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Average User Score: 7.5Nov 14, 2013This looks like a (similar) job for Superman! Look, up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Super… Excuse me. For a big budget motionThis looks like a (similar) job for Superman! Look, up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Super… Excuse me. For a big budget motion picture remake of perhaps the most recognizable comic book superhero Man of Steel is a tamely run-of-the-mill effort. It is generic blockbuster personified, and is a bleak, characterless, lacklustre, uninspiring, disjointed and overly rigid entry in an intermittent franchise, which ironically struggles to take off. What's the "S" stand for? Well in my world it stands for Super-Serious as opposed to Superman. Never before has a superhero been so unwilling to express any discernible passion for their cause, simply maintaining an impassive poker face the whole time. The fate of mankind hangs in the balance, Superman to the rescue! Screams excitement right; however, Zack Snyder has somehow turned this tried and tested premise into a dreary, rather monotonous exploit, even if the visuals and set pieces verge on stunning; more dull and lifeless than dark and gritty. Henry Cavill is cool, calm and collected as Superman; however, he comes across overly reserved and emotionless far too often. Cavills' steely resolve is rarely visibly tested even if the goings-on impart otherwise, rendering his portrayal of Superman a tad difficult to adhere to on a humanistic level. In addition to this, he appears sound in the fabled suit but his rendering of the celebrated superhero comes across too deliberate and noticeably premeditated, although he does find his feet towards the end when the movie is given a much-needed shot of adrenaline. Man of Steel lacks fluidity, it is apportioned with often brisk and abrupt scene changes, and provides an unkempt collation and abstract composition of extracts and gestures to scenes from other movies. It is also complacent on character introduction, being naive in thinking we all know about the characters enough to not have to shed too much light on them; notably a lackadaisical introduction to Lois Lane and her backstory, further marred by a romance kindled out of thin air. All in all, Man of Steel supplies a moderately attention-grabbing experience, albeit unhurried and void of any palpable sentiment. In addition, it does not break any new ground and sets an overstatedly grim-faced tone that future installments in the notoriously up-and-down series that has experienced its fair share of highs and lows in the past will have to address if they are to garner the widespread approval of the audience.
Maybe somebody should have gave Superman's cape a tug and told him you're doing it wrong.
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Average User Score: 7.8May 19, 2013Inundated with aesthetically breath-taking visuals, bolstered with a clever narrative though bordering on the convoluted, ameliorated by anInundated with aesthetically breath-taking visuals, bolstered with a clever narrative though bordering on the convoluted, ameliorated by an inspired take on an iconic Starfleet adversary, and seasoned with a measure of treachery, deceit and duplicity, Star Trek Into Darkness is blockbuster entertainment on the grandest scale. Undaunted by the runaway success of its predecessor, it boldly sores into the stratosphere as a revitalized intergalactic colossus transcending the modern day science fiction genre. On its Vulcan side, Star Trek Into Darkness is an intelligently scripted, sophisticated and shrewd specimen. On its human side it is frequently tempestuous, regularly humorous and every so often affectionate, it spectacles the conflict of human emotions in the most turbulent of times. Furthermore, beset with nostalgia soaked token nods and references to Star Trek’s of old, teeming with witty dialogue, and awash with exhilarating action, J.J. Abrams’ second enterprising effort in the celebrated series has plenty to satisfy obstinate Trekkies and casual moviegoers alike.
Star Trek Into Darkness is a science fiction action-adventure movie co-produced and directed by J.J. Abrams. It is the twelfth feature-length film entry in the Star Trek franchise and the sequel to Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek reboot, based on the Star Trek science fiction entertainment franchise created and established by Gene Roddenberry in the mid-1960s. It commences with the U.S.S. Enterprise and its plucky crew whose exploratory voyage has steered them in the direction of a primitive civilization on the fictional-Class M planet Nibiru. When Starfleet’s General Order number 1, the Prime Directive is infringed the impetuous yet cunning Captain James T. Kirk is summoned back to Earth where he is reduced in rank from captain to first officer under Admiral Christopher Pike’s command who reoccupies control of the Enterprise. Simultaneously, an unrelenting and inexorable former Starfleet Commander, Jon Harrison has instigated and launched an attack on a top-secret Starfleet installation on Earth. When Starfleet’s high-ranking officers’ lives are put in jeopardy at the hands of Harrison, Kirk with personal retribution on his agenda re-assumes captaincy of the Enterprise, and he and his crew embark on a mission of vengeance behind enemy lines to seize a supposed former comrade who’s appetite for devastation knows no bounds. As the Enterprise and its crew are catapulted into darkness at warp speed, it soon becomes apparent that everything is not as it seems; a far-reaching web of deceit and duplicity is untangled leading to an epic showdown where allegiances will be brought into question and sacrifices will have to be made.
Reprising his role from Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek is Chris Pine, who uniform to his previous outing provides a stellar performance as James T. Kirk, the courageous, self-assured captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise renowned for his many female exploits and his end justifies the means view on Starfleet orders. His portrayal of the fabled Captain Kirk is akin to that of William Shatner in his finest hour. Also reprising his role from Star Trek Into Darkness’ predecessor is Zachary Quinto as Kirk’s notorious cohort aboard the Enterprise, the unyielding, super-intelligent half-Vulcan half-human Spock. Quintos’ portrayal of Spock is exemplary, markedly and strikingly similar to that of Leonard Nimoy, the original Mister Spock otherwise known as Spock Prime. His “unintentionally” condescending normative judgement afforded for any of Kirk’s dubious commands and his golden lecture like recitals of Starfleet directive are first-class. In consort with his razor-sharp retorts packed full of wit and his exemplification of emotional discovery, Quinto provides the movies stand-out performance amongst other remarkable character interpretations including that provided by Benedict Cumberbatch who plays the films main antagonist, the malevolent and genetically advanced former Starfleet Commander Jon Harrison. Cumberbatch is suitably menacing and articulates Harrison’s dialogue in an especially chilling manner. In addition to this, his animated facial expressions and piercing stares mould an ominous character that translates on-screen to a believable and genuine threat to Starfleet and to the Enterprise. Karl Urban returning as Leonard “Bones” McCoy with his cranky nostalgic wisecracks and gags is great, and Zoe Saldana reprising her character of Uhura is particularly good in her intimate scenes with Quinto/Spock, which divulge the plights in their strained relationship.
