Average User Score: 7.0Aug 8, 2013picked up the latest Science-Fiction epic Oblivion. Sometimes I get a little worried buying a movie sight unseen but this time it certainlypicked up the latest Science-Fiction epic Oblivion. Sometimes I get a little worried buying a movie sight unseen but this time it certainly did not disappoint! The movie stars Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman and was directed by Joseph Kosinski and based on his graphic novel of the same name. The movie is one of the apocalyptic films which displays the planet earth after it has been destroyed by aliens.
I have decided this will be a spoiler free review because I think this is a movie you really need to see for yourself and to see it unfold before you. I will give a basic synopsis of the plot. It is the year 2077, 60 years after earth was invaded by aliens. Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) and his partner Victoria "Vika" Owen, played by the beautiful Andrea Riseborough, are the only ones on after the invasion and they are there to repair drones that are fighting off the residual alien resistance. The surviving inhabitants of earth are living on Titan one of the moons of Saturn. Harper meets up with Malcolm Beech a resistance fighter played by the legendary Morgan Freeman (one of my very favorite actors) and he also begins to have flash backs to a time he was with a woman on the Empire State Building prior to the alien invasion. Things begin to unravel and we begin to see that appearances can be deceptive.
Pros: The cinematography and special effects are stellar. This movie is great eye candy but you do not get an overdose of it. The acting is great and two of my favorites, Cruise and Freeman, are in this film and do a fine job. This is my first time seeing Andrea Riseborough and I enjoyed her performance. She portrays a sense of vulnerability while also wanting to stay in denial concerning the things Jack is discovering. I do like the story. Some of the criticisms I have read that there are plot elements that we have seen in other movies. While I can agree with that assessment, I can also see that this is common in Hollywood movies. I am fine with movies that may have similar plot elements to other movies as long as it is executed well and that is the case with this movie. I also enjoy the story. The movie mixes romance, mystery and action adventure into a tale that will keep the viewer engaged and caring about all the characters throughout. Despite great special effects this is a very character driven movie.
Cons: I really have only one minor complaint. Director Kosinski wanted this movie to be an homage to the science fiction films of the 70s and in many way he succeeds in that endeavor. The movie is paced more like a film from the 70s and it is slower than the more kinetic pacing we modern viewers and grown accustomed to. Is that a fault of the directors or is it a fault of the viewer? I will place blame on myself. We live in a fast paced mircowave society that wants instant gratification. So it was hard to slow down and get absorbed into the story. I just wasn't used to it. So really this is not a con, it is just something that the viewer needs to be aware of when going in to the movie. It is an old-fashioned movie and as I think more on the pacing, it really does work even though some viewers might not be used to it.
This movie does have some good re watch capabilities for me. As a mystery there are clues throughout the movie and on more than one viewing you can pick up on these clues. In an era where science fiction films are heavy with CGI and are like cotton candy for the mind, this one is not. It will make you think and keep you on your toes.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.7Jun 13, 2013Directed by Ishirō Honda and featuring the special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya, Gojira starred Akira Takarada, Momoko Kōchi, Akihiko Hirata andDirected by Ishirō Honda and featuring the special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya, Gojira starred Akira Takarada, Momoko Kōchi, Akihiko Hirata and Takashi Shimura. It was an instant box office smash in Japan. Although many elements are similar to the American version the structure of the story is different. The film begins with the mysterious destruction of a couple of ships near Odo Island. When people come to investigate the occurrences they experience some type of attack at night during the height of a hurricane. Then the scientists arrive to study Odo island where they encounter a giant reptilian monster standing over the hill roaring at them before fleeing to the ocean.
The story also revolves around the human characters, such as the lead scientist Archeologist Kyohei Yamane, his daughter Emiko, who is engaged to her father’s colleague, Daisuke Serizawa, but is in love with a salvage ship captain, Hideto Ogata. A core scene and plot point of the movie is the break up of Emiko and Serizawa. Before she can break off her engagement to Dr. Serizawa he shares with Emiko his secret weapon he invented, a device which can destroy oxygen in water. After witnessing the horror and the destruction that this device can do to living things Serizawa has Emiko swear to reveal his secret to no one.
Amidst these interpersonal relationships Godzilla begins to attack Tokyo and with each attack being more destructive than the last. Emiko is overcome with grief as she views the destruction Godzilla has brought to her city and nation. She also nurses a her wounded boyfriend, Ogata, who survived Godzilla’s rampage. With the government unable to defeat Godzilla and fearing more death and carnage Emiko betrays Dr. Serizawa and reveals his secret of the Oxygen Destroyer. At first Serizawa refuses to use his weapon. After being convinced of the wisdom of using the weapon Serizawa burns the research papers.
