Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Best Movies of 2014

The end of the year is coming folks, which means one thing and one thing only: it's time to list 10 of the best movies I've seen this year.
As I already highlighted last year, picking movies demand me a really long thinking, it's a genuinely tough decision to make for someone as indecisive as I am. Hopefully I survived. So this year I come prepared. At the beginning of the year I thought I will keep a sheet of paper on which I would ad movies along the year in order not to forget any movie; so when time comes and here we are I wouldn't have to torture myself going back to all the movies I've seen all year.


Top 10

Sunday, 28 December 2014

28 Movies and TV Series to Look Forward to in 2015

What have in common Minions, Colin Firth as a very special agent, a superhero assemble, Jurassic World, Channing Tatum in space and Bradley Cooper embodying a US sniper for Clint Eastwood? Well... They'll all mark the beginning of yet another busy year of cinema.
Here's a list of films and series impossible to miss in 2015. Trailer. 

TOP 3 SERIES
    #1 House of Cards S3 and the Underwood's are back. Netflix announced via twitter the third season of the series premiere date, after teasing that President Underwood (finally!) and the first lady had an announcement. The entire next season of House of Cards will debut on Netflix on February 27, 2015.  
    #2 The Flash is Barry Allen, the fastest man live. In fact, he wakes up 9 months after he was struck by lightning and discovers that the bolt gave him the power of super speed. With his new team and powers, Barry becomes "The Flash" and fights crime in Central City. 
    #3 Agent Carter
After her first appearance in Cap 1 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier This series established itself when Peggy Carter became a S.H.I.E.L.D agent during WW2 after her boyfriend, Steve Rogers (i-e Captain America) is feared dead in an explosion.   

TOP 25 MOVIES
(Tales and Animated)
    #1 Into the Woods is dealing with a witch who tasks a childless baker and his wife with procuring magical items from classic fairy tales to reverse the curse put on their family tree.
    #2 Big Hero 6 has been released in November in US. That pop animated movie created a new kind of superhero. The movie evolves around the special bound that develops between pus-sized inflatable robot Baymax, and prodigy Hiro Hamada, who team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes.   
    #3 Minions was obvious, taking those adorable little cells of the Despicable Me saga to make a spin-off. This time Minions Stuart, Kevin and Bob are recruited by Scarlet Overkill, a super-villain, alongside her inventor husband Herb, hatches a plot to take over the world.   
    #4 Inside Out could be the new masterpiece of Up's director and last Pixar author. A film told from the perspective of the emotions inside the mind of a little girl. 
    #5 Cinderella is a live action retelling of the classic fairy tale about a servant step-daughter who wins the heart of a Prince. 
    #6 Pan narrates the story of an orphan who is spirited away to the magical Neverland. There, he finds both fun and dangers, and ultimately his destiny - to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan. 



(Blockbusters)
      #7 Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens is directed by J. J Abrams. After a year of rumours the first trailer gives us no answers and so many questions. I couldn't stop watching the trailer, I probably watched it 200 times. In the trailer we could see that this movie is obviously hugely inspired by the original source material without copying it still; it has this J. J Abrams style and finally the point of view of a fan making a Star Wars movie. Let's face it there'll be CGI. This teaser trailer is perfect as every single shot in this trailer teases, you don't know what is happening at all. It just shows you some cool shots and lets you think about it. This is my most anticipated movie of 2015 along with the newt movie on this list.  
    #8 Avengers: Age of Ultron settles when Tony Stark tries to jump start a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans. The movie teaser trailer looks AWESOME. I can't describe you how excited I am for this movie. It's going to bring Marvel Cinematic Universe on Earth to a whole new level. Not only do you know how many comic books fan are going to cry when Hulk will face Iron Man Hulk Buster armour?! But James Spader voice is a blessing; that's what I call perfection on every level. He's going to be a FANTASTIC villain, his voice combined with the special effects, he can be as good as Loki with human core emotion and Tom Hiddleston performance. Let's not forget about Darth Vader who is the most iconic villain of all time without even seeing his face. The only nerd-fear I have is Quicksilver. I hope he has a scene that's cooler than the one in X-Men: Days of Future Past  otherwise we are going to talk about Evan Peters performance as Quicksilver (which was pretty amazing) over and over again. That's it I'm in! I cannot wait to see that movie next may.



