Benz Eye View: Independence Day: Resurgence

Independence-Day-2-poster
Independence Day: Resurgence

Pros:

1.) The movie has the same dread feeling as the last one when it comes to the alien attack.  You get this horrifying feeling that despite Earth managing to have advance technology, the aliens learned their lessons from the last movie, and still managed to overpower them.

2.) There are some pretty good battle scenes.  It may not be as refined as the last movie, but it does have some thrills when the humans fight back against the alien threat despite the odds.

3.) It is good to see some the old cast and characters from the last movie even if some of them have their roles reduced for the new characters (except Will Smith is not in it anymore)…

 

Cons:

1.) …Which leads to one of the big problems of this movie: there are WAY TOO MANY characters to follow.  Not only do we have to follow the old characters, but the new ones as well.  They even introduce some new characters halfway into the movie, and they have very little to do.  There were many characters in the last one, but not in the same level as this movie.  You want to know what is a bad sign that I cannot follow all of these characters?  I do not even remember their names.

2.) Another BIG problem is their exposition.  It has the tendency to explain so much what happens while also not explaining enough.  Meaning, they explain too much on what has happened in-between movies and the new characters while also not explaining certain things that may be important.  One example: where is Constance Spano?

Connie_Portrait
Constance Spano, or David Levinson’s love interest from the last movie.

I looked it up, and it is said that she died in a car accident.  If they did mention it, I either missed it or did not care.

3.) The LAST problem is the pacing.  The movie goes by way too quickly to get into one action scene/emotional moment/plot point after the other.  It barely has time to flesh out characters and moments that the last movie did.  Specifically, the last movie’s time span was three days (July 2-4).  This movie’s time span goes on for a few hours.  Not enough time to know what is happening and learning the new characters if the movie wants to move in a really fast pace.

 

Overall:

The last Independence Day movie was a stupid movie that I enjoyed despite its glaring flaws.  The things that they got wrong was made up with the many things they got right.  It took its time to focus on the human elements, it gave the feeling of dread that the aliens might actually destroy Earth, it showed that there is still hope despite the huge losses, and it prevailed with overwhelming satisfaction of victory over the enemy.  It was a fun movie.  The sequel tried to have those elements, but failed miserably.  The human elements are not there due to the lack of time spent or the fact you may not like some of them, the dread was still around to a certain degree, there is some hope due to plot convenience, and the victory of the enemy is not as satisfying (especially when they are sequel-baiting).  This is not a worthy sequel, and not worth the time for you to watch.  Skip this movie, and watch the original instead.

3/10

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Benz Eye View: Central Intelligence

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Central Intelligence

Pros:

1.) Even though some of it overstay their welcome, some of the jokes are pretty funny.  The best ones are in the last half of the movie, so prepare to have some laughs (unless if you are not a huge fan of mugging, which is not that bad).

2.) I like how they establish how the two main leads are so different from each other.  The most apparent is how they started in high school, and what they ended up twenty years later.  One was very popular and ends up with an unsatisfying job, while the other is a nobody who became somebody.  I really like the character establishment…

3.) …Speaking of characters, Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson work well as comedic/buddy actors.  They pull of a great chemistry of two old schoolmates that only met for a bit, but one made a huge impact towards the other.  I like to see these two again as comedic duos…

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Kind of reminds me of another comedic duo.

 

Cons:

1.) …However, Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson are not that great when they have to do some serious acting.  Technically, Kevin Hart can pull it off a little, but Dwayne cannot do it.  It looks like he is forcing himself to be serious instead of actually being one.  Looks like he needs a little more acting lessons.

2.) If you are looking to get into the action at the beginning of the movie, you are in for a little wait.  With one small exception, it takes a while for the actual action to begin.  They spend some time establishing Kevin and Dwayne’s characters’ lives before actually revealing that Dwayne is in the CIA, and starts the action.  Be a bit patient.

3.) I did notice some glaring plot holes and logical inconsistencies.  It is not bad enough to make the movie terrible, but it is bad enough to make you question how in the world that would work when it should not.

 

Overall:

I really do not have much to say.  It is OK.  Sorry that I cannot provide much on what I thought of this movie.  It is probably going to be one of those movies that provides some laughs, and not much else.  If you are in a mood for some comedy, this will certainly do for now.  Or go watch Finding Dory.

6/10

Benz Eye View: Finding Dory

Finding_Dory
Finding Dory

Pros:

1.) The animation is so much better than its predecessor.  While Finding Nemo was a great film animation-wise, you can see its age just a bit.  Its sequel has its animation improved from the last to the point when the fishes come out of the water, they look real.

2.) Dory gets much more interesting in this movie.  While she was a great side-comedic character in the previous film, she gets more in-depth characterization.  Also, her determination to find her family despite her severe weakness makes you appreciate her even more.

3.) The third act…You will get it when you see it.

 

Cons:

1.) Marlin and Nemo’s side story is pretty weak.  They do have a reason to be with Dory, but when they end up getting separated and have to find her, it gets a little boring.  In certain moments, Marlin gets annoying, but they pass by pretty quickly.

