Posts Tagged ‘reviews’

A tale of suits that explode things and people that explode suits

Where to start? This movie was pretty much the kick-off for summer blockbusters, and I must say, it did not disappoint.

First, of course, is the plot. It’s pretty much about Tony Stark (duh, guys) and his fight against evil (duh, guys). As always, I don’t want to describe it anymore. Here’s the Wikipedia synopsis. I liked the plot! Except…there were lots of bad guys. At times, there were too many to keep track of. There’s obviously one overall villain, but there’s a bunch of accomplices and peeps who fight Tony and everything. It was a bit confusing at times. But the whole Extremis thing is a cool idea. Obviously, the scriptwriters didn’t just get that idea, as it’s based on the comics, but as a plot point, it’s neat. But I am kind of getting tired of the typical “I’m a villain looking to rid the world of weakness!” thing. I mean, it’s perfect when the villain has a tragic backstory or some physical deformity (The Amazing Spider-man, anybody?), but all the same, it isn’t the most original. It’s also commonly seen in superhero movies. Therefore, I’m giving the plot

4/5 jellybeans.

 

Next are the characters/actors. Robert Downey Jr., as always, delivers a snarky, yet endearing Tony Stark. I especially liked Tony’s character in this installment of the Marvel movies because he’s struggling with PTSD from the whole Avengers excursion. This is sort of a major flaw/weakness, and I can’t help but love weaknesses in characters. It’s awesome. He has panic attacks and everything. The whole nine yards. And I must say, Tony Stark has always been my favorite from the Avengers. Hawkeye and Hulk are quite bland (IMO), Thor at times seems a bit of a caricature, Captain America is too much of a goody-two-shoes, and the Black Widow isn’t given quite enough depth to be fully epic. Tony Stark, however, is funny, flawed, and a complete human being. He, of all the Avengers, is the most realisitic. (Again, this is just my opinion.) Also, Robert Downey Jr. is incredibly handsome.

Gwyneth Paltrow does a good job with the character of Pepper Potts. I’ve always liked Pepper, because while she isn’t going around shooting people up and doing The Big Stuff like that, she’s more than capable at doing other, very necessary, tasks. Like being CEO of Stark Industries. For example. She’s a capable character, and while at times plays the role of damsel-in-distress, does not do so annoyingly. On a side note, I definitely ship Tony/Pepper. They’re perfect with each other. And they’re doubly humorous when they’re bantering.

Ben Kingsley plays the Mandarin. He does quite a commendable job. **SPOILER ALERT** His true character, of course, is that of Trevor Slattery, an actor getting paid to play the Mandarin for show. While Kingsley is certainly menacing while the audience believes the Mandarin is The Villain; once his identity is revealed, he does quite a good job at playing up the humorous aspects. **END OF SPOILER**

Guy Pearce plays Aldrich Killian. Now, if we just put aside the major fact that they STOLE the name Erin and I are using (Never mind that the spell it differently; we spell it Kilian…read more about that escapade here.) (Also, I’m kidding, the Marvel peeps had rights to Aldrich Killian before our idea was even a little seedling.), I liked this dude’s character. I definitely had sympathy for him, considering his little backstory with Tony (I would be ticked off, too, if I were him.). And I appreciated that he didn’t take the typical path to villainy. He stayed behind the scenes rather than being all ostentatious about it. Which is pretty cool. He wasn’t the most compelling villain I’ve seen, though. Part of that stems from the fact that while his backstory made me feel bad for him, it wasn’t AWFUL and TRAGIC. I’m a sucker for tragic villain stories. Always have been. Also, there’s the minor detail that the dude had a total Ken-doll look for the role. You know, like a pretty boy. Eh, not for me. Other than that, though, cool.

Ty Simpkins played Harley, a little dude who becomes sort of like a sidekick to Tony. He was pretty awesome, and funny in that annoying-little-kid way. He isn’t a huge part of the movie, so there isn’t really much to critique the character on…Pretty much, he was cool. Yeah.