   #9 Jurassic World takes place 20 years after the events of Jurassic Park (1993), Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. after 10 years of operation and visitor rates declining, in order to fulfil a corporate mandate, a new attraction is created to re-spark visitor's interest, which backfires horribly. It stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and Judy Greer. Just by the trailer you can tell that it looks big and the special effects looks convincing enough. A little nostalgia arose when I heard John Williams hybrid melody which is the most beautiful score ever created for a movie. However, I don't really know, I'm a little sceptic about that movie. 
       #10 Spectre is the new 007 film going out November 6, 2015; in which a cryptic message from Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE. 



     #11 Insurgent is the second part of the Divergent series, following the event; Beatrice Prior must confront her inner demons and continue her fight against a powerful alliance which threatens to tear her society apart with the help from others on her side. 
     #12 In the Heart of the Sea directed by Ron Howard is retelling the Moby Dick classic story based on the 1820 event, a whaling ship is preyed upon by a sperm whale, stranding its crew at sea for 90 days, thousands of miles from home. 
     #13 Terminator Genisys is from what I've understand from the trailer a retelling of the first Terminator. In fact after finding himself in a new time-line, Kyle Reese teams up with John Connor's mother Sarah and an ageing Terminator to try and stop the one thing that the future fears, "Judgement Day". This movie is doing what J. J Abrams did with Star Trek: it's a sequel dealing with time travel, the time line has changed somehow and now it's kind of a reboot. It's a smart thing to do and I liked it for Star Trek as it worked very well so let's get this movie the benefit of the doubt. 
     #14 Kingsman: The Secret Service is directed by Matthew Vaughn, Colin Firth is the main attraction of the movie. He is a veteran secret agent who takes a young upstart under his wing. 
    #15 Furious 7 is the last part of the Fast and Furious saga, it is a farewell to Paul Walker as well. The movie is directed by James Wan and is following Deckard Shaw seeking revenge against Dominic Toretto and his family for the death of his brother. 
    #16 Tomorrowland comes from Walt Disney's concept implanted in his first park. In this film, bound by a share destiny, a teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory.
    #17 Birdman a film already released in US, is dealing with a washed up actor who once played an iconic superhero must overcome his ego and family trouble as he mounts a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim his past glory.
    #18 Jupiter Ascending is the new production of the Wachowski brother's, a mixture of Star Wars and The Matrix. The movie settles in the future, a young destitute human woman gets targeted for assassination by the Queen of the Universe, and begins her destiny to finish the Queen's reign.
    #19 Blackhat is directed by Michael Mann. Chris Hemsworth stars a man who is released from prison to help American and Chinese authorities pursue a mysterious cyber criminal. The dangerous search leads them from Chicago to Hong Kong.
    #20 Mad Max: Fury Road is an apocalyptic story set in the furthest reaches of our planet, in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and almost everyone is crazed fighting for the necessities of life. Within this world exist two rebels on the run who just might be able to restore order. There's Max, a man of action and a man of few words, who seeks peace of mind following loss of his wife and child in the after math of the chaos. And Furiosa, a woman of action and a woman who believes her path to survival may be achieved if she can make it across the desert back to her childhood homeland. 
    #21 Insidious: Chapter 3 is a prequel set before the haunting of the Lambert family that reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity.
(Love Story)
   #22 Fifty Shades of Grey follows success of the bestselling book written by E.L James which displays the story of literature student Anastasia Steele's life changes forever when she meets handsome, yet tormented, billionaire Christian Grey.
(Author) 
    #23 Big Eyes is directed by Tim Burton, it's a drama about the awakening of the painter Margaret Keane, her phenomenal success in the 1950's, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband, who claimed credit for her works in the 1960's.  
    #24 Inherent Vice takes place in 1970, drug fuelled Los Angles detective Larry "Doc" Sportello investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend. 



      #25 American Sniper is directed by Clint Eastwood, adapting Chris Kyle autobiography. A Navy SEAL sniper pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield and turns him into a legend. Back home to his wife and kids after four tours of duty, however, Chris finds that it is the war he can't leave behind. 


Friday, 26 December 2014

Exodus: Gods and Kings

The defiant leader Moses rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses, setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues. 


