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Average User Score: 7.4Aug 19, 2016"Kingsglaive" creates a gateway for fans and audience into its visually fantastic world, yet the muddled plot can be exhausting despite the"Kingsglaive" creates a gateway for fans and audience into its visually fantastic world, yet the muddled plot can be exhausting despite the effort to make it accessible.
There's no denying the graphical barrage "Kingsglaive" constantly throws for nearly two hours is brazenly stunning. The vistas are absolutely marvelous, its characters look eerily lively and the fights are utterly unworldly. With all of these mighty productions, it's still vexed by occasional choppy pace and sporadic hop in screenplay.
The story is delivered in a sci-fi fantasy realm. It's a very politically focused tale and it does try to deliver many subplots and characters, no doubt a foundation for the game's world and its splendor. The problem lies as it often skips from one scene abruptly without giving the audience much sense for the flow of time or the clarity of vital motivation. It's all dramatic in presentation, yet it can feel a bit muddled, more so since it's quite the lengthy showing.
Characters are relatively well done, especially the ones with famous names. Usually the dubbing in English for such production looks jarring, but here Lena Headley’s or Aaron Paul’s voice is implemented properly. The lip sync is fine and there's a boon on having fantasy oriented voice for the cast. A minor flaw would be the dialogues or sound effect don't convey the sense of urgency at times, but it's mostly understandable.
The visual ramps up as the battles progress. These are very hectic occurrences, the fast cut can leave audience wandering on what transpires on the screen since there are many effects and motions cramped into brief composition of scenes. However, when it retains the focus or follows the action, it is arguably one of the most eye-popping spectacles from animated movie.
The sheer graphical prowess produces an entirely captivating world, even though it stumbles on overly complex narrative or overly fast editing.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.2Mar 12, 2016Grimy and unapologetically brutal, yet a bit too sporadic and fragmented for its own good.
In the spirit of creating authentic heist movie,Grimy and unapologetically brutal, yet a bit too sporadic and fragmented for its own good.
In the spirit of creating authentic heist movie, "Triple 9" incorporates plenty of tactical strategy, gangland shootout and visceral treachery. It opens with rapid pace, and only able to maintain it partially due to too many erratic subplots which barely sync with each other. The actors do a respectable job on creating a sense of urgency, yet most of the characters are one dimensional and not entirely likeable.
Michael Atwood (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is a former special force forced to do Russian mob's bidding, meanwhile Chris Allen (Casey Affleck) is a detective recently transferred into the town. They will eventually cross path while Jeff Allen (Woody Harrelson), Chris' uncle in investigating a particular heist. The whole scene is bogged down with intricacy and it becomes problematic to tell many perspectives smoothly.
Actors deliver an intentionally crude depiction of shady or tired men, each of them has relative portion of screen time and they use it well. With the addition of Aaron Paul, Anthony Mackie and Norman Reedus, this is a solid crew, but it sometimes stumbles on the narratives. Direction would wallow too much on certain subplot without creating any investment.
The problem is their struggles, with the kid, job or family, are not easily approachable, especially since it tries to include multiple backstories and authoritative jargon. There are a few good moments, but these are standalone showcase. The continuity and build up are sketchy, this also includes the main point of views of Michael and Chris, which makes the movie feels lacking in term of the main leads.
It shines best under stress of gunfire and explosion. The action just feels like they are trained and choreographed with precision, even the bits where characters would stumble or react accordingly in the site. Blood and shot carry their weight nicely. Recent action movies like John Wick or Equalizer tell their stories with style, but this kind of razor blade authenticity is equally refreshing.
"Triple 9" has a raw muddy grit for the action, unfortunately it applies to the narrative as well.… Expand
Average User Score: 6.2Mar 9, 2016The serious case of the mind and peril of announcing it.
Will Smith is probably one of the best uncrowned actors without Oscar award on hisThe serious case of the mind and peril of announcing it.
Will Smith is probably one of the best uncrowned actors without Oscar award on his name. He can portray his role with outstandingly natural conviction, and he does no less as Dr. Bennet Omalu here. This is a biopic about the determined doctor, his discovery of a malady and also uniquely about the popular sport.
Dr. Omalu is a coroner who incidentally comes across a famous football player, sadly after his tragic death. He becomes curious of the cause of death and his research eventually becomes larger than he originally expected. It's a good biography which can be enjoyed for those even without much knowledge about the sport as it translates the procedure in approachable manner.
As the lead Will Smith doesn't disappoint, he presents a variety of emotions with good origin accent. This is a story when the more he tries to help the more resistance he encounters, voiced by a compelling script. Both his personal and private lives are changed by the finding, furthermore the repercussion ripples beyond towards the lives of others.
