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Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Kryptonian Warrior's Multi-Movie Review - Man Of Steel, Monsters University, Despicable Me 2, The Lone Ranger And More!!!

A lot of movies to review this week, some watched recently and some a while ago. So below I've done some short reviews in my ongoing format for the following: Man of Steel, Fast & Furious 6, Despicable Me 2, Monsters University, Olympus has Fallen, Bullet to the Head, & The Lone Ranger. Enjoy! :)



Man of Steel


I should start by pointing out, if it wasn't blatantly obvious already, that I'm a Superman nut... That doesn't necessarily mean I'll always love everything that's released for the character, but there's usually a very good chance!

To say that Man of Steel is a "Marmite movie" is an understatement, in that there seem to be an equal amount of people that really disliked/hated it to the amount that liked/loved it. I, if you were wondering, am the latter. I loved it. However I see the haters point of view and if they truly are that strict on what a movie should be and cannot see the director's vision for that storyline or character, even when they bend the holy-rules to the point of breaking, then you're never going to enjoy these reboot movies 100%. OK, so I agree the destruction level is indeed ludicrous, but you could argue the reality of the situation and that he's at the starting point of his superhero life and hasn't learnt the control or collateral damage prevention he will later master, and he *SPOILER* takes a life at the end... "Superman doesn't kill!" the haters shout, well actually yes he does/has. Maybe you should read the comics properly before passing judgement. Superman has killed multiple times when placed in impossible situations, even if those enemies are resurrected later on. Google it and you'll find numerous instances of Superman killing; 3 Kryptonians with green Kryptonite in another reality (but still canon), a sentient being inside a friend, Doomsday (who he technically killed, temporarily), and he's racked up at least two kills in the New 52 comics too, not to mention Joker in Injustice: God Among Us video game, and when he turns evil in alternate dimensions etc. The film is what it is, a reboot with a pre-emptive placement into a new and hopefully realistic/gritty Justice League universe and a re-introduction and a re-write of a character everyone knows and loves for a new era. Not everyone's cup of tea I grant you, but I thought it worked and I have no problems with any of the negative points people brought to light post release.

First off, is this film good or bad? - Good (in my opinion)

Would a non-fanboy/fangirl enjoy it too? - Again I'm going to say yes, even though I know so many people who thought it was utter tripe! My 10 year old daughter loved it too though.

If this is a sequel do you need to have seen the other films in the franchise? - As a reboot the auto answer is "no". This is now starting from scratch and the previous movies (especially Superman Returns) can certainly be ignored if need be. I'm a HUGE Christopher Reeve fan though and I would always recommend the original Superman and Superman 2 movies!

What words would you use to describe this film? - Action-packed, goose-bump inducing, heart-felt, nostalgic.

What was your favourite moment or moments in the movie? - Quite a few to be totally honest, but Superman learning to fly was a high-point, the city battle near the end, and Jor-El's larger inclusion overall were also great for me.

Would you have changed anything if you could? - Personally no I don't think so. Maybe the time-jumping back and forth in Clark's life wasn't what I expected, but I liked the entire film as it was.

What score would you give the movie out of 10, 10 being the best and 0 being the worst? - 8/10




Fast & Furious 6


Am I seriously one of the only people in the world who loves the Fast & Furious movies? Everyone I ever meet or talk to about them has a "meh" reaction or a "I don't like car movies" answer...

I've loved every one of the 6 movies in the series so far, even Tokyo Drift which is almost a spin-off movie and had to have its timeline retro-fitted into 7th place in the series due to keeping a character alive who died... And the cars are really a sideline to the main story-arc of family both blood and exteded, bros, and how far would you go for your kin, which builds throughout the series and has now peaked in this 6th instalment. The characters are lovable, the acting is great for what it is, the action is pulse-pounding, and the story lines (which are at some times crazy) work. I'll always have time for Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson films and now they're on screen together (and working together in this one) I'm all the happier.

First off, is this film good or bad? - Good. Fifth one may have been better, this one was certainly crazier, but still good.

Would a non-fanboy/fangirl enjoy it too? - Not sure on that one. I love them, but my Missus won't watch them and most friends won't go near them either, no matter how much I big them up.

If this is a sequel do you need to have seen the other films in the franchise? - I would say yes. The sub plots and growing underlying story has now got to a point where you need the character back stories and history.

What words would you use to describe this film? - Action-packed, funny, adrenaline-fuelled, fast paced.

