Average User Score: 7.2Dec 21, 2014Is this as good as the Lord of the Rings? No. But its as close as the Hobbit films could possibly come. Unlike the first 2 films which hadIs this as good as the Lord of the Rings? No. But its as close as the Hobbit films could possibly come. Unlike the first 2 films which had whole subplots that were filler and bad filler at that, this is at least one whole movie. And while not perfect, it does do middle earth some justice.
The good. The acting by character leads. There is a scene where Legolas is fighting some orcish spawn, and you just know minus the CG its probably all green tennis balls. But he makes it feel convincing.
The scenery is beautiful. The mine. The town they move into. The world feels real and material.
There are some things I'd like to complain about. It seems like there is one scene in each film of the hobbit trilogy which is required to defy all belief. Such as the "dwarf barrel roll" of the last film. This film has that too. Not to spoil anything, but there is a tower and a falling staircase reminiscent of early Nintendo games. Also the film is a bit excessive (to the point of ridiculous) on the animals. I'm thinking the war "hog," the bats, and of course the bunny sled makes a return.
All in all. You know exactly what you are getting into watching this movie. And its a good bridge between the Hobbit films and LOTR… Expand
Average User Score: 8.0Dec 2, 2014As an adult I went in to this movie with some hesitation. It being one of those "meh" weekends at the theater and a friend really wanting toAs an adult I went in to this movie with some hesitation. It being one of those "meh" weekends at the theater and a friend really wanting to see something. Well I was pleasantly surprised. The plot of this film is not overly complex, it being aimed at children. But despite being simple it is very effective. The film has a lot of heart and likable characters and a good balance of pacing.
The robot which seems the joke character in the trailer actually plays a pivotal roll and is not just a running gag. And the city featured in this film a hybrid of San Francisco and Tokyo is clever and balanced. It is almost a character of its own. Overall an enjoyable film.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.2Sep 29, 2014I am a big fan of the books by John le Carre. Having read the book going into this movie it was interesting, knowing a large part of what wasI am a big fan of the books by John le Carre. Having read the book going into this movie it was interesting, knowing a large part of what was going on to watch it all play out. The person I was with had not read the book. They got lost. And its easy to understand why. A lot of films these days spoon feed major plot points and throw in a reminder every 2 minutes anyway. Not this movie. However they could have done a better job adding context to key things. Like why the banker goes out on a limb for Issa. Or why the protagonists boss/competitors choose to burn him at the end. All it would take is a 30 second "news clip." These were things I would not have been able to follow if I hadn't read the book. The cinematography also had a style that is a bit sloppy. Often I found myself looking for something of meaning in the background which the camera spent so much time dwelling on. Mostly there was none to be had.
Philip Seymour Hoffman gives an excellent performance. He looks awful. You can tell his real life drug issues are taking their toll. But it completely suits the character.
Willem Dafoe gives an unusually nice and likable performance.
All in all its a good movie that could have been a great movie. I place that clearly on the director. Though they gave it their best shot.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.6Sep 29, 2014This is a film that has obviously hitched its wagon to the "young adult dystopian fiction is cool right now" wagon and gone for a ride. It isThis is a film that has obviously hitched its wagon to the "young adult dystopian fiction is cool right now" wagon and gone for a ride. It is a film based on a book. I haven't read the book but I could tell they must have cut a lot out.
The premise is good. Lord of the flies meets rats in a maze. In the film they do a good job with the maze. It feels large and alive and menacing. Its almost a character of its own. In terms of personal interplay between characters its all cut short. Which reduces the emotional impact of it all really.
My biggest criticism. Many times in the film you are waiting for the "why" to fall into place. You are stuck with the protagonist knowing very little of whats going on or why, being stuck in the maze. But in the end you aren't much better off. Its one of those "wait for the sequel" endings. Except based on how good this film was, I probably won't.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.6Sep 3, 2014If you like spy movies, this is a spy movie. Because all the spy movie cliches are there. Basically its like a James Bond film. Except withoutIf you like spy movies, this is a spy movie. Because all the spy movie cliches are there. Basically its like a James Bond film. Except without the gadgets. Or most of the charisma. And not so many exotic locations. And simpler action sequences. OK its nothing like a James Bond film. Its more like a Bourne film, if the main character lost most of their skills and aged 20 years.
It is well executed, that is to say I'm sure this film is the best it could be with the plot they had. Its well put together but in the end its an amusing but forgettable flick.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.6Aug 25, 2014If you weren't a fan of the original Sin City, you won't like this one either. If you were a fan you may come off a bit disappointed. As aIf you weren't a fan of the original Sin City, you won't like this one either. If you were a fan you may come off a bit disappointed. As a sequel there is more unnecessary gore, nudity, and over the top "graphic novel" style. Unfortunately this came at the expense of things like "heart" and "cohesive storytelling." The story of Nancy (played by Jessica Alba) coming unhinged is the closest the story comes to having a sympathetic character. There were some interesting cinematic flourishes but in general they were under-done or poorly utilized.