The movie has a respect towards the sport source and it's careful on presenting the subject without making judgment. It does tend to spread too thinly across the runtime with administrative process. Admittedly this is an integral part, but more time could be spent on the athletes themselves. The tension is built slowly and it's kept better in some instances than the others. Nevertheless, it doesn't take away too much from the sophisticated drama.
"Concussion" is an informative guide to the mind and its plague told by an educated thinker.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.0Mar 5, 2016Rather implausible and predictable, but the bullets and knives rip mercilessly enough for visceral action delight.
From the previous title,Rather implausible and predictable, but the bullets and knives rip mercilessly enough for visceral action delight.
From the previous title, or even this title, audience would have a clear idea of what's promised here. It's "save the president" themed action movie, sets in London. There are famous names actors to elevate the story, but it should be no surprise that the drama portion is average. They do succeed on advancing the action into full blown combat spectacle from continuous shoot-out and rapid brutal slashing.
Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart), the president of USA, has an obligation to attend the funeral of British Prime Minister. Along with his trusty bodyguard and soon-to-be part time dad, Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) he embarks in the trip, and as we all know it, London is eventually hit with terrorist attack. The story is plain it operates on a strict linear motion with barely any twist at all even though it has actors who worked on this genre before.
The main idea is the same patriotism and duty-bound motive, which is arguably worked slightly better than the predecessor, but it often becomes too flat in delivery. Some of the scenes feel too forced to create tension and it ends up too cliché in the process. Script doesn't produce any solid interaction as it relies on too much on misguided bravado and the comedy aspect only works partially. Furthermore, the intended twist is far from effective since it doesn't develop nicely, if any at all.
Fortunately, this is a definite step up action-wise. Chase scenes, melee brawls and gun fights are far more intense and better choreographed. It has the luxury of great continuous shots action in no shortage of speed and impact, almost similar to video game sequences. There's also the addition of CG for large scale attack, understandable since they have to present actual London under siege, though it's inferior to the psychical combat counterpart.
"London Has Fallen" is miles from the predecessor in term of action, but it might not be an appealing visit for those wanting complex narrative.… Expand
Average User Score: 4.5Feb 29, 2016In the span of two hours of dreadful script and forceful plot, any glint of opulence can't save "Gods of Egypt" from being mindlessly numb.In the span of two hours of dreadful script and forceful plot, any glint of opulence can't save "Gods of Egypt" from being mindlessly numb.
"Gods of Egypt" asks an age old question, "Does flashy sparkle outweighs written words?”. Unfortunately for the two hours movie, its visual is inconsistent and the story has so many illogical flaws, that whatever gorgeous scenery it has would feel bland. Furthermore, the acting is sloppy, having less-than-charismatic characters mumbling cringe-worthy monologue for half its time.
This is the tedious story of Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), the supposed king of fictional Egypt where gods and mortals live side by side. He then finds opposition from his uncle Set (Gerard Butler). He then forms unusual alliance with Bek (Brenton Thwaites), a human thief with a single-minded drive for juvenile love.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Gerard Butler are not bad, they have experience on this type of epic saga as Jaime Lannister and Leonidas, respectively. However, this also feels as though they are just going through the motion. Here they are shades, less appealing and more brooding version of their famous roles.
Bek as the other main lead is your typical charming hoodlum without the charm. His characterization is too rigid and any attempt to romanticized or deliver witty humor is instead annoying. The two leading females are too over zealously created for flamboyant melodramatic romance. There are a couple decent supporting cast such as Rufus Sewell as Urshu and Chadwick Boseman as Thoth, but they merely have small portions of spotlight.
The script feels forced to create any chemistry between the characters, however it often sounds like soap opera. Not to mention story line is plagued by awful plot devices. Being gods doesn't exemplify them from having sudden illogical and convenient twists, a few of these might be fine, but after half dozen times audience would appreciate more explanation than simple magic.
Visual is arguably pretty. At its best the movie offers some aesthetically pleasing scenes and the costumes worn as well as the set are very easy on the eyes. Still, among these beautiful people and vistas, it's not often to see it smeared by strangely subpar CGI, as though these are Transformers made from low budget production.
Tainted by shady narrative, corrupted visual and barren script, "Gods of Egypt" is mindlessly numb.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.3Feb 26, 2016This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A smaller approach to the epic saga, a fine dance of blades nevertheless.
Bearing a legendary name can be either a blessing or a curse, "Sword of Destiny" is bound to be compared with its Oscar level predecessor. To be fair, the lack of Ang Lee's visual vision is truly apparent and the movie operates on smaller production as well, however that doesn't take away from its identifiable stylish choreography. This is a solid action martial art movie that is burdened by the legacy and expectation of its name.