The Japanese Navy brings Ogata and Serizawa to Tokyo Bay to use the weapon to destroy Godzilla. Once the weapon is deployed and Godzilla writhes in agony and is dieing Serizawa cuts the chord to his oxygen tank to sacrifice himself so that the secret of his weapon dies with him. Emiko and Ogata witness the demise of both Serizawa and Godzilla yet there is no comfort in their victory due to the loss of Serizawa coupled with the awareness that the atomic age has released forces that may strike again.
For myself both the original Japanese version and the adapted American version are equally good movies. There is a somberness to the tone of the film and an urgency along with despair and helplessness that would never be repeated in the franchise again. As Godzilla evolved into a more child friendly franchise Toho studios did not attempt to recreate the seriousness of this first film for many years. Once they did try to a more serious attempts at a Godzilla movie in the late 80s and beyond they could never achieve the the same mood and tone this one set. One of the reasons, in my opinion, that the later movies failed to recreate the same mood is that all Godzilla movies has Godzilla fighting another monster (except the 1984 reboot) and those rampages by the big guy seem more motivated toward defeating a threat by another monster than Godzilla being a threat himself. In the original movie Godzilla was something mankind had brought upon himself and was reaping what he sowed. That was not the message in these later films. I also think the black and white cinematography and the distinctive musical score by Akira Ifukube also helped set the mood. When Toho begins to make Godzilla movies once again, or if the planned American movie gets made, I hope they take lessons from the one that started it all.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.2Jun 13, 2013As a person that really enjoyed the 2010 Clash of the Titans remake, I was eager to see the sequel, the Wrath of the Titans. I was notAs a person that really enjoyed the 2010 Clash of the Titans remake, I was eager to see the sequel, the Wrath of the Titans. I was not disappointed. In some areas it surpasses the original. The special effects are absolutely stunning. The creatures and monsters that Perseus does battle with are rendered with breath taking photo realism This self professed CGI junkie is very happy to be living in an age when the special effects have reached this quality.
Similar to Clash of the Titans the move has an uncomplicated straight forward story. It is also more of an action adventure tale than the first one. At the start of the movie we find Perseus living the quiet life with his young son. His wife, Io, has passed away. One day Zeus appears to Perseus saying he needs his help as the power of the gods weakens through man's disbelief. Perseus refuses until hell breaks loose and Zeus is captured by Hades and Zeus's son Ares who is jealous of the way his father has favored Perseus. With the help from Queen Andromeda and others Persues embarks on an epic quest to the mountain of Tartarus where Zeus's father, the Titan Kronos, has been entombed and where Zeus is being held and drained of his power.
This movie also had a bit more comic relief and humor than the original and this makes it a more lighthearted, fun and entertaining experience. The acting is fine and the all-star cast brings an otherwise straight B movie up a notch or two in quality. Movies like the 2010 remake and this sequel remind me of the 50s golden era of science fiction, fantasy and sword and sandals movies. Those were all B grade moves but still a lot of fun. So I view the Titans franchise in the same light and as long as they're enjoyable like this then I say bring on part 3!… Expand
Average User Score: 7.3Jun 13, 2013I really enjoy these types of movies. At their heart movies such as Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time are supposed to be fun and adventureI really enjoy these types of movies. At their heart movies such as Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time are supposed to be fun and adventure filled escapist entertainment. This is where the movie succeeds. First of all the movie is a visual palette of wondrous colors, scenery, architecture, costumes and characters that transports the viewer to another place and time. Secondly the story has all the right elements from heroism, bravery, treachery, betrayal, familial love and loyalty along with romance and laughter. Thirdly the story is epic in scope but intimate in its execution.
Based on a video game, which I have never seen, the story follows the adventure of Dastan a Prince of Persia, splendidly portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal, who had been adopted by the king as a peasant living in poverty on the streets. Raised along with his adopted brothers Dastan leads his brothers and their armies to capture the city of Alamut where he meets the city's beautiful princess Tamina, portrayed by the enchanting and stunning, Gemma Arterton, and he comes in possession of a mysterious dagger with time traveling abilities. That is the gist of the story and I will not go into great detail on the finer points of the story.
The movie is a fantasy and it is fun and enjoyable. If you enjoy fun, adventure filled fantasy epics the Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a great popcorn munching movie to escape into for a while. It will be time well spent.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.0Jun 13, 2013The movie was given to me as a gift for Father's Day and I was a little nervous wondering if I would really like it. I thought I would like itThe movie was given to me as a gift for Father's Day and I was a little nervous wondering if I would really like it. I thought I would like it after seeing all of the trailers for the movies and many people online who said they liked it have enjoyed the movie for the same reasons I thought I would. They said it was a fun adventure that had some great special effects. However, it received mixed reviews upon release and it did not do well at the box office. After viewing it I have to say I really liked it!