What was your favourite moment or moments in the movie? - Quite a few as always, I enjoyed the whole film, but the ending and secret reveal for a character in the next movie was a shout out loud moment for me.

Would you have changed anything if you could? - I wouldn't mess with these movies. There are some unbelievable moments that force you to suspend your belief temporarily, but if you're like me and this is easy then you should have no problems at all.

What score would you give the movie out of 10, 10 being the best and 0 being the worst? - 8/10. Can't wait for the next instalment!




Despicable Me 2


As a lover of animated movies, usually from Disney and Dreamworks, it's usually obvious that a film like Despicable Me would be my kind of film and therefore the sequel Despicable Me 2 as well. And if I'm honest that's actually true here. The first movie by Universal/Illumination Entertainment was enjoyable, emotional, funny, and the Minions became my family's favourite on-screen characters instantly. The sequel, it turns out, ups the ante in all the right areas growing the lovable characters of Gru, his adopted children, and most importantly - the Minions themselves. The increase in screen time and story line focusing on the Minions is totally the right move as every second they appear on screen feels like movie-gold (if you're a child like me). In fact it can probably be said that if a full movie was released with just these non-English speaking yellow bundles of joy, everyone would go and see it, just for them alone. 

Despicable Me 2 also grows the "family" theme started in the original bringing a mother figure into the fold and giving Gru a love interest that seems to play out quite well. The supposed twists that you're not supposed to figure out until the end are blatantly obvious from the start, but maybe that's because this is aimed at kids, and the main story line itself isn't that strong, but it's the characters themselves and the cutesy humour that carries the film along to a satisfying, if not obvious, conclusion.

First off, is this film good or bad? - Good. The kids will no doubt love it, mine did.

Would a non-fanboy/fangirl enjoy it too? - Yes I think so. I don't think it's every adults cup of tea, but there's enough to keep you going.

If this is a sequel do you need to have seen the other films in the franchise? - I would say yes, it would help! But it's great by itself.

What words would you use to describe this film? - Funny, cute, obvious.

What was your favourite moment or moments in the movie? - Minions, always the Minions. "Bottom"!

Would you have changed anything if you could? - I wouldn't know how to, but yeah, there were a few things in there that I'd have to watch the whole movie again to go over.

What score would you give the movie out of 10, 10 being the best and 0 being the worst? - 8/10.




Monsters University


To me every single Pixar movie ever created is awesome in every single way imaginable. Out of all of them Monsters Inc is still one of my all-time favourites and if any film needed another outing it was this one (or The Incredibles!), but I have to say that I was hoping for a sequel rather than a prequel!

When my family and I went to see Despicable Me 2 there was a 5 minute advert/scene for MU which worried the hell out of me. It was unfunny, somewhat cringe-worthy, and a bad choice of scenes for Pixar to choose to get audiences to go and see the film. I was really worried that this, combined with the previous mediocre trailers would put me off this prequel and I went into the cinema with a bit of a pre-determined mindset that it wouldn't be good. I couldn't have been more wrong, and I was really overly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. The introduction to our favourite two monsters, and their resulting partnership, is handled with care and finesse and the supporting cast of characters is brilliantly handled and balanced. I felt like the whole film was a Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire rip-off (you'll know what I mean if you've seen it) but the beautiful visuals, excellent voice acting, emotional content, and smooth pace make it a brilliant child and adult outing. I also applaud the writers for not being scared to handle certain subjects near the end too.

First off, is this film good or bad? - Very good

Would a non-fanboy/fangirl enjoy it too? - Yes. Pixar can usually do no wrong, this is no different.

If this is a sequel do you need to have seen the other films in the franchise? - Well no, not now. Watch this one and then Monsters Inc and you'll be fine! Watching this one second will bring a few cool moments when they give nods to characters and events in the first one though.

What words would you use to describe this film? - Very funny, very emotional, well thought out.

What was your favourite moment or moments in the movie? - Loads of them, but primarily Mike as a young kid and the first Scare Games scene with the crystals that puff up the runners when they touch them. Brilliant.

Would you have changed anything if you could? - I wanted a different ending at first, and then realised that the actual ending was the best way to do what they needed to do.

What score would you give the movie out of 10, 10 being the best and 0 being the worst? - 9/10. Lovely film.



Olympus has Fallen


If ever there was a film that should have been a Die Hard sequel Olympus has Fallen is that film. Having not really enjoyed the 5th outing of Die Hard I'm a little upset about that fact!