Perhaps if they'd tried to tell fewer stories we as an audience would have gotten more invested in them. Or maybe if the stories were tied together in some meaningful way instead of being seemingly random. Instead we get a story so focused on its neo-noir world that the characters end up flat. I wanted to root for Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the mysterious gambler, but his character was so generic that when (Big spoiler omitted) happened I had no sympathy for him at all. It seemed the logical outcome.
All in all this film is an alright flick. Certainly there is much worse out there.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.6Aug 17, 2014Guardians of the Galaxy is the best new movie I've seen all summer. The space battle scenes put 2 of the last 3 star wars films to shame. IGuardians of the Galaxy is the best new movie I've seen all summer. The space battle scenes put 2 of the last 3 star wars films to shame. I know CG has come a long way in a short amount of time, but you gaze at these alien civilizations and they are fully rendered and just make sense. The plot is not ultra complex, but it doesn't need to be. The characters are interesting. Even Groot, with the one phrase he can say. I thought that would get tired quick but surprisingly it doesn't.
My biggest criticism of this film is Karen Gillan's relatively small part. It would have been cool to see more with her character. More fight scenes or initiative from her.
This is not one of those films where a perfect protagonist easily saves the day. This is a film about a bunch of flawed characters making something more than they are. It is a very humorous film, but surprisingly it has heart too. And action. Lots and lots of action. It strikes a good balance. If I had to rank the marvel films from best to worst this one would easily come in top third.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.9Jul 27, 2014THEY BLEW ALL THEIR A MATERIAL ON THE TRAILER. I saw this movie hoping for more of the trailer. Except drawn out, like a whole move. TheTHEY BLEW ALL THEIR A MATERIAL ON THE TRAILER. I saw this movie hoping for more of the trailer. Except drawn out, like a whole move. The scenes you see in the trailer are in the movie. And longer. But the important part of each scene you saw in the trailer.
The premise, though deeply flawed could have been a fun thought experiment at least. Instead of what they do with it.
The good: Scarlett Johansson, about 10 minutes worth of footage that will make a great screensaver. (beauty in nature, universe pretty, cg pretty etc.)
The bad: Scarlett Johansson's acting. She acts for the first 25 minutes, then when she is playing an enlightened being she displays as much emotion as a computer. Which itself is a feat. So few actors can manage so deadpan they could be in a coma. Unfortunately its a detriment to this film. Then there is the french cop who isn't as stunned as he should be. And Morgan Freeman as the worlds dumbest smart person, complete with a stock audience so impressed by that tripe they must be on a day trip from the school for the mentally challenged.
Morgan Freeman is basically phoning it in for this move, and he is the only remotely sympathetic character.
Do not pay to see this one in theaters. Wait for it on netflix, it will be there soon.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.2Jul 7, 2014Terri Gilliam has a unique vision that he brings to all his films. Having seen Brazil after 12 monkeys and Fear and Loathing this was notTerri Gilliam has a unique vision that he brings to all his films. Having seen Brazil after 12 monkeys and Fear and Loathing this was not unexpected. However both those films are relatively simple and straightforward compared to this one. Everything about this film adds up eventually. But along the way a lot of things seem strange and out of place. This helps add to the atmosphere of a capitalist bureaucracy run amok. Indeed some of the simplest things make for the most disturbing of scenes. Whether its a truck driving between two walls of advertisements, unable to see beyond. Or the occasional double take scene where the main protagonists nightmares are gradually stepping into reality. Or the simple yes/no decision maker present people give each other everything about this film it some way relates to a different concept or theme than the one that is being shown at the time. It is a terrifying vision to be sure. Masterfully executed.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.1Jun 19, 2014Its hard to explain this film. Oh wait. Not really. 2/3 of the funny gags are in the trailer and its got a really simple plot. There are a lotIts hard to explain this film. Oh wait. Not really. 2/3 of the funny gags are in the trailer and its got a really simple plot. There are a lot more gags. They just aren't funny. The most impressive part of this films is the A list talent Seth MacFarlane somehow got on board. That Charlize Theron could play her roll straight, and make you believe sparks were flying between her and Seth MacFarlane is a testament to her acting. Even though Liam Neeson and Neil Patrick Harris have smaller rolls, they slam them out of the ballpark without much effort.
The background scenery is beautiful, and they did a top notch job with the old west sets. Similarly the CG isn't overly ambitious but is very effective for a handful of scenes.
Really this film is like an episode of family guy. Problem is its a bad one. Too many forced tongue in cheek jokes to not enough honest humor. And a bit of racism. The moment that went off the deep end for me is when Seth did a 4th wall moment to explain a really crude joke that wasn't funny to begin with.
If you believe there are no bad family guy episodes this is the movie for you. If not there are 2 decent cameos I'm sure will pop up on youtube soon enough.… Expand