieter moments in this movie.
The plot seems a bit rushed. One example is that Ultron does not get as much screen time as much as I thought he would. I have heard that the original cut for this movie is over 3 hours long, and they have to cut some parts out in order to compensate for the audience. OK, I hope they have an extended cut for this on Blu-Ray, but for now, the plot does not seem to be that greatly paced.
They are making plenty of allusions to more future installments to this film universe (there is an allusion to Black Panther). It is not bad, but not really subtle. I hope this does not get worse as the universe progresses.
What can I say about the Marvel Cinematic Universe? This movie franchise is going to keep on going, and it looks like it is not going to stop anytime soon…which worries me. At some point they have to stop, but they have made plans for more Marvel films up to 2026. Either they have to plan this really well and keep us interested, or stop at some point. This movie is an example of what worries me; Avengers: Age of Ultron is all right, but I do notice some problems with it. It is not a terrible movie at all, but not as good as the first Avengers (or even Captain America: The Winter Soldier or Daredevil). If you want to be entertained with more Marvel madness, go ahead and watch this movie, but please let me know if you also realize what I am thinking when it comes to these movies: they have got to stop sooner or later.
Benz Eye View: Hot Pursuit:
Few of the jokes are funny…
…That is all I have to say…
…However, some of the jokes fall flat, especially the ones that rely on old and predictable jokes.
This movie is predictable, cliche, and contains a few continuity errors.
Not the best choice if the only thing that keeps the two main leads talking is either exposition that we already know, or constant, annoying bickering.
This movie is dumb. I think it somewhat realizes it, but it fails to keep me interested in the main leads, or find at least most of the comedic moments funny. If it wants to try to be cleverly funny, The Avengers: Age of Ultron did a fantastic job on that department. If it wants to be stupidly funny, Rush Hour is an example that just popped in my head. Heck, if you want a female buddy cop movie, watch The Heat; it is not the best, but a better movie in my eyes. Just save yourself some money and avoid this movie.