Thursday, January 5, 2017

Assassin's Creed

Assassin's Creed is a movie based on a video game which should have been a red flag for me, but to be fair it was probably better than a Donkey Kong or Pac Man movie.

Michael Fassbender stars as a troubled man who is executed in prison early in the movie. We later find out that his death was staged and he was preserved by a secret organization that need him for their experiment since he is a direct descendant of ancient Spanish Assassins. They have a machine which allows him to transport back in time so he can experience what his ancestor in Spain experienced. In this movie there is an ongoing battle between the Templars and the Assassins. The Templars are trying to find the original apple from Eden which is made of gold and contains a DNA code that will some how allow the them to take away free will from mankind and thus eliminate violence.

This movie had a great cast with several distinguished actors but I just had a hard time getting into it. I also got tired of watching a CG hawk fly around in so many of the transition scenes.

The parts of this movie I enjoyed the most were when the main character transported to Spain during the inquisition. The fighting and escape scenes in Spain were more entertaining than the modern day parts of the movie. I also didn't care for the ambiguity of trying to determine who the heroes and villains were. Both the Assassins and Templars seemed like jerks with bad intentions but the movie obviously features the assassin's viewpoint.

I am usually a sucker for time travel movies but I can only give Assassin's Creed 6.3 stars.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Movie Summaries from 2016

8 years of reviews
This last year I probably watched twice as many movies as I did in 2015 thanks to Vidangel. They also just had their site shut down this week due to lawsuits from big movie studios. Anyway I have loved their service and hope they can work the legal issues out and get some kind of editing service going again in the future. There are many rated R movies that look appealing but I don't want to sit through 50 F-bombs and other questionable content when I watch a movie so until they come back you wont be seeing any rated R movie reviews.

Here is the summary for the movies I that came out in 2016 ranked from best to worst.

Rogue One -8.3
The Force Awakens 8.2
Arrival 8.0
Captain America Civil War 7.9
The Jungle Book 7.9
Doctor Strange 7.8
Bridge of Spies 7.8
Sully- 7.7
Batman vs. Superman 7.4
Spectre 7.3
Inside Out 7.3
Creed 7.3
X-Men: Apocalypse  7.2
Jason Bourne 7.1
Antman 7.1
The Intern 7.0
Legend of Tarzan 6.8
Star Trek 6.8
The Shallows 6.8
Central Intelligence 6.7
Ben Hur 6.6
Suicide Squad 6.5
Hail Cesar 6.5
War Craft 6.2
The Fifth Wave 5.9

Edited Movies Watched on Vidangel during 2016  (some of these are older movies)
Gone Girl 8.4
Inglourious Basterds 8.3
Django Unchained 8.2
The Kingdom 8.0
Sicario 8.0
Shaun of the Dead 8.0
No Country for Old Men 7.9
The Butterfly Effect 7.9
The Revenant 7.8
28 Days Later 7.8
Gran Torino 7.8
Kingsman: The Secret Service 7.8
Ex Machina 7.7
Lone Survivor 7.7
Looper 7.7
13 Hours 7.6
District 9  7.6
Cloud Atlas 7.5
Equalizer 7.5
The Gift 7.5
Drive 7.5
Spy 7.4
10 Cloverfield Lane 7.4
127 Hours 7.4
Prometheus 7.3
Southpaw 7.3
Zombieland 7.3
John Wick 7.2
Snowpiercer 7.2
Shooter 7.0
Safe House 7.0
28 Weeks Later 7.0
Safe House 7.0
Horrible Bosses 6.9
Focus 6.9
Book of Eli 6.8
Elysium 6.7
Olympus Has Fallen 6.7
Lucy 6.6
London Has Fallen 6.4
Escape Plan 6.1

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

When I originally heard about this new Star Wars installment over a year ago I was a little cynical and thought it would not fit in well with the other movies. I was wrong. I loved Rogue One and and would actually say it is the best Star Wars film to come out since The Return of the Jedi. I also enjoyed The Force Awakens last year, but Rogue One slightly edged it out.