2.) There are jokes and certain characters that go on screen for a bit too long.  The jokes can be funny, but even the main characters express how this goes on for a little too long.  As for certain characters, I will say that some are more interesting than others.

3.) There are some scenes that they clearly got the idea from Finding Nemo, but not as well executed.  One example is that the squid chase seems eerily similar to the angler-fish chase from the previous film.  There are not that many scenes, but it is kind of noticeable if you are looking for them.

 

Overall:

Finding Nemo is an amazing film about family and handling the dangers in the world.  There was not much potential of a sequel, but Pixar did it anyway…and it is good.  It is not as good as the last one, but it is a good sequel.  Actually, it is better if I call it a good side-story.  The reason I say that is because its theme on family is not as strong here, and the feeling of danger is slightly non-existent.  Still, I did like it overall.  If you love Finding Nemo and Dory as a character, you will definitely like this.

7/10

As for the Disney/Pixar short: Piper, I have one word to describe it: cute.

Benz Eye View: Warcraft

Warcraft_Teaser_Poster
Warcraft

Pros:

1.) The CG and green screen effects are phenomenal.  These are by far the best-looking visual effects I have ever seen in a movie.  It may stand out a little when live actors are in it, but it does not stop the fact that the animation team and graphical artists spend so much time to perfect this.  It even matches the cinematic video game trailers.  Bravo, Blizzard.  Bravo.

2.) I enjoy the great artistic environments, costumes, and production designs (the few of them that are around).  You can certainly buy that this another world that is inspired by medieval tales.  Creativity is certainly in the minds of the makers of this movie.  It certainly helps since this is a movie based on a video game series, so all those ideas come from them.

3.) The fight scenes are massive as it is painful.  The sound team emphasized well enough to show how painful these orcs can deal with humans.  Not only that, it feels like an epic movie with its big armies and battles.  If you want a war movie, this is it.

 

Cons: 

1.) Considering I never played any of the Warcraft games, I feel like the lore of this world is not explained enough.  There are moments that I did not understand why these characters have to commit their actions, or why their race/culture believe in those things.  Probably crammed in too much World of Warcraft lore in the movie, or the writing is not really good.

2.) The characters are not boring, but they are not interesting.  You got the knight protagonist, the rookie mage (who is my favorite), the master wizard, the king that cares for his people, the honorable orc, and that is it.  Very few moments where they are actually get a bit interesting due to their character interactions, but it is not enough to save them from being a bit bland and two-dimensional…

3.) …It probably does not help that the actors are not giving their all in their performances (especially the live actors).  I get the feeling that they are trying to (since I feel these actors have potential), but they cannot seem to be, because the director is telling them to act in a poor performance.  I guess I will blame the director for the actors’ performances.

 

Overall:

We have another movie based on a video game series.  I admire that they are now trying this out again after so many failures.  Warcraft is a movie based on the popular World of Warcraft video game series.  I have never played any of them (mainly because I do not have time to play the series for several thousand hours), but I have seen their cinematic trailers, and they are awesome.

Or my personal favorite…

From the trailers alone, I can sense potential of a movie.  From what they deliver, it is at least a spark.  It is one of the better video game movies, but it is not the best movie ever.  I see potential, but with the people they got, they did a serviceable job (although the visual effects team did a fantastic job, and deserve to make more movies like what they did).  This will satisfy the Warcraft fans (I hope), while intriguing the non-fans.  All it needs to do is to improve the writing, characters, and directing, and you may get a great movie based on a video game.  Let’s see if Assassin’s Creed will actually be good.

6/10

Benz Eye View: Now You See Me 2

Now_You_See_Me_2_poster
Now You See Me 2

Pros:

1.) The four main cast members are not only great, but also work well together.  Even the newcomer, Lula (played by Lizzy Caplan) may be a little annoying at times, she works well with the Four Horsemen, and she is no pushover when it comes to her own magic.

2.) The magic tricks are cool.  Even though it is clearly done with “movie magic” instead of a live audition, there are plenty of clever tricks that can wow any audience watching this movie (unless you are very nit-picky).

3.) I like how they do not explain certain things to you, and you have to figure it out yourself.  It trusts the audience enough for them to know what is happening…

 

Cons: 

1.) …However, that can backfire if the illusion of magic is ruined, like there are plenty of moments where the Four Horsemen should have been caught in both the heist and magic tricks…

2.) …Speaking of magic tricks, the movie loses its charm when they show how they did those tricks.  They may have done it in the last movie, but not as much as this one, and especially if one of its themes is magic vs. science.

3.) Just like the last movie, the story is pretty weak.  It is arguably weaker since there are plenty of plot lines in the story that you are not likely going to care.  In fact, some of the twists you may or may not see coming, but I would not go as far as saying you will end up being impressed in the end.

 

Overall:

I enjoyed the first Now You See Me.  It had flaws, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.  With its sequel now released, I enjoy it as much as the last one even with its glaring flaws.  However, it does lose a bit of its charm for me. The last one a heist movie, but also a bit of a mystery, whereas this is one is the same, but it is no longer mysterious.  It reminds me of the Sherlock Holmes movies starring Robert Downey, Jr.  The first movie is a mystery movie, while the second one is not.  These two movies parallel each other, because their sequels aim to be big, but got too big for its own good.  I still enjoy Now You See Me 2, but I get the feeling that it may not be as good as the first for everyone.  If you liked the first one, you will also like this one.  Just do not expect it to be a masterpiece.