Exodus: Gods and kings is directed by Ridley Scott, stars Christian Bale as Moses and Joel Edgerton as Ramses. There are a lot of controversy around this movie. I really do love Ridley Scott. I have a huge respect for his work as he made some of the best sci-fie movies of all time and he continues to make a tone of films. First of all the opening battle sequence is spectacular and beautifully filmed. Everything from the ten plagues to the end of the Red Sea sequence is absolutely fantastic as well; though somethings in between are a bit hard to get through. Secondly, Joel Edgerton's character is good and he is a great actor, but not for that part; John Turturro stands out as an actor, he's almost comical. It's great to see Sigourney Weaver back in a Ridley Scott film even if she has like two lines so there's not much to be excited about. Plus, Ben Kingsley and Chistian Bale deliver really good performances. In fact Christian Bale ads a lot of emotion to Moses' character, as you can perfectly understand his family position and his life once he discovers about his youth. Moses is depicted differently than before as he really is human in this film and not this faithful unbreakable rock. However, it missed something about the brotherhood relationship between Moses and Ramses as they never really get to face each other till the end of the movie, we don't get to see their evolution. Finally, the last scene of the Red Sea is so well done, Ridley Scott genuinely knows epic and clearly understands how to show an awesome battle scene. The scope of this film is huge displaying a modern tale of Moses story in which Egypt never looked so big and grand; just like it should have been at that time.


Overall the entire film looks beautiful with great performances from leading actors, I loved the epic scope but it may be a bit too long.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Bilbo and Company are forced to engage in a war against an array of combatants and keep the terrifying Smaug from acquiring a kingdom of treasure and obliterating all of Middle-Earth. 


After fifteen years, five films and countless hours of onscreen magic depending on whether you were hardcore enough to sit through the extended editions and features of each films; Peter Jackson brings this journey to a close and to what now ranks as one of the most monumental work ever completed by a single filmmaker. It's also arguably his biggest challenge. Without wasting time on any kind of flashback or prologue, the film plunges right in where The Desolation of Smaug left off; It's like beginning The Empire Strike Back with Luke Skywalker blowing up the Death Star. Here opening with Smaug swooping down in a blaze of vengeance, while the panicked Lake Town locals disperse. It's an exciting sequence animated by a real sense of danger and by the nightmare figure of Smaug himself: one of the movie's most special effect, again voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch. Plus, we are launched into nearly an hour or arguing and reflecting as various armies get ready for war. This is an effective crescendo to battle and when the things do finally kick off, the fight worth the wait. The battle is endlessly inventive. From all corner of the land, and the frame, they come: dwarfs, elves, men, assorted forest creatures and orcs; all displaying numerous ingenious tactics to sustain pretty much every verse. In fact, Peter Jackson is able to give an intimacy to even the biggest, noisiest battle scenes. This final instalment of The Hobbit trilogy ties very well onto the last two films but also with the beginning of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It does feel like The Return of the King at times, when bodies are just flying everywhere and heads rolling all over the place. It is long and epic. The Battle of the Five Armies is the strongest, boldest film in this trilogy and provides just the send off that this series deserves. Peter Jackson knows when to punctuate the carnage with a gag or a tender moment as it's not focusing on the action and the battle itself. This film is rewarding all the characters built up over two and a bit movies, all f them flawed. With Martin Freeman ever-excellent Bilbo more of a player this time. Indeed some conversation between Bilbo and Thorin create the most interesting moment of the movie, as Bilbo has the Arkenstone and Thorin really wants it. It's starting to drive him mad, almost like Gollum towards the ring. This film feels psychologically weightier than the previous one, largely a credit to Richard Armitage who plays Thorin with the paranoid despotic rage of a Shakespearean King. Yet he never allows him to become a monster. Gandalf: Sir Ian McKellen, of course everybody knows he is awesome and knocks out the part. 