I liked the characters. And the actors who played them, obviously.  So I’m going to give the characters section

5/5 jellybeans.

 

The visuals were awesome, as one can expect from a Marvel summer superhero movie. (The summer part doesn’t really matter, but whatever.) Again, the Extremis was cool–albeit kind of creepy at some points. ORANGE EYES. They definitely made that work. Pretty much all of the CGI was done excellently. Also, I want JARVIS. GAHHH. As far as camera-visual stuff, I don’t remember much of it, but it didn’t bother me or anything, so I’m assuming it was cool. So, just for kicks, let’s give visuals

4/5 jellybeans.

 

From the iTunes samples (I saw this two weeks ago, I don’t remember everything!), the soundtrack was pretty good. I really like the theme (the actual track is called, simply, Iron Man 3, if you’d like to know). It evokes a sort of Avenger-ly feel (remember the triumphant Avengers theme? Yep, like that), only not quite as happy, which fits, because Tony Stark isn’t quite the happiest character, ya know? That’s the only track that really sticks out to me as being cool. It was pretty much a standard superhero action soundtrack. It wasn’t really memorable, like X-Men: First Class or Pirates of the Caribbean. So I’ll give the soundtrack

3.5/5 jellybeans.

 

I’m also going to introduce a new segment to my movie reviews, in which I display some of the posters from the movie and comment on them/talk about my feels. Because I’m geeky and like that kind of stuff.

The Iron Man 3 posters were certainly not a disappointment. (Click on one to expand it and read my full comments.)

Along with a critique of the actual promotional posters, I’ll have a gallery of other posters from the movie as well (without commenting on them). For most movies (including this one), the posters in this category are the individual character posters. Click on one to expand it and enjoy!

The posters for Iron Man 3 were pretty boss. So I’m going to give them…

4/5 jellybeans.

 

So, all in all, I really, really loved Iron Man 3! It was an enjoyable, entertaining, and, of course, snarky movie and definitely a great installment in the series. Also, it marks the beginning of Phase 2 in Marvel’s plan to dominate the universe. Did you realize they had phases going on in Marvel? That’s just insane. Next up will be Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier (they really have a thing for colons, it seems), Guardians of the Galaxy, and to round it all out, Avengers 2! Phase 2 is expected to wrap up in May 2015 (when Avengers 2 is released). Yeah, this is hardcore stuff, I know. But from the looks of Iron Man 3, Phase 2 should turn out to be just as epic as Phase 1 was. Cool.

(Also, before I leave you, we’ve got to talk about the post-credits scene. A Marvel movie is nothing without a post-credits scene; therefore, a review of a Marvel movie is nothing without a mini-review of the post-credits scene. This one was a little bit disappointing, although after the shawarma scene at the end of Avengers, my standards were set impossibly high. It was entertaining enough, but not epic or anything. Also, Ivy, that was not That One Guy. That was the Hulk :))

(Oh, wait! And at the very very very end of the credits it said…”Tony Stark will return.” I think I screamed a little with relief. It was actually kind of funny, because Erin and Amanda–who I saw the movie with–and I were having a debate about whether or not Tony would make a return to the Marvel universe. Needless to say, we were all happy.)

I liked Iron Man 3 a lot, as I said earlier. So…the moment you’ve all been waiting for…I give Iron Man 3, as a whole…

5/5 jellybeans.

 

That’s right, folks.

And now, for the end quote…Well, geez. There isn’t a perfect quote to describe Iron Man 3, or even one that I have been using for the past couple weeks. So how ’bout this:

No politics here; just good old-fashioned revenge!

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Batman

Posted: January 21, 2013 in Movie reviews, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Oh, look. It’s another movie review! You are allowed to sing with happiness. If you’d like, given the subject of this post, you can hum the theme from the [recent] Batman trilogy. Actually, don’t. Seeing as that theme only comprises of two notes, it would get rather monotonous. So just ignore that suggestion.

