Benz Eye View: Alice Through the Looking Glass

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Alice Through the Looking Glass

Pros:

1.) If you did not like the deadpanned Alice in the last movie, I am happy to say Alice has more personality in this movie at the very least.  Instead of having dull surprise, she actually expresses amazement in areas she has never seen before (even if it is a bit exaggerated).

2.) The character, creature, costume, and environment designs are imaginative.  They do look like something that does not belong in our world, and instead fits in Wonderland.

3.) It is a little clever how they show the difference between our world and Wonderland through the image.  Our world has a mixture of light and darkness, while Wonderland has a combination of bright and shady colors.  Good image symbolism.

 

Cons:

1.) Alice should really stop mentioning many of the plot points that are occurring right in front of her.  We are not stupid, so please stop, because it is very annoying.

2.) The green screen effects are REALLY obvious.  The live-action movie might as well be a CG movie, because it looks great on its own.  With live actors right up front, it kind of ruins the immersion like a friend standing in front of the TV while you are playing a PS4 game.

3.) Many moments that happen are due to the characters’ idiocy, the story’s convenience, and dumb plot points.  In fact, one moment could have prevented the entire Alice in Wonderland series that character did not do what she did (however, I am willing to forgive it a little).  Also, since this is a time traveling movie, their explanation on time should be like this:

 

Overall:

The animated Alice in Wonderland may not be one of my favorite Disney movies ever, but I do appreciate many things that come from the movie.  With the live-action remake made a few years ago, I felt everything I appreciated from the animated version did not appear in the live-action one, and replaced with dullness and gloom.  With the sequel now released, they have slightly learned their lesson from the original, but it is not enough to stop it from being dull.  There are few moments that are well done, and you probably have to hold your suspension of disbelief on some of the characters’ dumbness.  Correct me if I am wrong, but I also heard that it did not even follow the book that it was based on.  To finish this all off, this movie is slightly better than the last, but hardly a masterpiece.

5/10

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Benz Eye View: X-Men: Apocalypse

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X-Men: Apocalypse

Pros:

1.) The old cast still play well as their characters (I especially like that Quicksilver gets a bigger role in this movie).  Some of the new cast members did great playing either new characters or younger versions of those characters (although, there is a problem with the characters that I will get to in a moment).

2.) Apocalypse does a great job giving a huge sense of urgency and distress.  What he does and what he plans to do give good enough reasons to have many think why he is such a huge threat not only to the X-Men, but the entire world.

 

Cons:

1.) There are too many plot lines to follow.  It is not too many to the point where it is unbearable to watch, but it is distracting.  (SPOILERS)  For example, somewhere around the second act, the movie somewhat ignores Apocalypse, and instead concentrates some of the X-Men being kidnapped by Col. William Stryker.  (END SPOILERS)

2.) The CG is not the worst I have ever seen, but they are not exactly good.  It looks like it came from a working graphics beta stages of a video game (and I am being a bit merciful on what they look like).

3.) There are so many convenient moments and plot holes in the movie that it baffles me.  One example is how four mutants (including Magneto) join Apocalypse.  Long story short, I am not buying why they join him.  Some of the characters are not even used well.  Two examples are Jubilee and Moira MacTaggert.  These two are not needed, and can be erased from the movie with little to no consequences.

 

Overall:

After the success of X-Men: Days of Future Past, and rebooting the entire X-Men movies, it was inevitable for 20th Century Fox to go in for a sequel.  Who was going to be the villain?  Answer: Apocalypse.  This interests me, and I wonder how they are going to deliver this.  I can tell it to you like this: X-Men: Apocalypse may not be as bad as X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but it is not as good as X-Men: The Last Stand.  Short story: I did not like it.  At first, I thought it was fine, but the more I thought about it, the more I see the problems in this movie.  As I said, it is not the worst X-Men movie ever made, but it is one of those movies that had potential, but squandered it.  I hope it is not the start of the studio milking the franchise as much as possible, otherwise, as Apocalypse said, “Everything they built will fall, and from the ashes of their world, we will build a better one.”  Wait.  Apocalypse sounds a bit like Marvel Studios.

4/10

Benz Eye View: The Nice Guys

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The Nice Guys

Pros:

1.) The main three leads actually work well with each other despite the fact that they are complete opposites.  Yes, I did type three.  Not just Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, but also Angourie Rice as Holly March, the daughter of Holland March (played by Ryan Gosling).  Those three made the movie for me.

2.) Since this is a movie that takes place in the 70s, it has the atmosphere of the 70s.  The music, the clothing, the mood, the people, the city of Los Angeles, and many more just shows off how 70s it is.

 

Cons:

1.) This movie is much slower than I thought.  I understand since this is a mystery, but I feel like this is not paced well enough to get my attention.

2.) Speaking of mystery, I honestly barely care on what is happening.  Maybe for some people it is good, but I can think of better mysteries than this movie (i.e. Sherlock Holmes, Prisoners, The Usual Suspect, Seven, etc.).  I did not find it interesting at all.

3.) Personally, I am NOT a fan of movies dealing with the adult entertainment industry UNLESS it is done well.  Unfortunately for me, this is not one of them.  Even though they do have an excuse for it, I still did not find it appealing, especially with the lack of me caring about the mystery.