Story resonates with the first movie in more ways than one. It has a couple of estranged romance plots in the backdrop of martial art world, which feels like an attempt to replicate the already proven formula. It's admittedly difficult not to be haunted by the ghost of the original, specifically since it doesn't have the same caliber of chemistry, for example the mentor-student relationship is clearly inferior to those of Chow Yun Fat and Zhang Ziyi had.
Still, "Sword of Destiny" has a couple of surprises. It works better when it’s trying to develop something of its own, although it's a difficult endeavor since the movie utilizes so many nostalgia angles. The subplot with younger couple is decent, it's one of the flashbacks which doesn't feel encumbering.
The antagonist side is actually interesting, with more sinister villain and henchmen. The female assassin is intriguingly strong, perhaps more than the ragtag army from opposite side. It also has strange witch character who gives prophecy. In a way the movie has archaic oriental touch like that of Dragon Tiger Gate. Unfortunately, they are not given more spotlight beyond typical bad guys.
Without Ang Lee, the visual is certainly different. The original had such gripping vistas, even more enchanted by the characters leaping through the air. That sense of liberation is now more constrained in plain or dark spaces. However, "Sword of Destiny" will not disappoint in the fighting department, in fact this is a more than decent showing for Wu Xia.
The action choreography is appropriately done. There's a benefit in having Woo Yuen Ping as director as he knows how to implement the scenes with fluidity. Fight scenes are gripping and intense, using the mix of blinding fast as well as technique strikes. It's one of the better displays of martial art genre, even compared to higher budget titles.
"Sword of Destiny" deals with the same predicament as the characters, it's haunted by the legend of Li Mu Bai, which is an inherited risk of donning the name "Crunching Tiger Hidden Dragon". It's quite unfortunate since it might distract audience from what is a good stylish action movie on its own.
PS: It seems Netflix version is in English, but the one shown in IMAX has Chinese dub with English subtitle.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.8Feb 25, 2016For one trip from dusk till dawn, "Southbound" is a fascinating scenic route filled with troubled travelers and dark fears.
"Southbound" isFor one trip from dusk till dawn, "Southbound" is a fascinating scenic route filled with troubled travelers and dark fears.
"Southbound" is a unique kind of anthology, it provides vague connection between the events which might just be intermingling tragic tales. It spans across five stories that occur in a dry desert highway in the middle of nowhere. These are unexpectedly captivating and even though they don’t follow the typical rule of horror narrative, the culmination is a delightfully fast and eerily immersive nocturnal tour.
Throughout the five accounts, "Southbound" offers finely produced effectively terrorizing moments. Each story is arguably different in tone, Siren, the one with girl band is slower paced with creepy cult ambiance. While The Accident has much more rapid pace and utterly bloody. It's a good part of the direction to make these stories seemingly interweaving, although there's a distinct difference on how they approach the horror.
These are not heavily narrated stories and the shift in narrative course could be jarring at times, yet this isn't necessarily a flaw. It has enough time to cram five short stories in a consistent pace without plodding any one of them. The transition is kept in manageable fashion and each new tale starts with decent roster of characters.
It could be a bit startling to those not familiar with horror or anthology genre, casual viewers might expect one straight story line and that's not the case in this desolated highway. Also, one or two character doesn’t have the same quality in acting. However, this doesn't take away much from the scare, which fortunately is invested on escalation of tension rather than generous use of jump scares.
In a funny way this is hot potato of misery, thrown around to the nearest unlucky company, it will be a night of unbashful unbridled horror on the hazardous road.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.0Feb 15, 2016Blood and heart of a legacy, so passionately willed to the new era, it's breathtaking and beautifully heartfelt.
Rocky is an agelessBlood and heart of a legacy, so passionately willed to the new era, it's breathtaking and beautifully heartfelt.
Rocky is an ageless underdog story told in simple yet approachable way, the best thing about it is it's also true story about Stallone. Creed taps into the legacy of the franchise while also presenting new blood, a sort of passing of the torch by Sylvester Stallone. This is drama in its purest form and with the inclusion of spine tingling nostalgia, there's no way audience wouldn't get emotionally pumped when the young Creed trades blow while familiar soundtrack roars in the background.
This is the story of the son of Apollo Creed, Adonis (Michael B. Jordan) who is trained by Rocky (Sylvester Stallone). It's one the best mentor-student relationships on silver screen, which feels amazingly genuine and perhaps the best acting Stallone has given in a while. It will resonate to audience, old and young, infectiously inspiring in every sense.