Anyways, this time on Andrea’s Movie Reviews, we (well, I) will be reviewing Batman–the 1989 version. I’ll get around to reviewing some or all of the Nolan Batmans once I watch them again, for clarity’s sake. However, during this review, I will be drawing parallels between the older movie and the new trilogy. If you don’t like comparisons, this review probably isn’t for you.

Also, I’m only going to review the first movie in the older series, so aptly entitled just Batman. I haven’t watched any of the other installments, and probably won’t for a very long time, or ever.

Another thing I would like to make clear: I will not always be reviewing new releases, or movies that are still in theatres, just because I don’t constantly watch movies at the theatre (though I do so an awful lot…). I hope to review almost every movie I watch, be it at the theatre or at home.

Now that we have the all cleared up, onto the review…

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The storyline of Batman is very similar to the storyline of The Dark Knight–although both of them vary in some major characters, such as Batman’s love interest, the two are pretty much the same story of the conflict between Batman and the Joker. To make a long summary short, the character of Jack Napier–a member of a crime organization–is sent on a mission and fights with Batman. During the fight, Napier shoots at Batman, who deflects the bullet on his super-strength ninja armor, sending it back at Napier, where it rips his face open. Despite Batman’s attempts to save him, Napier falls backwards into a vat of chemicals. He survives, of course (this isn’t a spoiler). But his injuries deform his face, and upon seeing his reflection in a mirror, Napier is driven to insanity and transforms himself into the Joker–one of the most iconic villains in Batman’s history, and just a creep in general. Because he’s so insane, obviously he wants to blow things up and destroy the world, beginning with Gotham City (where the entire film takes place). So, Batman needs to stop him. Why? Because he’s Batman.

Let’s begin with the actors.

Michael Keaton plays Batman (also known as Bruce Wayne, the multi-bajillion-millionaire who lives all by his lonesome except for his good and faithful servant, Alfred). He didn’t do a terrible job at it. But I just wasn’t impressed. Truth be told, I didn’t love Christian Bale when he played Batman in the Dark Knight trilogy. But I did like Bale’s acting style better. He brought more…emotion to the character. And yes, the script of the 1989 film wasn’t the greatest–you have to work with what you have, and they didn’t have much. But still, Keaton just didn’t impress me at all. He didn’t stand out as a superb actor, or even a great actor. Which isn’t good, because when you’re playing an iconic superhero role model what-have-you, you have to be at least memorable. What good is a superhero if nobody remembers he’s there? There’s no point.

Jack Nicholson plays Jack Napier/The Joker. I was very apprehensive when I began watching this movie, because I knew the Joker would be the central villain. Having already seen The Dark Knight, I didn’t think anybody could even come close to being as brilliant as Heath Ledger in the role of the Joker. And guess what? I was right. Now, this is not to say that Nicholson did a bad job. In fact, I think he did a perfectly splendid, great job. He certainly has the maniacal thing down. But that’s where it goes wrong: Nicholson’s Joker, while infused with so much insanity, so much hysteria, failed to make me really fear him. Sure, he was pretty frightening–but only in the kind of way children are scared by circus clowns. I didn’t really get a “maniacally lethal” vibe from Nicholson. I only got a “maniacal” vibe. And it’s true that the Joker (as a general character) is completely off his rocker–he’s a psychopath, no doubt about it. But he’s an intelligent psychopath. And he’s a terrifyingly dangerous psychopath. And I didn’t really feel that, watching the movie.

Kim Basinger played Vicki Vale–Batman’s romantic interest. There is no Rachel Dawes here. And that’s okay, because the character of Vicki Vale is pretty great, too. While not a district attorney, Vicki is a reporter, which gives her a solid reason to be interested in what Batman’s doing. And Vicki is a strong character (although she certainly screams a lot when in danger), and uses her brain instead of fainting in times of distress. Basinger did a fine job with the role, in my opinion.

