Posts Tagged ‘Action’

“Pacific Rim” Review: Does Less With More

Posted by    |    July 17th, 2013 at 11:32 am

Guillermo del Toro’s newest summer blockbuster, Pacific Rim, delivers exactly what it advertises, but not much more. This film is a roller coaster of action as building-sized monsters (a mix between Godzilla and dinosaurs) battle it out with giant, transformers-style robotic machines piloted by humans. Pacific Rim is entertaining with spectacular special effects and techniques but features stock, cliché characters, a mediocre plot, and feels extremely small scale compared to the large size of action and devastation presented.

Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, and company in Pacific Rim

Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, and company in Pacific Rim

When monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, begin to rise from a portal to another dimension deep in the ocean, a war breaks out, consuming millions of lives, humanity’s resources, and causing the destruction of multiple major cities. To stop these monsters, the nations of the world come together to create unique weapons called Jaegers, which are gigantic robots controlled by two pilots whose minds are connected to each other and the robot through a “neural bridge” that allows the robot to mimic the pilots’ movements. Whilst nearing defeat and with no other options, the militaries resort to seeking assistance from a burnt-out ex-pilot, Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam), and a mysterious, inexperienced rookie, Mako (Rinko Kikuchi), to pilot a famed Jaeger. With help from another Jaeger, these heroes do their best to put an end to the Kaiju and seal the connection between the two dimensions. (more…)

“White House Down” Review: Unimpressively Entertaining

Posted by    |    June 28th, 2013 at 3:59 pm

I recently attended a screening of Roland Emmerich’s (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow) newest project, White House Down, and I was expectantly unimpressed. In short, it’s an under-performing, over-the-top, dramatic action-flick, but with a refreshing balance of humor and action. The only things White House Down delivers on is weak, unrealistic action and cheap thrills, but at the end of the day, it is a simple crowd pleaser.

Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx in White House Down

Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx in White House Down

While visiting the White House for a secret service interview, Capitol Policemen, John Cale (Channing Tatum) and his daughter, Emily (Joey King), end up on a White House tour at the same time the White House falls under attack. When a heavily armed military group overtakes the complex, Cale must save the president, his daughter, and ultimately the country. White House Down begins already feeling mediocre, but quickly escalates to unrealistic action sequences, weak special effects, and a gap-filled storyline. (more…)

“World War Z” Review: The Zombie Trend Continues

Posted by    |    June 21st, 2013 at 11:16 am

In recent years, audiences have seen a trend in entertainment involving zombies, which has spawned zombie-filled films and TV shows. Most of these creative presentations involve the spread of a disease, epidemic, or infection of the human race, causing those infected to turn into dead, mindless creatures wondering around and attacking those left alive.  In Brad Pitt’s newest film, World War Z, this trend has been taken to the next level as a zombie pandemic has broken out on a global scale, toppling armies and governments, and threatening human existence.

Picture of Brad Pitt in World War Z. Courtesy of Google Images

Picture of Brad Pitt in World War Z. Courtesy of Google Images

When a disease breaks out in the world and begins to create hordes of “zombies”, former United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt) is recruited to try and find a solution. As a former crisis management specialist, Lane quickly battles through the unknown to try and save the world and most of all, his wife and kids. World War Z is an entertaining, decent film with a structured story, character driven plot, and contains large-scale, intense action and special effects. This film clearly delivers with a multitude of thrilling scares, is intelligently executed, and is the kind of terrifying, riveting, real-world depiction that really makes you think, what if this happened to me? (more…)

“Man of Steel” Movie Review: Welcome to the Club!

Posted by    |    June 14th, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Man of Steel, the latest reboot in a series of large, blockbuster reinventions, completely knocks it out of the park, telling the origins of Superman and recreating a popular comic book hero. From Zach Snyder, David Goyer, and Christopher Nolan, Man of Steel has absolutely everything Superman fans could ask for and so much more. The quality of this film is so good that there is no doubt this franchise will go in the same direction as Nolan’s “Batman” series or the vast collection of recent Marvel films (Iron Man, The Avengers, Thor, Captain America, etc.).