What I liked about this movie: (Spoiler Alerts)

*The gritty battle scene when the rebels attacked the tank in town.
*How the movie started slow and kept building until the intense final battle scene.
* The special effects were amazing.
*The awesome Imperial siren noise on the Death Star.
*Having much of the movie in desert and tropical environments instead of just in space.
*K-2SO provided the perfect amount of subtle humor.
*Orson Krennic was a great villain and it was nice to have multiple bad guys to worry about.
*Darth Vader has his own refreshing Bacta Tank.
* I liked how nicely it fit in with the other films.
*There were so many little easter eggs and little details from the time period of a New Hope that I appreciated seeing again. It was like a happy reunion.
*There were no Ewoks, purple elephants playing instruments, or Jar Jar in this movie. It had a much more realistic feel to it.

What I didn't like quite so much:

*Forest Whitaker is a good actor but I'm seeing him in too many movies lately. He is giving Samuel Jackson a run for his money.
*I think Felicity Jones did a good job as Jeyn Erso, but I liked Daisy Ridley as Rey in last year's movie just a little bit more.
*I liked Donnie Yen's character but I didn't buy him taking out so many storm troopers in armor just by whacking them with a wooden staff.

Overall it was a nice "inbetweenquel." I give Rogue One 8.3 stars.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

More Movie Reviews

These movie summaries resemble Tweets more than they do reviews but you get what you pay for.

Arrival- I really liked this movie and it was a thinking movie on par with Interstellar. I give it 8.0 stars since it was quite intense and well done.

Doctor Strange- When I saw the trailer I thought it looked so dumb but I really enjoyed it. I liked the emphasis on the power of Zen and Eastern philosophy instead of just seeing strength or speed in a super hero. 7.8 Stars.

Warcraft- All I can say is it is based off of a video game. It had good special effects and action but I just was not engaged at all while watching it. Something was missing for me so I only gave it 6.2 stars.

Star Trek Beyond- A decent Star Trek movie but not too memorable. 6.8.

Jason Bourne- When I saw the trailer I was rolling my eyes that I had seen every single scene multiple times in the prior movies but it was much  better than I expected. 7.1.

Sully- Great performance by Tom Hanks of an amazing true story. There was even a cameo by Clint Eastwood via a movie sign in Time Square for Gran Torino. I give it 7.7 stars.

Southpaw- I really liked Jake Gyllenhaal's performance of a troubled boxer and give it 7.3.

The Intern- I thought this was actually a pleasant little movie with several nice messages. 7.0.

Here are some older movie summaries I caught edited on Vidangel over the last few months.

Cloud Atlas- Pretty intense and complicated. It took me a while to finish it but I liked it. 7.5 stars.

Shooter- This was a decent action movie and I always enjoy watching a movie about someone who was framed clearing their name and getting revenge. 7.0 stars

Gone Girl- Very suspenseful and well done thriller. I easily give it 8.4 stars.

Shaun of the Dead- Very funny and enjoyable movie in the zombie genre. 8.0 stars

Inglourious Basterds- The suspense and tension in the beginning interrogation scene with Christoph Waltz blew me away. I give it 8.3 stars.

Django Unchained- Very entertaining with great performances. A little too gritty for my taste even though it was edited but I still really liked it.  8.2 stars.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Shallows

The Shallows is the younger generation's version of Jaws. This movie is about a woman who goes on vacation to a secluded beach in Mexico to surf and to take a break from her problems. The morning she is headed to the beach, her friend flakes on her so she ends up breaking the buddy system rule and surfs alone. She is having a good time until she wipes out, is cut up on some coral, and is then bitten on the leg by a shark. She quickly swims to a nearby rock formation where she is protected from the shark while the tide is low.

She is injured badly but uses her nursing skills to stop the bleeding. She is only 200 yards from shore but can not make the swim to safety since she is continually being watched and stalked by a persistent, huge shark.

This movie was entertaining but kind of fake. Her leg would have been gone had a shark that big taken a bite out of her but I am not one to wish anyone to lose a leg so I'll give it 6.8 stars.

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