Before we move onto other topics, I’ll just make a quick note about Alfred, because, really, a Batman without Alfred is a Batman with no point. Michael Gough played Alfred in this version of Batman, and I think he’s equal acting-wise with Michael Caine, who played Alfred in the Nolan trilogy. They both add a sense of humor to the role, and they both make the character lovable.

Well, now that the actors have been addressed, we have to move onto the serious issue that has caused my rating of Batman to decrease:

The logo.

I mean, it’s just so…meh. Compared to the new logo, it’s…well…crappy.

Just look at it:

Black and yellow? Who even does that?

Black and yellow? Who even does that? It kind of looks like some toddler toy logo–not the symbol of a great and powerful superhero.

And then look at new one…

Batman logo_new

So sleek! And also, weapons can be made (and were made) from it because of the pointiness of the wings. Quite an improvement.

You can just tell that there’s mastery at work in the new logo, while in the old one…not so much. What kind of bat has rounded wings like that? It looks like some kind of cheesy bumper sticker.

Anyways.

Batman was directed by Tim Burton–yes, really. I didn’t believe it, but it’s true. So that’s pretty cool. Burton has improved over the years, but Batman wasn’t bad at all. (Although perhaps it’s a good thing Burton directed this in his earlier years, because can you imagine if Batman was portrayed like Willy Wonka in Charlie in the Chocolate Factory? Goodness gracious.)

I was also surprised and very pleased [Translation: I screamed.] when I saw in the credits that Danny Elfman composed the music. Having seen and loved the original Spiderman trilogy, which Danny Elfman composed the music for as well (those famous arpeggios! Heavenly…). This score, while not as genius as the Spiderman score, was quite excellent. Very action-y. :)

Having seen the epically cool Bat-cave and Batman’s armorer-thingy (with the cool white ceiling and all of his screens) in the Nolan trilogy, I was…pretty disappointed with the two in this version. Well, actually, there’s only the Bat-cave, which holds his armor and all of his screens as well. There are not as many screens in this Bat-cave. Which makes it appear less…daunting. Cool. Whatever. But for an older-ish film, it did a pretty cool job.

Also, one aspect that didn’t change from the older Batman trilogy to the Nolan trilogy was Batman’s Batman voice. You all know it. The low, slightly raspy voice in which he proclaims his signature catchphrase: “I’m Batman.” And I found that voice just as hilarious as in the Nolan Trilogy.

Well, that commences this review. In (almost) conclusion, my overall rating of Batman is: 3/5

In (actual) conclusion, I shall again leave you with a quote from the movie which is more or less iconic, and which I shall certainly be spouting off over the next week or so:

“Hey. I’m Batman.”

So, I’ve been mulling over a new idea for this here blog. Once in a while (or twice in a while; really, whenever I feel like it), I’m going to post movie reviews on here. I can’t say how often [it will sort of depend on when I watch movies, of course…], but I plan on doing so semi-regularly. So…here we go! *cue happy Disney music*

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For the grand opening ceremony, I will be reviewing Les Misérables, which was released by Universal Pictures on December 25th, 2012.

**Note: I have not read the novel, nor have I seen the musical. Just so you know.**

To begin with, I had very high expectations for this movie. I have never been a die-hard Les Mis fan, but a few weeks earlier I checked out the music book from the library and fell in love. I soon was frantically researching the movie, anxious for it to be released.

After years of endless waiting (I’m kidding. It wasn’t long at all.), I went to see the movie with a friend, hopeful and extremely excited about it.

Here comes the part of the review where most critics would say “But it ended up being a complete waste of time” or “I soon realized my expectations should not have been so high”–something to that extent. But me, I’m not like most critics, for one, I don’t feel the need to rip every movie apart just because it’s cool or something.