The Stage is set for other characters to stand out, such as Luke Evans, as Bard, a genuine leader and maybe the most human character ever in Middle-Earth; while Kili (starring Aidan Turner) and Tauriel's (Evangeline Lilly) romance is undeniably touching. At the end all of the key players are where they need to be. Wrapping things up with a suitably return to the Shire that effectively brings the saga full circle. It's hard not to marvel at Peter Jackson's facility with these characters and this world, which he seems to know as well as John Ford knew his Monument Valley. It's easier to see now that it stops the entire Hobbit project as a labour of love on Jackson's part, rather than a descent into the box-office opportunism. This film is a fitting cap to an extended series that, if nothing else, has transformed Tolkien's place in the wider culture. His books were once strictly for teen nerds (we've all been there), while The Battle of the Five Armies is just as enjoyable as each of the five movies that came before it. I'm part of these nerds and I've always been a huge fan of Tolkien's work. Much of the movie is not like the book at all but I was aware of if that going in: there are a tone of added characters. Purists have to deal with it I guess! The most important point is that Peter Jackson captured perfectly the tone of the source material he has adapted. If a filmmaker is able to capture the feels and tone of the source material then he has succeeded and Jackson's vision of Middle-Earth is as good as we'll ever see. Moreover, Howard Store contributes another dynamically present score, from gentle Celtic melodies to those sleek battle effects. Other tech contributions such as set designers, costumers, armourers and artists are one again delivering us the best that Hollywood dollars can buy. Ultimately it feels like a lovely and bittersweet ending but Bilbo realises as perhaps the fans did when we came to the first two meandering Hobbit films, that he can't really go home. The Battle of the Five Armies is definitely my favourite of The Hobbit trilogy. It starts to lead us tonally towards The Fellowship of the Ring which is as well probably my favourite of The Lord of the Rings and it starts to get heavier, more intense, to get deeper and the stakes get higher. We began this journey with a light hearted jovial story and we finish it with a lot more darker part. The result is at once the trilogy's most expeditious and also its darkest - both visually and tonally - movie. Finally, Peter Jackson has pulled it together in a way that makes me glad I took this journey. This is a world that feels fully realised, a place you can go, a tactile triumph in world building. It goes leaps and bounds beyond what most filmmakers would attempt, and if this is the end of Middle-Earth, then I a proud to have been here to see it. Either way his legacy is something that will live long into the future. 


Overall The Battle of the Five Armies is the final instalment of one of the greatest cinematic achievement of all time. Displaying a very cool opening scene, really awesome characters, amazing battle sequences and some really well built smaller moment between characters. It is a fitting end or should that be middle to this epic saga?!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Nightcrawler

When Lou Bloom, a driven man desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story. Aiding him in his effort is Nina, a TV-news veteran. 



Nightcrawler is written and directed by Dan Gilroy, it stars  Jake Gyllenhaal. A lot of people were buzzing about this movie and Jake Gyllenhaal's performance, then I read things about the screenplay and that is mainly why I was really looking forward to this film. Firstly, Jake Gyllenhaal gives probably the best performance of his entire career. He has blew my mind  earlier this year in Enemy and he's elevating the acting level one more time. Gyllenhaal is fantastic because he manages to make you forgive who he is and what he has done before: he embodies perfectly this character. His performance is honestly worth an Oscar nomination alongside with Matthew McConaughey as he has as well did such good choices in the last years with Zodiac and Prisoners for instance. Secondly, the screenplay is a real masterpiece; you cannot stop focusing on the dialogue scenes and the fact that the character is becoming this obsessed guy trying to capture the perfect crime on film and making money doing so by selling it to news channel. As you watch him and his obsession you can actually see his evolution, him turning into this psychopath. It's really interesting as you are trying to figure out how his brain is working, what he is thinking, you're even starting to root for him and want him to succeed even if he's the protagonist and the villain of his own movie, Bill Paxton's character is likable next to him. In fact, he's not the most likable guy ever but he intrigues you, you want to know where he goes, see how he gets to the next step and how he optimizes everything. Moreover, Nightcrawler is a very good looking movie. But the main point here, is the understandability of his obsession as you know where he's coming from and little by little you understand him as a person. It makes you questioned yourself and it made me crazy. That is also why his performance works so well and why the screenplay is so good, it focusses entirely on characters. Finally, this movie has also the most suspenseful finale I've seen all year; the last 20 minutes are absolutely brilliant.     


Overall Nightcrawler is an interesting and intense character based movie evolving around the underworld of the news, with a brilliant performance by Jake Gyllenhaal.  

Sunday, 23 November 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

When Katniss destroys the games, she goes to district 13 after District 12 is destroyed. She meets President Coin who convinces her to be the symbol of rebellion, while trying to save Peeta from the Capitol.