I am not going to go into great detail about the movie but I will say what I did and didn't like about the movie. In the beginning there is a short prolog that tells the story of the conflicts between the civilizations on Mars, known as Barsoom to the natives. I wish that part was just a little clearer because for a while it was confusing for me to understand who was who and what was going on. I also think the early part of the movie before John Carter arrives on Mars could have fleshed out his character a little better. However, once you are on Mars and the confusion clears up the movie is very enjoyable with good character development with both John Carter and Dejah Thoris, a Princess of Mars who must enter into an arranged marriage in order to resolve the global conflicts. When John Carter arrives on Mars he is captured by a very tall green skinned multi-limb race of humanoids called Tharks. This warrior tribe eventually assists John Carter in his aid to save Dejah Thoris. John Carter's character development is an essential part of the story as his motivation goes from wanting to leave Mars and return to Earth to falling in love with Dejah Thoris and wanting to rescue her and resolve the planet's civil discord.
I found as the movie goes along it gets better and better and really becomes an exciting action and adventure movie. I don't want to put too many spoilers in my review but the movie did hit a slight snag for me toward the end. Spoiler alert for the next part if you haven't seen the film: When John Carter gets transported back to earth against his will, his journey to return to Mars seems rushed. It also resolves some of the confusion form the opening of the movie, which is in reality setting up the ending. Its not that this part of the movie was bad, it wasn't, its just that coming so late in the movie the pace of it seems hurried.
I wanted to make a comment about leading actor Taylor Kitsch as John Carter. There have been some complaints that he has been miscast because he doesn't portray a larger than life persona one would want in a warrior hero. To some extent that is true. His screen presence is not the best. Yet in the framework of the film it works. He is supposed to be just an average guy that is placed in extraordinary circumstances. When John Carter defeats the Giant white gorillas and Tal Hajus you finally see the larger than life warrior emerge. As I stated that is later in the film. All in all Taylor Kitsch is fine for the role of John Carter.
Although I really enjoyed the movie it does have some flaws, which all movies do, and I do not think that it is bad at all. The saddest part for me is that the ending sets us up for a sequel and the movie really cries for one but with the poor performance at the box office we will probably never see one.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.0Jun 13, 2013I love Westerns and I love Science Fiction and movies from both genres that are fun. Conceptually this is a great idea mixing the genres asI love Westerns and I love Science Fiction and movies from both genres that are fun. Conceptually this is a great idea mixing the genres as they have done. My initial review is that it begins very well, sags in the middle, then picks up in the final few acts.
The special effects are very well done. I really enjoy the design of the aliens. They are menacing and threatening with no regard for human life. The acting is very well done. Both Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig offer believable characters that are not one dimensional. Both men are tough, full of pride and though they are on different sides of the issue at the start of the movie it is not so easy to distinguish the typical western good guy from the bad guy. The plot is creative and they way typical adversaries in western movies all come together to battle the aliens flows well into the story and is not forced and artificial.
Once the aliens arrive and the back story of Daniel Craig's character is explored is when the movie begins to sag. Other things also happen that slows down the pacing of the movie. One event is the revelation of another alien which is used to explain the motive of the invading aliens. I think they could have found another way for exposition and it would have quicken the pacing. The other reason the middle of the movie sags is that many scenes take place in the dark and it is difficult to view what was happening. I wish movie makers would lighten night scenes just a bit so we the viewer could see a bit more of what is going on.
The final confrontation with the aliens is when the movie come back to life and returns to the pacing and quality story telling that it began with. Although a bit uneven all in all the movie does deliver an exciting, fun and gritty combination of the two genres.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.5Jun 13, 2013Reviews were mixed for Green Lantern although all the trailers I viewed indicated that it would be a movie that I would thoroughly enjoy. AndReviews were mixed for Green Lantern although all the trailers I viewed indicated that it would be a movie that I would thoroughly enjoy. And I was right. From beginning to end Green Lantern is a special effects extravaganza and an entertaining origin story. I generally do not care for origin stories because being familiar with a superhero character means I already know the story and would rather see something new. With Green Lantern we really have the best of both worlds. The movie does not delay in placing the ring of power on the finger of Hal Jordan. From there we watch as Hal struggles to meet the burden placed upon him while the Earth is threatened by Parallax one of the Guardians of Oa that has turned evil.
There is good character development with Hal who is depicted as being a womanizing and brash pilot to a responsible superhero. The CGI is top notch and the depiction of Oa, the guardians and many of the other aliens that are a part of the intergalactic Green Lantern Corps rivals the special effects seen in the more recent Star Wars prequels. The relationship between Hal and Dr. Hector Hammond, who is infected with the yellow power of Parallax, could have been better fleshed out and brought to more depth. The same could be said with Hal's relationship with Carol Farris. There seems to be little justification for the affection between the two given the characterization of their earlier antagonism toward one another.