So, here on this blog, it is the time for me to mention that I LOVED THE MOVIE IT WAS INCREDIBLE ITS AWESOMENESS IS PRACTICALLY UNPARALLELED AND…AND…I can’t even.

For starters, here’s a brief summary of the plot.

…Ahem.

About that.

I forgot that ‘brief summary’ and Les Mis do not go together. Er. A guy is hunted down by the authorities and does a lot of stuff and people die. Um. For a long summary, you can go the Wikipedia page right here. The story, though overwhelming at first, is a masterpiece–there’s so much conflict, and so much happening that the movie never gets boring at any point.

Moving on. The actors. I loved every actor, really; Hugh Jackman was perfect as Jean Valjean–his voice and the emotion he packs into every song is kind of crazy in the best possible way. Anne Hathaway, portraying the role of Fantine, was excellent, as always. I will admit I have never disliked Anne’s portrayal of any role, and this one was no different. Amanda Seyfried as Cosette and Eddie Redmayne as Marius, Samantha Barks as Epónine, and Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen as the Thenardiers were all wonderful. Now, onto the controversial one…Russell Crowe as Javert. There has been much speculation on his performance; many have said that Crowe’s acting suffers while he’s trying to hit his high notes. While I will say that Crowe could have emoted a bit more without me minding at all, I really, really don’t think he did a bad job. In fact, I liked his portrayal of the role very much. The character of Javert is rather intriguing (I have an odd fascination with most villains, and this was no exception), and I think Crowe captured the character well.

Another aspect of the movie is that it is all singing. When I say all singing, I mean it in a loose sense of the word–there was almost always music, but the characters spoke at times, as well. Some people I know were deterred from seeing the movie by this fact. Now, I didn’t find this fact at all strange–though that might be because I’ve grown up listening to soundtracks from musicals and don’t care if an entire musical/movie/what have you is sung. The storyline of Les Mis terribly intrigued me, and given the many superb actors and the epic music I had heard from the musical, I didn’t mind that the entire movie would be sung. And while I was watching it, I found that I wasn’t bothered in the least. There are musicals that would be positively awful if they were completely sung–imagine lines like “Hand me that letter!” or something to that extent would sound really dumb if they were sung. But none of the lines [at least, none that I can remember] in Les Mis sounded dumb. All of the songs are beautiful in lyric and melody, and they were delivered with such emotion by the actors that I was quite in awe. In other words, if you’re on the fence about Les Mis because of the entirely-singing thing, don’t be. The constant song doesn’t seem intrusive at all, in fact, I think it adds to the story.

The cinematography of Les Mis was beautiful. Some shots–in particular, during Stars and before Javert’s big, ahem, life and death decision, were taken at angles that were just cool and added an artistic note to the movie. Sometimes the camera would take a second or two to come into focus when there were close-up shots, which bothered me at times, but for the most part the cinematography was ace.

The music, written by Claude-Michel Schönberg, is beautiful. The melodies truly soar, and each song has a unique feel to it. The lyrics, written by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, are equally impressive; there’s a kind of poetic fluidity to them, which is noticeably lacking in any pop song today. As such, I appreciate the lyrics in Les Mis all the more.

All in all, I really loved Les Mis. The movie was just…absolutely spectacular. I highly recommend it, unless you hate singing. In that case, don’t watch it. Simple as that.

To be official, I will give a rating of the movie, out of five (You know, the typical system: 5 being best, 1 being terrible…).  And…drumroll please…*drumroll machine turns on* Okay, that’s enough, all right? Enough. ENOUGH! *drumroll machine breaks into a million pieces* …Anyways, the rating I give to Les Misérables is…5/5! Woohoo! Congratulations, everyone involved with this movie! You have earned my respect, my admiration, my happiness. And, let’s be serious. That’s really all you need.

In closing, I shall leave you with a quote that I have been incessantly yelling for the past couple of days:

“Who am I? I’m Jean Valjean!”