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Average User Score: 6.5May 15, 2013After marveling at the cinematic brilliance of The Avengers last year, this year’s first Marvel release fell incredibly short of anythingAfter marveling at the cinematic brilliance of The Avengers last year, this year’s first Marvel release fell incredibly short of anything close to marvelous. Iron Man 3 like much of the glorified suit of armour in the movie is a clanking hollow shell lacking any real body or substance. It sorely suffers from the titanic box office juggernaut Marvel’s The Avengers proved to be and evoked overwhelming feelings of underwhelming disappointment and disenchantment upon its culmination. Damaged by a nonsensical antagonist swerve and a superhero over-utilizing his new remote play feature amidst inexcusable plot holes, aimless disjointed sub-plots, farfetched role reversals and a sense of going through the motions, this Iron Man installment is nothing short of filler, used as a catalyst to fuel the next phase in the ongoing Avengers (revenue) machine.
Robert Downey Jr. reprising his role as the brash billionaire playboy industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man is at his sardonic best, however, much of the dialogue Downey Jr. professes throughout the film seems on the verge of stand-up comedy rather than the empowering words of a man-made superhero. Also reprising her role as Pepper Potts is Gwyneth Paltrow, her performance though solid is plagued with an implausible narrative for her character, and the camaraderie between her and Downey Jr. seems forced at times. Ben Kingsley’s portrayal of credulous Tony Slattery otherwise known as the Mandarin is good for what it is, and Don Cheadle as the Iron Patriot formerly the War Machine got lost in the narrative somewhat but nevertheless provided a satisfactory performance for the parts and dialogue he was given. On a more positive note, Guy Pearce provided a stellar performance as the unstable scientist Aldrich Killian, a rivaling industrialist to Tony Stark with an underlying resentment for his fledging genius counterpart. Nonetheless, despite a couple of passable performances, notably those of Downey Jr. and Pearce, Iron Man 3 was sorely lacking character portrayals worthy of the audience’s time investment.
Shane Black takes over the helm of the Iron Man film series from Jon Favreau after his lackluster Iron Man 2 and teams up with Robert Downey Jr. who he last worked with on Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. In hindsight perhaps Iron Man 3 could have been renamed to suit its premise more; Remote Control Iron Man, maybe Pepper Man, possibly even Avengers Hangover, these would all suffice, but How a Rich Man Copes with Seeing Aliens seems to fit best. Too much of Tony Stark’s vulnerability was exposed in this movie which diminished the character we have all warmed to, the exuberant larger-than-life billionaire playboy/superhero. By divulging Stark’s susceptibility to the strains of life to the extent it has in Iron Man 3 it makes it a lot easier to understand if he were to finally hang up his proverbial boots for good; not a good thing for a superhero film series with unfinished business. In addition to this, there is an underlying disconnect from the outset much like Stark with his beloved iron suit(s) in a significant proportion of this movie, by opting for the sympathy vote it is apparent Black has alienated viewers such as myself who want to see a superhero at the height of their powers overcome evil. By the end the very thing that ties Tony Stark to Iron Man is away with the wind, which is ironically where big-budget filmmaking intelligence went when this movie was produced. Here’s hoping the remaining parts of the Avengers machine have not depreciated like its iron core has evidently done.
Even the post-credits sequence connected to the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe seemed needless and afforded nothing to entice in terms of reasons to be eager to want to watch the forthcoming Avengers movie or the next entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise. However, ironically the ending cameo encapsulated the essence of the entire Iron Man 3 movie, a psychiatric evaluation of a perturbed superhero.
On the contrary, Iron Man 3 is not a categorical disaster; it packed in enough explosive action and vivacious backdrops into a lengthy 2 hour 15 minute running time to at least be aesthetically pleasing to the viewer. Although when you look behind the niceties there is not much to write home about.
Nevertheless, Iron Man 3 is a frantic overblown popcorn flick that lacks any real conviction and can be only described as a damp squib. Like all superhero movies, the superhero is only as good as it’s adversary, and in this case the adversary was not worthy. As a stand-alone franchise it’s clearly demonstrable that it is suffering, as part of an even bigger picture, Iron Man’s appeal is draining with only 5% power and the odds of it reaching maximum altitude again are slim to none.
Average User Score: 8.6Jan 26, 2013Django Unchained is quintessential Quentin and it delivers in a way only Tarantino can deliver. As with all of his directorialDjango Unchained is quintessential Quentin and it delivers in a way only Tarantino can deliver. As with all of his directorial endeavours, Tarantino fittingly adopted a shackles are off, anything goes mentality. This mentality in the case of Django Unchained effectively translated on-screen to a gripping, extravagant, bloodthirsty, perfectly paced, often-humourous escapade with a serious political undercurrent that is thoroughly enjoyable. It is most definitely history altering, indulgent, audacious and continually outrageous, but it does make for spectacular viewing.
Django Unchained is a Spaghetti Western genre mash-up written and directed by Quentin Tarantino set in America… Expand