Saturday, March 21, 2015

Insurgent (IMAX 3D)

I haven't watched Divergent since it first came out a year ago. I was a little disappointed with it, but I was still willing to give Insurgent a chance. So what's the verdict? Well, it's slightly better than Divergent. Not that that's saying much.

Insurgent takes place just a few days after the events of Divergent. Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four are now on the run and being hunted by Erudite leader Jeanine (Kate Winslet). She's discovered an important box that can only be unlocked by a Divergent. This box could unlock the truth about the past and change their future forever.

I will give the director, Robert Schwentke, some credit. He tried to do the best he could with the material he had to work with. There are some nice visuals, much better than in Divergent infact. But visuals can only take you so far. 

I think Shailene Woodley is a good actress and she does a decent job here. My problem is she and Theo James have absolutely NO chemistry. Their so called love scene was almost painful to watch. At least there was no cheesy pop song playing during it this time so that was a plus.

Speaking of Theo James, while he's nice to look at, he couldn't act if his life depended on it. His performance as was so robotic! Damn would it have killed him to show a little emotion? I literally laughed out loud several times he was so bad.

Just to warn you, if you haven't seen Divergent I strongly suggest you watch it before you see this. You'll be very confused otherwise since they don't bother doing a quick recap the way most movies would. 

If you plan on seeing this in theaters, watch it in 2D. The 3D wasn't even noticeable most of the time. 

I know it seems like all I'm doing is knocking Insurgent. To be fair, I thought some of the simulation scenes towards the end were actually pretty cool. But that's about it. Still, I'm willing to give the next two movies a chance. 

One more thing that annoyed me though, is they had the amazing, Academy Award winning Octavia Spencer in this movie and they completely wasted her! I haven't read the books so maybe she plays a bigger role in the next one.

If you're a huge fan of the books then I think you'll like this. If not, wait til it comes on Netflix. Better yet, just watch The Hunger Games movies again. They're a million times better. 

My Rating: 7/10

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Cinderella (IMAX)

I've been looking forward to this ever since I saw the trailer. Disney's latest trend is taking their classic animated fairy tales and re-telling them in live action form. After being disappointed with Maleficent, I'm happy to say that they've gotten it right with Cinderella.

There's nothing new as far as the plot goes. It's basically the same as the animated version. When Ella's (Lily James) father unexpectedly dies, she's left at the mercy of her cruel Stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and two Stepsisters (Holliday Grainger and Sophie McShera). Things begin to change when she meets the handsome Prince Kit (Richard Madden). 

The director Kenneth Branagh ,who also directed the first Thor, does an amazing job bringing this story to life. It's something that's clearly aimed for young children, especially girls, but he's managed to make it enjoyable for adults as well. I wasn't the only one there without a child and we all were having a good time.

Every actor in here was perfectly cast. Lily James not only looks the part but really captures the goodness and courage of Cinderella. She also had great chemistry with Richard Madden, who after seeing this, I can't imagine anyone better to play the Prince. Being a huge Game of Thrones fan, he'll always be Robb Stark to me. Anyway, you could tell the two of them had a lot of fun. I especially loved their first scene where Cinderella meets the Prince in the forest. It was really sweet and they played off each other well. 

The great cate Blanchett is very convincing as the wicked Stepmother and the movie is careful not to make her too one dimensional.

Holliday Grainger and Sophie McShera are over the top as the Stepsisters and some people probably won't like that. But I didn't mind because that's how they're suppose to be.

I just have to say that whoever designed the costumes should get an Oscar. They were so beautiful! Especially Cinderella's dresses. I really want her blue ball gown. 

This is one of those movies that I highly suggest you see in IMAX if you can. The cinematography and visual effects are stunning and seeing it on an IMAX screen really makes you feel like you're a part of this magical world. 

If you're into fairy tales I highly recommend this. It's definetly a movie I will watch again and again. I had such a good time. It almost made me believe in Prince Charming again... Almost ;)

My Rating: 10/10

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Chappie (IMAX)

God dammit Neill Blomkamp! I wanted to give you a chance with this. I really did. Even though I haven't watched it since it came out, I thought District 9 was good. And I'm probably in the minority, but I liked Elysium (although it wasn't great). Walking out of the theater after watching Chappie however, I felt very disappointed. Maybe even a little angry. 

Chappie takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa (where Neill Blomkamp is from) in the not so distant future. Crime is being patrolled by a robotic police force. One of these robots is stolen and programmed with artificial intelligence by creator Deon Wilson (Dev Patel). The robot becomes known as Chappie (played by Sharlto Copley through the use of motion capture), the first of his kind with the ability to think and feel for himself. Of course, some people view Chappie as a threat and will stop at nothing to destroy him. 

Let me just tell you right now that the trailers for this movie have been VERY misleading. They make you think that the story is just Dev Patel's character creating Chappie and Hugh Jackman (who plays Vincent Moore, the main villain) doesn't like it so he goes after them. There's so much more that they don't tell you. They would've been better off sticking to that simple story. Instead they toss in these two South African rappers who play gangsters and from there it just gets weird.

The movie starts off okay. I like how Chappie is basically a child at first and has to learn an experience life. I'll admit, there were a few moments where it hit me right in the feels. Also, I thought the visuals were impressive considering the 49 million dollar budget which is pretty low as far as movies go. 

But once the movie got to the whole "gangster training" scene that's when things began to get stupider and stupider. Chappie is the only character in the film that I actually liked. All of the human characters are so flat and underdeveloped. 

The movie drags so much that I felt like it was never going to end. And when it did finally get to the ending, I wanted to shout, "Oh fuck you!"

I don't really reccomend you see this in theaters. Wait til it's on Netflix. But if you insist, see it on a regular screen and not IMAX. Is not worth the extra money. 

Chappie had potential. That's what's so frustrating. Neill Blomkamp really blew it here.

My Rating: 5/10