Producers are making money with the saga so why not split one book into two movies? Twilight did it, Harry Potter did it and The Hunger Games is doing it as well. I am not a huge fan of the first Hunger Games movie, but I loved Catching Fire. It was a very smooth and well directed movie by Francis Lawrence; who is taking over once again for MockingJay. At the end of Catching Fire you were literally burning to see Katniss and everyone go against the Capitol and kill them all. Actually I was pumped to see what will happen. Unfortunately, MockingJay Part 1 is just an extended trailer for Part 2, nothing interesting and relevant happen until the last 20 minutes of the movie. They are trying to stretch the events of one book into several movies but the thing is that even the tiny details are not that interesting and exciting to watch. This film deals with how you run a rebellion against an evil empire, giving endless political and motivational speeches, this on purpose to be filmed for propaganda. It's not enough to keep the viewers check in through the whole run time of the film. However, I liked the fact that this film takes The Hunger Games to another level as you have to think things through all this propaganda and point of views, the political intrigue is good. It approaches the story and The Hunger Games world from another angle, different from the first two movies. Nonetheless,  the shaky cam is back from the first movie and there is not much action aside this trailer scene where Katniss is shooting an arrow to a jet. Jennifer Lawrence is obviously a fantastic actress and gives a great performance once again but coming back to the first movie I don't see how Katniss' character grows, matures and learns anything. She is the exact same character she was in the last one and the one before. Consequently you don't get to catch the interest of the viewers with a main character, this added to a movie where nothing really happen, the viewers are checked out pretty quickly. In fact, all the performances are very good, the drama is very well done but the characters who are actually interesting don't get to do anything beside sitting around, talking and give speeches. For instance there is a really tense scene in which Gale, starring Liam Hemsworth, explains how District 12 has been destroyed and how he could have done something more to help people to survive. This scene is also dealing with his relationship with Katniss, and you get to see that Gale's character is really deep and interesting but in reality you don't care about him that much. Finally, in the last 20 minutes of the film I was relieved to watch the proper movie beginning and building tension for the big finale, but then, it ends.


Overall, MockingJay Part 1 is a well directed and good looking movie filled with potentially awesome things that never really reach the proper core of the film, nothing really mesmerising happen throughout the run time.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The Drop

Bob Saginowski finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood's past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living - no matter the cost.



The Drop is directed by Michael R.Roskam and stars James Gandolfini, Tom hardy and Noomi Rapace. I was really waiting for this movie to come out as I love Tom Hardy's work and it's unfortunately James Gandolfini last role. They are both fantastic in this movie. When you begin to realize where the story is heading and where the characters are going, at that moment you understand how brilliant this film is; even more when the movie is composing with a lot of talking scenes building the characters. Indeed the movie is taking its time with characters but there are good chemistry between the couples, wether it's between Gandolfini and Hardy or Hardy and Noomi Rapace, they all work well together. However, the movie is really long to set up the main plots. Some scenes may be unnecessary. The tension is actually picking up in the middle of the second act and when it does Tom Hardy is really stealing the movie, he literally explodes, I am impressed. 


Overall The Drop is good looking movie with vibrant colors and nice cinematography, excellent performances and a very special script.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Interstellar

A group of explorers make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage. 



Interstellar is directed by Christopher Nolan and stars Matthew MacConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Mackenzie Foy, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine and Casey Affleck among many others. Sometimes heartbreaking, time thrilling and occasionally a little complicated this film balances between themes such as black holes, theory of relativity, gravity, to the power of love and family bound. This is a very interesting movie and it may be Christopher Nolan's most ambitious work. Nolan has the ability to create beyond impressive worlds; whether it's in the vastest of space or the devastation of a small town. This film has some amazingly beautiful space imagery. The CGI is unbelievable, you barely even notice, it becomes part of the movie. Plus Hans Zimmer new score is once again brilliant, even a bit creepy. It makes you feel the intensity of the scenes with this huge organic music, just when you have to experience the right emotions. Interstellar is also a family drama made all the better by its cast. Among all the visuals Matthew MacConaughey is the anchor of the movie back down to earth and up in space. He's the father force who makes impossibly tough choice. 


He continues to impress me as an actor, he's been doing amazing work lately and this one is probably one of his best performance yet. He's terrific! I'm even tempted to write that his performance is PERFECT. It should probably get him a nomination. Mackenzie Foy and Jessica Chastain are both extremely effective as daughters left behind; and the rest of the supporting cast is also remarkably good. There's is these funny robots as well that I  did not expect at all. However, this movie is not perfect. It has some flaws, the script has some issues and some narrative structure problems. If there was not this father/daughter story, the movie would just be an epic space Odyssey with brilliant visuals. The story does not have a perfect flow, the space is changing, still I did not feel the almost three hours running time. Indeed, the last act is actually my favourite part and you can clearly feel that it's detached from the whole movie. This critic might be unusual coming from me because as you may have noticed from previous reviews: I like perfectly raped up endings. Nonetheless this ending seems too perfectly raped up. I was prepared for something like Inception, for an end with an emotional core a little more pronounced; the last ten minutes are too much. Finally, I feel like everyone will be disappointed as fans were waiting for another 2001: A Space Odyssey but it's really not. Nolan might be overreaching in what he had in mind for this movie. Some ideas work very well, some others don't really quite all translate to the screen. 