Olympus has fallen has a new and maybe implausible story line of North Korean terrorists attacking and taking over the White House and in the process kidnapping the President and attempting to destroy the world with nuclear armageddon. I say implausible purely due to the way the way the whole thing goes down. The automated robot part later on is totally unnecessary and the ending can be guessed before the halfway point. That's not to say the film isn't enjoyable as I actually sat through the whole thing with a smile on my face, but like I said - this is a Die Hard sequel waiting to happen and if you'd swapped Gerard Butler into the plot of Die Hard 5 and Bruce Willis into this then I think that would have worked out much better. The one thing you'll notice with OHF is all the famous faces littering the screen. A to Z listers combined, most of them not needed for their roles at all.

First off, is this film good or bad? - Good, not great, just good.

Would a non-fanboy/fangirl enjoy it too? - If you're a Die Hard fan then yes. If not then it's a 50/50 chance.

If this is a sequel do you need to have seen the other films in the franchise? - Not a sequel so no.

What words would you use to describe this film? - Action-packed, twisty, DIE HARD PLOT!

What was your favourite moment or moments in the movie? - Didn't really have one. Nothing really stands out.

Would you have changed anything if you could? - I would have taken out a few parts and added one or two. Nothing too specific.

What score would you give the movie out of 10, 10 being the best and 0 being the worst? - 6/10. Passable action-fest.



Bullet to the Head


I've always been a Sylvester Stallone fan and some of my favourite movies from my past have included him (like Cliffhanger and Demolition Man) but I'm going to go right out there straight away and say "what the hell were you thinking Sly?".

Bullet to the Head, for me, is a terrible, slow-paced, badly directed and acted, film. It feels like an old 80's movie like Red Heat (but worse), that there was no budget involved, the director was 12 years old, nobody had any interest in actually acting, and the writer himself once had a bullet to the head...

Bottom line: Crap-fest.

First off, is this film good or bad? - BAD.

Would a non-fanboy/fangirl enjoy it too? - If you loved old buddy cop style movies like Red Heat, Showdown in Little Tokyo etc then you may be slightly interested. If not then avoid.

If this is a sequel do you need to have seen the other films in the franchise? - Nope. Stand alone, thank God.

What words would you use to describe this film? - Slow, boring, badly executed, cardboard acting.

What was your favourite moment or moments in the movie? - Sly vs Momoa axe fight at the end , at a push.

Would you have changed anything if you could? - I would have banned the release of the film and burnt all the copies of the film.

What score would you give the movie out of 10, 10 being the best and 0 being the worst? - 2/10 (Purely for the axe fight).



The Lone Ranger


Johnny Depp is on a slow but steep downward spiral. Dark Shadows, his last movie, was utter crap and The Lone Ranger has dropped him even further below that bar he once sat high upon. 

The Lone Ranger was always going to be a worrying prospect with its subject matter totally out of its time to be rebooted and brought back into the public conciousness. It's a film that tries to bring a classic western hero back into the fold and yet totally destroys the subject matter in a deep pile of stinking, oozing, horse-shit. The film suffers (not unlike Bullet to the Head) from bad writing, bad directing, and bad acting. Johnny Depp seems uncomfortable in his role as Tonto and for someone that seems to have the primary comic relief role he doesn't have one truly humorous line or scene. Nothing works, the characters don't sit well and have no pull with the audience, the action is clumsy and sometimes cringe-worthy, the bad guys simply aren't bad enough, and Armie Hammer is not a leading Man for a supposed action-movie (although I'm sure he tried his best). Totally disappointed in this film, although I actually expected nothing to begin with.

First off, is this film good or bad? - Really bad.

Would a non-fanboy/fangirl enjoy it too? - No, not really!

If this is a sequel do you need to have seen the other films in the franchise? - One off reboot. Flopped at the cinema in the U.S. so bad there's no way it'll get a sequel!

What words would you use to describe this film? - Crap, crap, crap, and boring. And unfunny.

What was your favourite moment or moments in the movie? - Unfortunately when the classic Lone Ranger music kicks in near the end, which was heavily out of place, yet for me very nostalgic from when I was a kid.

Would you have changed anything if you could? - If I had the skills I'd change the entire movie. Nothing stood out at all.

What score would you give the movie out of 10, 10 being the best and 0 being the worst? - 1/10. Zzzzzzz...

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