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The Lone Ranger wasn’t bad! Well, let me clarify, it wasn’t that good either. A literal 3/5 for myself- right down the middle. It had its moments, and those moments were DAMN good. This film’s 3rd act is actually pretty damn great. Everything else, not so much. Also, I liked an aspect of the movie that everyone seems to be… incredibly angered by. So yes… fuck me. Here’s my review!
The Lone Ranger is a spotty film at best, but it is nowhere near completely terrible. Parts of it work, and work well. Surprisingly enough, Johnny Depp’s presence, as uncomfortable as it may understandably make you feel in its implications, actually works and entertains well enough in a more personal way. Sure, it’s another one of his quirky characters, but the guy sells it really well. As well, Gore Verbinski’s direction in terms of visual and physical comedy, as expected, is in top form, and the man can still sell an action sequence very well. Otherwise, the film doesn’t feel so fresh as far as its story, and main character go. Armie Hammer’s performance is fine, but what he’s given is quite weak, and is inconsistent with his progression as a character. The plot does not benefit from familiarity, as its screenwriters seem to have used development checkpoints without actually developing in between them. The world never stands out enough to be that unique, and though there are some interesting characters going around, much like Depp’s Tonto, they aren’t so much at the forefront as they really could be. The overall film feels like a ride through genuine ups and downs, with the final product’s quality being found smack dab in the middle. Its highs are enjoyable, and its lows are truly tedious, so while it isn’t the best action thriller on the market, you can for damn sure do much worse than it.
White House Down is fucking great fun, my friends. It’d be a good way to spend the 4th, or just time at the movies in general. If you’re like me and don’t have too much interest in this week’s releases and can’t find a theater showing The Way Way Back tomorrow, go ahead and check this out! It didn’t have a strong opening at the box office, and that’s strange, because I feel like it totally deserves some love. Here’s my review!
White House Down does not have a new way of looking at summer action films and the popcorn genre, but in turn, it’s the epitome of what makes these flicks so much fun. Roland Emmerich’s grand approach to destruction and chaos is found in economic, yet flashy check. The director is at his best here, better than he has been in a while. He and screenwriter James Vanderbilt play with heightened excitement and patriotism in a celebratory fashion, and while it’s aware of how ridiculous it is, it’s never ironic. The film presents its entertaining aspects in taking its world and situation seriously, which allows its more humorous aspects, thanks to its great cast and script, to really shine. It’s smartly written and performed, and never oversteps its self-awareness and goofy edge. With that, White House Down succeeds at being one of the best of its kind, and a definite worthwhile time at the movies if you see it for what it is- easy, breezy fun.
The Bling Ring is endlessly fascinating, as I’m sure many of you know. For all of its weird decisions, it’s quite good, and in certain cases, brilliant. Here’s my review!
The Bling Ring is character study in its purest form. I like to think of it as if it were an exhibition at a museum, or an insulting way, a zoo. Director Sofia Coppola never really takes a negative or positive stance on her protagonists in this film, though really does observe them in various ways. Flashiness and frenetic filmmaking comes with filling a mood that we need to connect or disconnect with for the characters we’re following, though a majority of the film is fairly objective. This allows her subjects reveal their true and false selves on their own volition through action. Whether you like them or hate them really is up to you, and brings up a good point of separating character from film quality, or even the connection between the two. I suppose the overall consensus is that the subjects of The Bling Ring are absolutely loathsome, almost to a point of parody, but the film never delves into mockery. To that point, it never proves these kids wrong other than when the law comes in, purely on a justice level. It’s not reliant on being a morality tale, and instead makes for one of the most fascinating and brutally honest character studies about a specific generation and mindset that has come to life in quite some time.
Here’s my review for Monsters University! Yay!
Pixar’s trek into sequel territory in recent years has produced some mixed reactions, though regardless of consensus, it seems like they’re not going to stop for anyone. Monsters University, thankfully, is a much better follow-up to a well-beloved Pixar franchise than Cars 2 was, and capitalizes upon Monsters Inc.’s universe in a satisfying way. Coming back to these characters felt refreshing, and seeing more of their world pays off as a welcome venture. It’s a funny film, and it executes college comedy tropes in their own unique ways, though often it feels unnecessarily restrained, and a little too simple for its own good. On the other hand, the film delivers upon Pixar’s consistent promise for sweet, honest lessons to be learned in true, fluid fashion. It tackles some interesting themes, and manages to avoid derivative hack while expressing its life ideals. Monsters University is a clearly fun, heartfelt film. It isn’t groundbreaking by Pixar standards, but it keeps the filmmakers and audience on their toes.
I am over the moon for Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s directorial debut, and here is why.
If you’ve ever tried to write something deliberately funny, you’ve probably had a moment where an idea came to mind that is so insane or ridiculous, and it breaks logic or just doesn’t make any damn sense. You laugh at this idea, and yet shrug it aside as a humorous thought. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s This Is The End is crafted off of these kinds of ideas, and thrives as a strong comedy, of which you rarely see, but highly celebrate when it comes around. The meta-conceptual, apocalyptic comedy is written and directed by the duo, who utilizes fun, intelligent style, and has way too much fun with the small but strong cast at hand. These main 6 actors are so at the top of their game throughout the film and never let up on the humor and delicious chemistry at play. It’s enrapturing how well these guys work together, and deliver upon a concept that steers far away from getting tired quickly. Really, This Is The End overall exceeds expectations at every corner it turns, and is exhaustingly funny and impressive. All tones and styles at hand mesh together with ease and left me absolutely giddy. The film packs an audacious punch and doesn’t settle for anything less than unexpected or just pure fun.
I liked After Earth. Read as I scramble through a highly unpopular opinion and try to describe the merit I found in M. Night Shyamalan’s recent film.
No, seriously, I dug it.
Okay, this should be interesting.
Should I feel shame for liking After Earth? The vanity project for Will and Jaden Smith, directed by M. Night Shyamalan is garnering great amounts hate, and isn’t succeeding entirely at the box office, so it seems like a well warranted failure and reception of a failure of a film. People consider it a lazy, thrown together film, and many even consider it a “disaster” of sorts. On paper, I can absolutely see where people get the hatred from, though I feel like it was all predetermined and without any open mindedness to approaching the film. Now I’m not going to say After Earth is a great film, or that it deserves mass amounts of praise. What I will say is that based on watching it with fingers crossed and an interested mind, I found some merit to After Earth, despite all of the set up basically working against it. I feel like there was a hearty amount of effort given into making this film, which works with a sense of earnestness. It’s far from perfect, but it’s a simple sci-fi venture about survival, with a stilted father/son relationship at its core. This isn’t groundbreaking cinema, or even the best work by all involved, but for what it is, I found it to be quite enjoyable and commendable.
The Kings of Summer is a really cool, sweet movie, and it gets coming of age comedy done right, in a stylish, fun way. I highly recommend checking it out as it comes to more and more theaters soon enough, but for now, here’s my review!
The Kings of Summer is a movie that exercises in feeling, in a way that most movies of its kind would rarely approach. It’s a coming of age comedy that tells its tale in a bold way that’s often unconventional for its kind, and it benefits from being unique in its vision and execution, thanks to a strong directorial eye and performances that grab you and never let go. These fantastic, concerted efforts make for not only an entertaining, well-made comedy, but also a truthfully heartfelt film that, of its kind, you just don’t see that often. It’s a special film that exceeds the expectations of its genre and makes something even stronger and greater that audiences should be lauding for quite some time.
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