Overall Interstellar is an ambitious, very interesting and meticulously well directed film; with very good performances from all the cast. I loved the family drama dynamic, the space visuals and the relativity theory. On the other hand the narrative structure feels a little broken sometimes.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Chef

A chef who loses his restaurant job starts up a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while piecing back together his estranged family. 


Chef is written, directed by and starring Jon Favreau, along with a whole bunch of very talented people such as: John Leguizamo, Bobby Cannavale, Emjay Anthony, Scarlet Johansson, Dustin Hoffman, Sofia Vergara, Oliver Platt and Robert Downey Jr. Do you like food? Because food looks very good in this movie. It's a good movie, not only because I have an interest in cooking. I do love food and always liked to cook thanks to my mum mainly. It's a great comedy with what everyone calls "food-porn" and very good music. Chef displays people who really know what they're doing in a kitchen. It has an awesome way to make you feel as if you were in the kitchen, showing you what it's like to go to different places on this food truck, to experience different cultures, different music and of course the food. Plus, characters seem so real. Jon Favreau did an incredible job at capturing characters, dialogues, situations and scenes that did not feel set up or fake. In fact, dialogue flaws as if you were watching a documentary. The relationship between Favreau's character  and his son is very sweet and endearing. He also really surprised me as an actor, it's by far his best performance, he was simply great. John Laguizamo does a good job as a supporting character he ads a lot of comedy to the movie. Finally, people that Favreau brings from Iron Man movies were pretty good in their scenes as well. 


Overall Chef feels really good with awesome food that just make your mouth watering. Advice: go see it with a full stomach! Maybe the best film evolving around cooks that I've seen in a long time.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

The Giver

In a seemingly perfect community, without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice, a young boy is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the "real" world. 



The Giver is directed by Philip Noyce and stars Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites and Meryl Streep. It's based on a popular book written by Lois Lowry. Firstly the trailer doesn't do any justice to the movie. It's an interesting movie with a lot portion of captivating scenes. This film kept me captivated on characters and what was going on. The first act is a little bit boring though, as every character has no emotion and no singularity. Except for Jeff Bridges' character. In fact, the scenes where young Jonas visits the giver and they learn about the past are when the film really picked up and has actually some really beautiful themes going throughout. Though those themes are very heavy headed regards to biblical messages, apples, trees and search for knowledge whether you're trying to figure out what sin is or evil. However, Brenton Thwaites is an interesting young talent and very good in this film. Jeff Bridges is also fantastic, you can really tell that he is invested heart and soul in this project. He's the only character we can imagine a past life. Those type of movie characters are very interesting as you have to try to imagine their life beyond the movie. Still Meryl Streep doesn't ad much to the movie.  


Overall The Giver has some interesting themes but it's hard to keep the attention of the audience with aggressively boring character for the most part.   

The November Man

An ex-CIA operative is brought in on a very personal mission and finds himself pitted against his former pupil in a deadly game involving high level CIA officials and the Russian president-elect. 



The November Man is directed by Roger Donaldson and stars Pierce Brosnan as its title character. Roger Donaldson also directed The Bank Job (2008) which is one of Jason Statham' best movie. Let me tell you how excited I was when I heard that Pierce Brosnan was returning as a spy; A little bit nostalgic. This film is full of classic spy cliché such as, for instance, people walking away slow motion explosions and it doesn't seem to get started until half way through. However towards the third act the movie really showed itself and I was like: "Why didn't they do that from the beginning?" Unfortunately, the fact is that it's so terribly cliché since the beginning that when you see where things are going and certain puzzle pieces start to make sense, you are already checked out of the movie. Yet, Pierce Brosnan is great; he could play this role eyes closed. Olga Kurylenko is good as well, you grow some sympathy for her character and the movie takes on a completely different meaning when you realised certain things about her. Plus, I have to point out that women are over objectify and her character is only introduced when it's convenient for the man to have a bargaining girl which isn't as cool as it sounds. Brosnan's protegee starring Luke Bracey is pretty cool as well and I think this guy's got a future. This movie reminds me of two other movies released this years: 3 Days to Kill and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.  


Overall I think The November Man could have been a lot better thanks to a stronger writing and directing; it's good to see Pierce Brosnan back into the spy game. 

Thursday, 30 October 2014

John Wick

An ex-hitman comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him. 