Courtesy of WB Pictures

Courtesy of WB Pictures

Man of Steel starts fresh and offers a unique, darker interpretation of the Superman story. When a far away planet known as Krypton is facing extinction and destruction, one of the planet’s scientists, Jor-El, sends his baby son Kal-El to Earth along with a piece of Krypton in hopes of someday creating a new planet. When a small town couple finds the crashed alien ship in Kansas, they take in the baby and raise him as their own. Given the Earth name, Clark Kent, Clark struggles to fit in and adapt to superhuman special abilities. After some time on Earth, Clark finds an abandoned alien ship buried in the ice and activates the ship’s systems, alerting a group of military prisoners from Krypton who have managed to escape their planet’s destruction. Once the prisoners locate Clark on Earth, the audience sees the aftermath of an alien invasion and discovers whether or not the human race will accept Clark as one of their own. Meanwhile, Clark must make his own decision whether to save Earth or help the prisoners destroy the planet to recreate Krypton. (more…)

Star Trek Into Darkness Review: Nonstop Action-Adventure

Posted by    |    May 24th, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Star Trek Into Darkness is an explosive, action-packed, sci-fi thriller filled with aliens, spaceships, intergalactic war, combat, and a nonstop space adventure. From director J.J. Abrams, Star Trek Into Darkness is a great film for Stark Trek fans or anyone who appreciates the sci-fi fantasy genre, and includes everything and more than its predecessor, Star Trek (2009). Star Trek Into Darkness features a complex, highly intelligent story with stunning visuals, further character development, friendship, honor, loss, loyalty, and sacrifice.

Courtesy of Google Images

Courtesy of Google Images

Star Trek Into Darkness opens with immediate action as the crew of the USS Enterprise find themselves trying to save a nearby planet from a volcano. Although violating several space-military rules, the crew escapes from the planet unharmed and stops the volcano just in time. After the Enterprise returns home, they find themselves in the midst of a great terror as an unstoppable force from inside their organization attacks the fleet with a bomb. Failing to capture this fugitive, Captain Kirk (Pine) and his crew embark on a manhunt to a space war-zone to capture this new threat. Lives are lost, relationships are challenged, and sacrifices are made as the Enterprise crew does everything they can to stop their villain in a combat-heavy space adventure. (more…)

Iron Man 3 Review: Tony Stark is Back in Action

Posted by    |    May 13th, 2013 at 10:57 pm

The latest release of Walt Disney and Marvel Studios’ Iron Man 3 marks the third installment in the Iron Man/Tony Stark saga. Like any fantasy film, audiences must suspend their belief of traditional reality. Similar to previous Marvel films, Iron Man 3 has a lot of intense action, special effects, and ingenuity combined with superhuman abilities. Based on previous and current box office numbers, Marvel knows what they’re doing.

Iron Man 3 continues the long list of large-scale, superhero/comic book, fantasy blockbuster films from Marvel, including past films such as Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and The Avengers, and future films like Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Avengers 2, and more. Iron Man 3 does a great job of making the audience feel like they are in the right place and time following the events of The Avengers. This film is also the first of the Iron Man series available in 3D, creating a darker and different experience than before.

Courtesy of Google Images

Courtesy of Google Images

Iron Man 3 takes place after the events of The Avengers, with New York City recovering from the aftermath of an alien invasion and the departure of the rest of the superheroes as they’ve gone back to their respective homes or planets. The film begins with Tony Stark (Downey Jr.) speaking to the audience and quickly flashing back to Stark’s younger party years, where he overlooked several people eager for his attention. Tony has no idea that these relationships will someday come back to haunt him. The audience is then taken back to present day, where Stark is tinkering in his workshop.

Soon after these events, a new threat presents itself to humanity: the Mandarin (played by the hilarious Ben Kingsley), who seems hell-bent on seeing man suffer and surrender as he carries out a series of terrorist attacks. At first, Stark is too preoccupied to interfere, but when his friend, Happy Hogan (Favreau), is caught in one of the Mandarin’s attacks, Iron Man must suit up to save the day. Stark quickly sends a public message to the Mandarin, including an invitation to come to Stark’s mansion along with his address, and the events that follow send Tony on a journey of rebuilding and retribution.

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“Trance” Movie Review: Leaves Your Head Spinning

Posted by    |    April 18th, 2013 at 2:46 pm

The new Danny Boyle film, Tranceis about a fine art auctioneer, Simon, played by James McAvoy, who teams up with a gang in order to steal an expensive painting, but after suffering a blow to the head, forgets where he hid the painting. As a result, the gang’s leader, Frank (Vincent Cassel), hires a hypnotherapist, Elizabeth Lamb (Rosario Dawson) to look into Simon’s mind. As Simon’s mind begins to unravel, it is soon very unclear who is good or bad, who is lying, and what is real.

Courtesy of Google Images

Courtesy of Google Images

Trance is reminiscent of Inception or the recent film, Side Effects, in the way that it’s filled with very complex, in depth content, with many twists and levels to uncover. The film utilizes flashbacks/forwards, filling in pieces like a puzzle until everything ultimately comes together. Trance is a film that makes you think. It demands your attention; without it you will quickly be lost. The hypnotherapy is very interesting, and it seemed to work well within the film. However, we quickly learn how manipulative and deceiving Dawson’s therapist can be.