 

Overall:

Oh, boy.  You probably are getting the idea from this review that I do not like this movie despite the fact that other reviewers and critics love it.  Well, I am not going to say that it is a bad movie.  It is a movie that has some potential, but I did not think it delivered well than what other people say.  Honestly, the best parts are revealed in the trailers:

I probably expected too much.  If you love this movie, good for you.  I did not.  However, I can acknowledge that there are some good things about it (particularly, the three main leads).  I will give this movie some slack, and give it this score:

6.5/10

I just wish this movie is better than I wanted it to be in the end.  Apologies to anyone who loves it more than I do.

Benz Eye View: The Angry Birds Movie

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The Angry Birds Movie

Pros:

1.) The animation looks great.  It is pretty much in a similar level as any 3D Disney film.  A good example is the birds with their feathers having substances, making it seem alive.

2.) The main character, Red fits well in a world with a bunch of happy-go-lucky, nonsensical, annoying birds.  He can be pretty funny when he deals how much he hates where he is living…

 

Cons: 

1.) …However, when the pigs finally arrive, Red ends up being a little annoying.  You will start to get tired of his attitude despite understanding why he is like that, and his justified suspicion with the pigs.

2.) Many of the jokes kind of fall flat in this movie.  Although, it is not the flat jokes that bother me.  It is the many sexual/adult jokes that occur occasionally.  They are not exactly subtle, nor is it the best way to place adult jokes in a family movie.  The best examples of subtle adult jokes in family movies in the top of my head are Toy Story and Frozen; look it up.

3.) The final act has a huge action scene that is paced way too fast.  It feels like it is rushing into one cool action scene after another, and it feels like they are trying to be like The Avengers.  In fact, I think a couple of those scenes are copying certain moments in The Avengers (and even X-Men: Days of Future Past).

 

Overall:

I want to get this off of my chest: whose idea is it to make movie about the Angry Birds video games?  There is absolutely no story in those games.  They are about a bunch birds being thrown from a slingshot, and crash into pigs and towers.  That is it.  How do you make a movie about that?  I expected this movie to suck.  After watching it, it is surprisingly OK.  It is not the best movie ever, but it is OK.  I can say it is aimed more towards children (and maybe hardcore Angry Birds fans) than adults (although the adult jokes may not exactly make this statement true).  If you have nothing else to watch, go see Zootopia.  Or this movie, if your children wants to watch something else.

5/10

Benz Eye View: Money Monster

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Money Monster

Pros:

1.) George Clooney, Julia Roberts, and Jack O’Connell are all great, and they are the best actors in this movie.

2.) The few comedic moments (while a bit distracting and a little out of tone) are pretty funny.  Nothing else to add.

3.) There are some interesting moralities that are brought up in this movie.  I am not going to say what they are, but it provides an insight on how today’s society works.

 

Cons:

1.) There are some dumb moments in this movie.  A big one is that when the video feed is cut off, the audio stays on for a few seconds until it finally turns off.  It strikes me as pretty stupid if you understand what I am talking about.

2.) If you like George Clooney, Julia Roberts, and Jack O’Connell in this movie, chances are that you are not going to care much about some of the other people, especially in a thriller movie’s point of view.

 

Overall:

I honestly do not have that much to say about this movie other than this: if you like thriller movies and have nothing else to watch, go see this movie.  Otherwise, continue watching something else since this movie has nothing else to offer other than great acting and decent storytelling with an interesting morale.

7.5/10

Benz Eye View: Captain America: Civil War

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Captain America: Civil War

Pros:

1.) The story is simply mind-provoking.  It has interesting morale and political dilemmas that affects all the main and major characters in this film (especially Captain America and Iron Man).  This is something I hoped they do well since this is a dilemma that should not be taken lightly, and they did.

2.) The new characters that are introduced (particularly Black Panther and Spider-Man) are awesome.  While Black Panther is in it more than Spider-Man, the filmmakers did not waste any time using them, and they spend it well.

3.) The action scenes are glorious and fun.  The biggest action scene that deserves mention is the airport fight scene.  Not going to say much, but it is the point where all the wait of these superheroes to fight each other is worth it…

Cons: 

1.) …Until then, the action scenes that lead up to the airport fight scene suffer with shaky cam.  It gets really annoying, but it does get better as the film progresses.

2.) The CG is not that bad, but it is pretty obvious.  Good examples are Spider-Man and the Vision.  You will know when you see it.

3.) Honestly, this should have been called Avengers: Civil War, because there are so many characters to follow in this film.  It is true that you mainly follow Captain America (and Iron Man), but if you have not been catching up with the other MCU movies, then you will be lost on who these characters are, and some of the backgrounds they mention.

 

Overall:

The start of the MCU Phase 3, this is one film I was hoping to see.  The Captain America films were great, especially since I consider Captain America: The Winter Soldier to be the best of the MCU films.  After seeing this film, Captain America: Civil War is now my favorite MCU film.  Many of the past MCU films culminate into this film, and it asks the question: should superheroes be controlled by the government?  While I will leave it to you to form your opinions on this subject, this film does a fantastic job showing both sides of the argument.  While the film does not reach the same dynamic level as the Civil War comic series did, I still like what they did here.  It is true that I voiced that the MCU should stop at some point, but if they are willing to make great films like this one, I am willing to let it pass.  Go watch it, true believers and Marvel fans!

 

9/10