John Wick is a new action movie starring Keanu Reeves, directed by David Leitch and Chad Stahelski. Since a little while I'm a huge fan of Keanu Reeves and I watched many of his interviews; he really seems to be a very cool and down to earth gentleman. I've heard and read many positive things about John Wick. It's one of the best action movie of the year and possibly Keanu Reeves' best performance since a long time. It doesn't arcane back to the 80's action movies ,actually it's an excellent 2014 action movie, no nostalgia required. Firstly, this film blew my mind and Keanu Reeves gives a lot of himself which is such a great thing to see. He is the perfect actor for the lead role. Everything he does is cool: driving, fighting, shooting and even speaking. All those things in general are what an action hero has to do in a good action movie. He is bad ass but also as he's retired for a certain time it makes him rusty enough to produce an interesting and tensional movie. Plus, John Wick is a slick looking movie, with fantastic action scenes and most importantly and surprisingly great dialogue scenes as well. The main villain of the movie starring Michael Nyqvist (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and Millenium) is absolutely terrific, Russians seems to always be the bad guys. In fact all the acting on this film is really good. 


I think it's actually Keanu Reeves' best film since The Matrix. Mainly because this film requires a lot of an actor, it's fantastic to see him properly doing the action scenes. He knows how to sell action; but I'm not only talking about physical work, he also has some very emotional scenes which involved a lot of anger and despair; he does a very great job with all of them. The screenplay is good, it's not only a revenge/ killing movie. There been a lot of action world creation, you learn a lot about these underworld war criminal. I completely understand why the hero goes on this bloody path. I have a dog. If anyone hurts my dog for any reason I'll do John Wick on them. Plus, the Club scene is the best scene of the whole movie, it reminds me of a club scene in Collateral which is crazy good action. However, the only flaw I could see in this film is the end; as my mum would say: the end seems a little bit forced up and a little bit put together really fast. That's it. Finally, John Wick also sets up ideas of sequel (not being forced like in The Maze Runner). You are able to see the character's evolution and the potential for a franchise along the movie. John Wick's the nicest guy ever just don't screw with him. 


Overall John Wick has incredible shoot out sequences, it's anon-stop action movie that actually has a clever script, a really awesome hero, a great villain (a few great villains actually). It does everything an action movie is supposed to do, it understands what its doing and does it extremely well. Go see this film!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Fury

April, 1945. As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy commands a Sherman tank and her five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Out-numbered, out-gunned, and with a rookie soldier thrust into their platoon, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.  


Fury is written and directed by David Heyre, stars Brad Pitt as the team leader, Logan Lerman, Shia Laboeuf, Michael Pena and Jen Bernthal. David Heyre is a very good director and writer but he has made some not so great movies in the past, I’m especially talking about Sabotage. This film displays another great Nazis killing performances by Brad Pitt, there’s this uncompromising composure about him. Logan Lerman is fantastic; he delivers his best performance yet, far from Percy Jackson and way better than Perks of Being a Wallflower. Shia Laboeuf is great as well. You see, I don’t really care about the press he had but as an actor he does a really good job in this film. He succeeds to prove that he is a good actor. Keep yourself out of the tabloids and I think you’re on your path. Plus the director has been able to create a sort of camaraderie that make you want to root for these guys, they feel like family. Fury is a well-shot standard WWII movie with locked down, fluid pictures, an interesting story and very good action sequences. In fact the action the action is extremely realistic, it does not seem fake at all, this thanks to amazing sound effects.  Plus tanks scenes are intense, you really feel like you’re actually part of the crew inside it with them. This film grasps the concept that war is ugly, there’s nothing heroic about it, there’s no medals. This is war, it’s all dirty and mainly no one wants to be there. Apparently sometimes to fight monsters you need ass holes. However, the movie doesn’t have enough substance around his characters though and is a little bit overstepping his boundaries with religious messages sometimes. 



Overall Fury is very well directed and entertaining movie, with very good performances all around and most importantly that displays his point very well: war is ugly and violent. This is an effective war movie.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Magic in the Moonlight

A romantic comedy about an Englishman brought in to the help unmask a possible swindle. Personal and professional complications ensue. 