Courtesy of Google Images

Courtesy of Google Images

The unique look captured in Trance is in keeping with a Boyle film (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, 28 Days Later, and Trainspotting). The film is very violent, with a lot of blood, gore, and multiple shocking scenes that can make you feel as though you’re the one being tortured. There is also a significant amount of nudity and sexual content. (more…)

Jack the Giant Slayer Review: Jack and the Beanstalk Re-imagined

Posted by    |    March 4th, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Jack the Giant Slayer, now in theaters, is an entertaining, special effect-filled, teenage action film.  Starring Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Eleanor Tomlinson, and Ian McShane, Jack the Giant Slayer takes a familiar story and creates a unique perspective of the fairy tales, Jack and the Beanstalk and Jack the Giant Killer.  In this reboot of the folk tales, the movie features just about anything one would remember from the original story, specifically the character of Jack, a beanstalk, magic beans, and the classic phrase, “Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum”.  Directed by Bryan Singer (X-Men), Jack the Giant Slayer takes the audience on a magical journey filled with a combination of humans and computer-generated characters and effects.

Courtesy of Google Images

Courtesy of Google Images

Jack the Giant Slayer begins in a time long after a war has taken place between humans and giants, the latter living high in the clouds after the only connection between their two worlds, a large beanstalk, is cut down to prevent further destruction.  After a bag of magic beans ends up in the wrong hands, a massive beanstalk once again grows from the Earth.  In the midst of the bedlam, the princess (Tomlinson) of the realm becomes trapped in a small house, which is taken up into the clouds by the beanstalk.  Jack (Hoult), a poor farmer, along with the king’s (McShane) best guards and the princess’s future husband, Lord Roderick (Tucci), climb the beanstalk in search of the missing princess.  When one of the lords discovers a crown that will control the giants, he decides to take matters into his own hands, and all chaos erupts.  Jack is left to try and rescue the princess who he has fallen in love with, and the king must do everything he can to prevent the giants from coming down to earth, even if it means cutting down the beanstalk and leaving his daughter in the clouds.  Jack the Giant Slayer is a clever take on the Jack and the Beanstalk stories for the 21st century. (more…)

“The Last Stand” Movie Review: Is Arnold Back?

Posted by    |    January 24th, 2013 at 10:36 am

After taking off several years from acting to pursue a career in politics, Arnold Schwarzenegger once again stars in a feature film, The Last Stand, along with Johnny Knoxville, Forest Whitaker, Luis Guzman, and Peter Stormare.  Aside from minor roles in The Expendables and The Expendables 2, The Last Stand is Schwarzenegger’s first film since being the Governor of California.  Although his character acknowledges his age in the film and plays up his “experienced” role, Schwarzenegger is a much older person, and it definitely shows.  However, even at the age of 65, the Govenator still kicks ass in The Last Stand as if he had never stopped doing action films.

Courtesy of Google Images

Courtesy of Google Images

Schwarzenegger plays the role of Ray Owens, a sheriff of a small border town, who has recently left the LAPD narcotics division for a more quiet life in Sommerton Junction.  When a Mexican drug lord escapes police custody and heads for the border, he sets his sights on this unlikely, small, peaceful town as his crossing point into Mexico, leaving the FBI in the dust and no choice but for Sheriff Owens and company to try and stop him.  The Last Stand shows what a small group of people can do with a little bit of experience, the right motivation, and no choice but to defend their town from crime and destruction. (more…)

Zero Dark Thirty Review: A True Story to Define a Decade

Posted by    |    January 11th, 2013 at 11:25 pm

Courtesy of Google Images

Courtesy of Google Images

Oscar nominated Zero Dark Thirty is a thrilling tale of the hunt for Osama bin Laden.  Starring Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, and Kyle Chandler, this film tells the story of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader, Osama bin Laden and his death at the hands of US Navy S.E.A.L. Team 6 in May 2011.  From director Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), Zero Dark Thirty is a nail-biting, true account of these events, which makes the audience nervous and even a bit scared at times, but in a good way.

Called by some “the story of history’s greatest manhunt for the world’s most dangerous man,” Zero Dark Thirty is filled with jaw-dropping torture scenes, elaborate military missions, and fascinating government analysis, which ultimately led to the death of Osama bin Laden.  Jessica Chastain’s portrayal of a CIA officer is remarkable, and the supporting cast makes for a very captivating film.  Although being fairly accurate on most accounts, there has been considerable controversy over the depiction of a pro-torture stance by the U.S. as well as the suggestion that we allegedly obtained improper access to classified materials. (more…)