Fighting is the most elementary form of drama, you have the protagonist and antagonist as they square off with their fists. Nothing can be simpler, yet the presentation of Creed takes advantage of the depth of Rocky's franchise then adds a crafty visual to display the struggle of the characters, both in ring and real life.
Cinematography is pleasantly brilliant, there are moments when the fights are done so viscerally gorgeous or in one prolonged shot that it's nearly impossible not to be invested in them. The view of Philly, so familiar with fans is shown with care, it is a homage to the enduring tale as well as an authentic effort to pass it to new generation.
It's been a long time, perhaps since Hugo, that a movie is delivered with such love. Creed is a presentation of utmost care for the namesake, respect for its sport origin and visual of brutal elegance.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.6Feb 14, 2016The clash of tone is admittedly peculiar, yet the cast manages to sneak in healthy chunks of humor and drama amidst the impending zombieThe clash of tone is admittedly peculiar, yet the cast manages to sneak in healthy chunks of humor and drama amidst the impending zombie apocalypse.
Zombie infestation is spreading uncontrollably fast, they are literally everywhere, even in spin-off of Pride and Prejudice. It may sound bizarre at first, and it really is, but there's no lack of production value here. The presentation is top notch and the cast, mixed of actors from Maleficent, Cinderella, Doctor Who and Game of Thrones, deliver an air of seriousness beyond that expected from a zombie movie, also with unexpected degree of humor as well.
This is still the story of British aristocrats and their so troubled lives in 19th century, though some aspects have been altered to accommodate zombies, even as far as to present backstory with heavy monologue and narration. It doesn't deter the movie from going full drama as the cast essentially creates a drama while acting like zombie killing is as the norm as sipping afternoon tea. These fine men and ladies look astoundingly fitting in the outlandishly bleak universe.
Lily James, if born into different time, might be a legitimate princess. She looks comfortably convincing as Elizabeth Bennet, the zombie hunter version of the female lead at least. Sam Riley as Darcy is proper as well, he encompasses the awkward nobility with a fervent passion. These two have strange chemistry, especially when zombies are involved, yet it's weirdly adorably amicable. Matt Smith from Doctor Who fame, can singlehandedly delivers the humor, he’s simply too versatile and endearing not to have in old style England.
The humor works splendidly, there are times when sarcasm is produced just right against the backdrop of the somber tone. Its playful romance, bantering and even cringe worthy moments are pleasantly delightful. However, the jarring tone can be too distracting at times. The movie screams too hard to set grim horror, a staple flaw in horror genre and on the other side of spectrum, it’s occasionally overly zealous in the drama that it becomes wallowing or slow.
An odd bite of contrasting drama and comedy, yet surprisingly enjoyable, this seemingly crazy version of Pride and Prejudice can serendipitously attract audience of many different tastes.… Expand
Average User Score: 5.2Feb 7, 2016With such clear visual and talented cast, it's a truly misfortune that the result is an agonizingly boring spectacle.
When first seeing theWith such clear visual and talented cast, it's a truly misfortune that the result is an agonizingly boring spectacle.
When first seeing the cast of Josh Duhamel, Al Pacino and Anthony Hopkins, among others, one would expect an intense thriller, yet "Misconduct" is an arbitrary endeavor that has seriously crippling pace and lacking any suspense. It may look nice at first, potentially promising a wit exchange, yet it's painfully slow and honestly a shallow display of crime drama.
Ben (Josh Duhamel) is contacted by her unstable ex-girlfriend who has secret files about her billionaire boss. He takes this chance without knowing that he'll walk on a series of increasingly dangerous conspiracy. The line-up is riddled with famous names, yet their performance is inconsistent. Duhamel looks decent for a leading role, although he doesn't have the poise or sense of urgency when the moments call for it.
The chemistry between him and veterans like Al Pacino and Anthony Hopkins is also shaky. There are some good thrilling moments, yet there are also times when they look ironically silly as though impersonating plot from Law and Order. Female characters share the same fate of incompatibility. Julie Stiles as the operator only appears too cocky for the tough female stereotype.
Meanwhile, Malin Akerman and Alice Eve are seemingly trapped in love triangle gig, and not a good one at that. Its attempt to showcase debauchery is appreciated, yet there's barely any passion involved here. Byung-hun Lee makes a supporting role, and it's quite intriguing when he makes an entrance, yet his character feels underutilized and only serves as a glorified henchman. When they interact it creates a tangled web of a plot.
It does have clear cinematography and direction to portray vices such as greed and lust, yet it shifts significantly slow between unintentionally detached characters that ultimately become mundane and restricting.… Expand