Parallax has a habit of easily defeating the other Green Lanterns in the Corps and after the Guardians of Oa refuse to help him, with the encouragement of Sinestro a future supervillian, Hal faces the Corps most notorious villain alone. I won't give away the ending and although origin stories can be predictable, as this one certainly is, the story is told in a manner which is exciting and entertaining. I am unabashedly a CGI junkie and this movie delivers on that account. Therefore combined with a story that is pretty riveting despite its predictability along with great eye candy The Green Lantern is a good introduction for this underdog and little known superhero.… Expand
Average User Score: 3.3Jun 13, 2013I think this movie, and all movies generally, need to be viewed in their own context. So in the example of Skyline it is a science fictionI think this movie, and all movies generally, need to be viewed in their own context. So in the example of Skyline it is a science fiction movie which plays like a B movie reminiscent from the 50s of that genre. The difference is that 1950s B sci-fi movies had cheap special effects. The special effects are pretty top notch in this film and the story is suspenseful with an easy to follow and understandable plot. We don't know who these aliens are but we do learn why they are here.
The acting is up to standard for this type of film. Although there are no Academy award winning performances in this film the acting is authentic and believable for people under the type of emotional stress these characters are experiencing. The film centers around one apartment complex and when I had heard that I thought that would be a limiting experience. But it is not. It adds to the tension of the movie and gives the viewer a sense of claustrophobia.
The ending of the movie surely sets up a sequel and I hope there is one to this film. It is a fun mindless action oriented science fiction film from the alien invasion genre.… Expand
Average User Score: 4.9Jun 13, 2013Comparisons with the 1981 original are inevitable. I see this new version of the Clash of the Titans as more of a reimagining of the storyComparisons with the 1981 original are inevitable. I see this new version of the Clash of the Titans as more of a reimagining of the story than a remake of the original. This leaves us with two completely different stories that are each outstanding in their own right. Although the story is pretty straight forward it is told as an epic quest that the demigod Perseus experiences as he wrestles with his identity while battling fierce giant scorpions, the three witches, the Gorgon, Medusa, and the condemned Calibos culminating in a final showdown with the giant and terrifying Kraken, mythic sea creature set loose by the gods to destroy the city of Argos and the beautiful Andromeda who is being sacrificed to assuage the wrath of the gods. The motive for this epic quest is that the humans have rebelled against the gods and after killing Perseus' earthly family Hades has used the human rebellion as a means to defeat his brother Zeus to become King of the gods but he must also contend with a vengeful Perseus.
Liam Neeson was an excellent choice as Zeus with his booming voice and commanding presence and Ralph Fiennes does a spectacular job as the deliciously evil Hades, king of the Underworld. Sam Worthington also does an excellent job as the hero Perseus whom he portrays as a smoldering angry warrior forced into circumstances beyond his control as he comes to terms with who he is. The special effects of the movie are equally spectacular and top notch and as a lover of giant monsters this version of the behemoth Kraken of the deep is worth the price of admission. I just wish he would have had more screen time. As an epic action adventure movie the Clash of the Titans delivers 2 hours of enjoyable fun and exciting entertainment.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.2Jun 13, 2013I grew up on Godzilla movies of the 60s and 70s and I have always enjoyed movies like this. I was also someone who followed Cloverfield'sI grew up on Godzilla movies of the 60s and 70s and I have always enjoyed movies like this. I was also someone who followed Cloverfield's viral marketing campaign being caught up in the excitement which the first teaser trailer delivered. Although I have a few complaints about a couple aspects of the movie; for me the movie more than lived up to the hype and JJ Abrams and Matt Reeves delivered a movie that was a terrifying thrill ride.
I understand that the way the movie was filmed was a deal breaker for some people. For me there were times when I did think the shakiness was a bit too much but for the majority of the film the camera technique faded into the background and I was able to enjoy the movie. Being a lover of giant creature features the other slight disappointment was in the length of time the monster was seen in the movie. I say it's a slight disappointment because I do think that seeing only glimpses of the monster throughout the movie did help create that sense of fear of the unknown and the suspense of what may happen at any minute. But I don't think showing the monster a little more than they did would not have hurt. Also a consolation is the fact that creature designer Neville Paige designed a giant monster that was frightening, very original and innovative.
Much has been said about the plot so I will not rehash it here. I did like the acting and the time in the beginning of the movie getting to know our characters was well spent. For me they were characters which I grew to care about. TJ Miller's character of Hud and his unrequited crush on Marlena provides for some humorous moments of comic relief throughout the film. But the main relationship driving the plot of the movie is Rob who finds the courage to face a monster head on in his pursuit to rescue Beth the girl he's afraid to commit to. All in all Cloverfield is a fun, thrilling and entertaining movie that hopefully has brought a sense of real fright and terror to a genre of films that had long since lost its ability to frighten.… Expand