Magic in the Moonlight is a film directed by Woody Allen and stars Emma Stone and Colin Firth. It is obviously a romance. I'm not entirely convinced by woody Allen since there are years he'll hit you with movies like Match Point or Midnight in Paris and then, years when you'll get You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger or Scoop. Nonetheless, this movie throw two very talented actors, in the middle of a quite boring story. In fact there is no tension until ten minutes left of the movie. As usual there are moments where the writing is very clever and seems fresh but they don't overcome the cliché moments though. this film fits perfectly the build of standard romantic comedy structure: guy meets girl, they do not get along very well at first as they're opposing, then they start to like each other and suddenly problems happen. In this case nothing really happens, I mean nothing really unpredictable. Colin Firth is very good as this very rude, very mean and hard to live with character. Plus, Emma Stone is really charming, lovely and beautiful; she is also very good. 


Overall Magic in the Moonlight as whole is watchable but very conventional; that I could see where the film was headed from the beginning. I am a little bit disappointed because everybody know that Woody Allen is a really talented writer.

Friday, 24 October 2014

The Judge

Big city lawyer Hank Palmer returns to his childhood home where his father, the town's judge, is suspected of murder. Hank sets out to discover the truth and, along the way, reconnects with his estranged family. 



The Judge is directed by David Dobkin and stars Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall. It's cool to see Robert Downey Jr. in a role that doesn't involves him putting an iron suit on. This man has talent, he actually is an excellent actor, I recommend to check out some of his movies from the 90's to early 2000. Of course Robert Duvall was in To Kill a Mockingbird, he's a fantastic and iconic actor since for ever. This movie is exciting. Firstly I'm impressed; not only this film is funny but it's also very interesting, an almost two and a half hours movie and you are never bored. That's what I called Cinema. Though, there is nothing original about the story but it does focus a lot on hi characters. Plus, Robert Downey Jr. is excellent in this film; he steels every scene he's in and that's pretty the whole movie. As I said before, it's good to see him again playing an adult male character other than Iron Man, he's great as Iron Man but this actor can do serious adult drama movies and killed it as well. It reminds me of Zodiac. It's also great to have Robert Duvall  back because for the past few years he was just a cool supporting actor showing up for few scenes and that's pretty much it; but here he's GOOD! Vincent D'Onofrio is terrific in the movie as well as Billy Bob Thornton who is the "bad" guy but he's just doing his job, he's underused. However, on the one hand there are some intense and powerful scenes between the two protagonists but in the other hand some are a bit cheesy and unrealistic. Everything involving the girl and her daughter in the movie could have been erased. It's evolving around this father and son emotion, you don't really need her. Vera Farmiga is a good actress but it won't miss something if they skip it,  I would even say that this is a little irrelevant to the overall plot. Finally, I feel like there weren't enough of the court room scenes, that are my favorite ones; they keep showing those a bit boring and useless family drama dynamic argument when the main plot take place around this super interesting case. 


Overall The Judge is an effective and well directed movie with performances that all are very good, the story is very interesting, showing family bonding and doing something good for the world as when you walk out of this movie, the only thing you want to do is call your father.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

When a kingpin threatens New York City, a news reporter find a quad of mutants which makes an alliance to unravel Shredder's plan as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. 


I've been hoping for a new live action Ninja Turtles movie since I've seen 1993 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie when I was younger. This new movie is directed by Michael Bay... Oh no sorry Jonathan Liebesman. If you grew up in the 90's you've heard of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles before, you probably play one of the game, watched the films or saw the cartoons; a slice of nostalgia from my childhood. If I'm honest I'd tell you that I didn't want to go see this movie at first, but I did it anyway and as I was expecting: it's not really that good. They turned TMNT into a Michael Bay movie! Children are going to love it! this film look like a Bay movie so bad that I wouldn't have been surprised to see Optimus Prime rolling around and fighting. Plus, this movie's storytelling is very bad and it relies too much on the fact that you watched Ninja Turtles before like Raphael's monologue in which he explains how he's a dick sometimes. Moreover, the iconic villain: Shredder is a total fail, he doesn't have a shrink of personality. Megan Fox is functional, at least more functional I thought she will be. Finally, the turtles were the only thing that quite works for me. They did embody the Ninja Turtles pretty well with their singular personalities. A lot of skills is put in the turtle's ninja moves, regards to this it's vivid and super fluid; but as per usual it's this way because they are entirely digitally created shots. Whenever there's not an action scene that does not involve 100% digital effects: it's BAD. The ending is the exact same ending as The Amazing Spider Man 2 , if you've seen that film... I'm not going to spoil. 


Overall, children will have fun watching TMNT but if you require a good villain, good characterisation and good supporting characters: it's not this movie. OR if you enjoyed The Transformers films you'll probably like this movie which include a shred of clever film making and a whole bunch of special effects throwing to your face.