5.5/10

Benz Eye View: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Pros:

1.) The movie gives more focus to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles instead of April O’Neil like they did in the last one.  It is called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for a reason.  At least, they learned their lesson there.

2.) The best part in the entire movie is the Brazil scene.  It has funny moments, tense action scenes (that reminds me of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception), and a CG mini-movie that works well on its own.

3.) There are plenty of fan service in this movie.  It has Bebop and Rocksteady, Casey Jones, Baxter Stockman, and Krang.  It really makes it look like it is going to be an actual TMNT movie.  How can they screw that up?…

 

Cons:

1.) …I will tell you how they screw it up: by making changes with these characters that not only insult what they actually are in the comics and cartoon shows, but also make them into something that might as well meant to be original, dumb characters.  The only ones that somewhat get away with the changes are Bebop and Rocksteady, and that is mainly due to one specific change that does not make sense, but I am willing to let it pass somewhat…

2.) …Speaking of things that are insulting, most of the things that happen have huge leaps in logic.  So many things are just REALLY stupid, and I cannot believe they manage to get away with it.  Logic takes a back-seat on how this movie operates.  Also, there is one big editing error I noticed: there is a fight scene with one powerful character against two other characters.  They did not even bother to show how the two characters beat the other.  How did they mess that up?

3.) While the CG is fine on its own, it does not exactly work when live actors are in place with them.  Also, I believe that there are frame rate issues, because there are times where the CG animation seem to be a bit static.  Someone really did not pay attention to those errors.

 

Overall:

I am a HUGE TMNT fan.  I grew up with the 2003 cartoon series, and loved it.  I have seen the 1987 cartoon series, and I appreciated it despite showing its age.  I have yet to see the 2012 version.  When it comes to movies, I am also a big fan of the 1990 and 2007 movies (it has been a while since I seen the 1991 and 1993 movies, so I cannot really form an opinion on them).  However, I am not a fan of the 2014 reboot movie.  To me, the changes they made on the TMNT were a disservice to what they are in the shows, original movies, and comics.  Now, a sequel has been released, and my feelings have not changed.  I just…I have no words on how insulting this movie is, not just as a TMNT fan, but also a moviegoer.  The writing, the directing, the animation, I cannot…*sigh*.  Do not watch it.  That is it.  Are there any good things about it other than the pros I mentioned?  Well, the theme song is cool.  It will not save the movie, but it is cool.

3/10

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Also, it is not a good sign when you unintentionally named your movie after a terrible video game.

Benz Eye View: Me Before You

Me_Before_You_(film)
Me Before You

Pros:

1.) When it comes to romantic films, they better do a great job to make me like the two main leads.  Fortunately, they did.  You understand what these two (and other characters) went through, and why they act the way they do.  Easy-to-follow characters are great-written characters…

2.) …Speaking of characters, the two main leads have fantastic romantic chemistry.  It is all thanks to the actors: Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin as Louisa Clark and Will Traynor.  These two play each other like good friends.  It starts off as bitter work partners (so-to-speak), to friends, to lovers.  Also, they both act very well (except Emilia Clarke in a crying scene).

 

Pro & Con:

I know this is strange, but hear me out.  However, I like to discuss its theme that contains slight spoilers for the film, so you have been warned.

SPOILERS

This film’s theme talks about euthanasia: assisted suicide.  I admire that it wants to talk about it, but it will no doubt cause controversy.  Some critics say that the film handled it poorly.  If you want to talk about a sensitive ethical matter in a movie, you have to do it right.  For me, there are things that work, and there are things that did not.  I will not discuss it here, and I will leave it to you to think about it if you see it.  Overall, it meant well, but the film needs to do it a bit better than what it did.

END SPOILERS

 

Cons:

1.) This is more towards me than anyone, but due to the thick British accents, I can barely understand what the characters are saying.  I apologize to anyone if this seems a bit offensive.

2.) The only character that I think is not only necessary, but also a two-dimensional character, is Louisa’s boyfriend, Patrick.  Makes you wonder: How in the world did Louisa end up with this guy?  He may not be one of those jerk boyfriends (he is an unintentional jerk that puts his goals first over his girlfriend), but the movie may be a bit better without him, and no one would notice.

 

Overall:

Me Before You is another romantic film that came out that is based a book by Jojo Moyes (who also wrote the screenplay for this film).  It is a film I surprisingly like.  However, the one thing that is a BIG deciding point for everyone is its handling of its theme.  For casual viewers, they may not care (unless they actually do have a problem with it).  For film people like me, they will debate on its proper use.  For the fans of the book, they will be satisfied on how it is presented on-screen (from what I have heard).  Keeping this in mind, the film may not gratify everyone.  If you ignore it, this is a great light-hearted romantic film, and I recommend it to anyone who is into romance.  Just keep in mind about its theme; it may influence what you think of this film in the end.

8/10