Man of Steel Movie Review: 1 Spoiler — It Sucks

A young itinerant worker is forced to confront his secret extraterrestrial heritage when Earth is invaded by members of his race.
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I found it completely shocking that some people actually liked this movie, although I attribute it to the hype and the action that overshadowed the actual meat of the movie (or lack thereof). Of course, many people also share my sentiment that Man of Steel sucks.

Man of Steel falls down on so many levels it is hard to know where to begin. The biggest hole in the movie was the cast: failing to create any believable characters. The “Man of Steel” (Henry Cavill) was very dull, delivered lines robotically, and was just absolutely unlovable. He certainly lived up to his name in the movie though, with no more personality than a steel girder. The same went for Lois Lane, played by Amy Adams that failed to create any spark on-screen between herself and Superman. She was hot, yes, but a great movie that does not make.

By far the worst scenes were between Superman and his parents as they try to explain who he is and what is happening to him. It is always interesting to see how a movie will approach these difficult aspects but they did not handle it well. “Son, you are an alien. No big deal” was essentially their approach. It was awkward. It was bad. It felt like the directors just wanted to deal with it quickly like ripping off a band-aid.

What was good about the movie? The action — kinda. There was a lot of it, but it was senseless. The movie was too long and yet it was full of action scenes that stretched on forever. Superman is basically invincible and so are his enemies. So why are they punching each other around for 10 mins? Don’t they realize they are not accomplishing anything? Neither Superman nor his enemies seemed to take any damage throughout their “epic” battles but they kept punching each other anyway. The graphics were really good though, that’s about it.

The way they explained Superman’s powers was also bad. See the spoilers for details.

To spare myself an essay, I’m going to stop here. If you liked the movie, I don’t blame you but you might want to get your eyes and ears checked 🙂 Give the movie another watch and pay attention to the things I have mentioned and I am sure you will understand my pain. Of course you can always just look at the pretty explosions.

Spoilers below

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I actually laughed out loud when Superman let his dad die in the tornado. It was a huge stretch for him to let his dad die just to conceal his identity but on top of that, they felt the need to spell it out for us by him specifically saying that he let his dad die for that purpose. Laugh out loud ridiculous.

His powers were explained by atmospheric differences between Krypton and Earth which was great. Except that no amount of atmospheric differences gives you the ability to fly. Jump high? Sure! Fly? No. Laser vision? Where did that come from? Near invincibility? You’re going to have to try harder than “atmospheric differences”. I actually love it when super hero movies use plausible explanations to bridge reality but when it’s not plausible, it is painful.

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Iron Man 3 Movie Review — “It Kinda Sucked”

When Tony Stark’s world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution.
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I may get a lot of flack for this review but it has to be said: Iron Man 3 kinda sucked.

Before everyone freaks out, the keyword is “kinda”. The movie was very entertaining and had elements of what has made the Iron Man series so great but also included a lot of cheesy moments and ludicrous scenes.

I have not read the Iron Man comics, so I do not know if the movie has stayed true to the originals, however, my main complaint with Iron Man 3 is that it throws whatever semblance of realism existed in the series. One of the things that puts Iron Man and Batman at the top of the super heroes list is the fact that they are at least somewhat realistic. In a previous review of The Dark Knight Rises, I wrote about how refreshing a semi-believable hero is. Batman and Iron Man are great examples of extraordinary people that use technology to accomplish even more extraordinary feats. Unlike Superman, a powerful alien with outright superpowers . . .

See spoiler section for more on the movie’s unbelievability.

Luckily, most of the other great elements of the Iron Man series remained intact. Robert Downey Jr.‘s dialogue was not as sharp as usual but still great and the movie had plenty of funny scenes and didn’t take itself too seriously. Several action scenes were also unrealistic but overall, Iron Man 3 was an action-packed adventure. The visual effects were fantastic as usual and seemed to be very present in every single scene of the movie. If you watch the credits, pay attention towards the end for the EPIC chunk of names attributed to the movie’s visual effects. It’s quite impressive.

Overall, Iron Man will entertain (as it is doing for the masses) but it is a farcry from the quality of the first two movies in the trilogy. It’s worth a watch in the theatres because of its visual effects but don’t fret too much if you can’t make it out for a couple weeks.

P.s. There is a scene after the (particularly long) credits but is highly unnecessary so feel free to head home and not wait for it.

Scroll for spoiler section

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Unlike previous enemies of Iron Man, the enemies in Iron Man 3 are particularly unbelievable. I mean, c’mon, fire people? The regenerative biological process was interesting, but the fact that it turned people into fire demons was excessively stupid. The most hilariously bad scene in the movie was when Aldrich Killian breathed fire. It was included as a bit of comedy but was just plain ridiculous. Dragon people? I expect so much more of Iron Man.

Spring Breakers Movie Review

Four college girls who land in jail after robbing a restaurant in order to fund their spring break vacation find themselves bailed out by a drug and arms dealer who wants them to do some dirty work.
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The super short review: Spring Breakers was bizarre, sexy, funny and unique. If you are not a fan of the naked female form, perhaps you should opt to watch Safe Haven instead.

Spring Breakers is not the movie you think it is. It is far more “artsy” and “deep” than you could possibly expect from its title and premise. In this case, it was mostly a good thing.

It helps to know what to expect going in to the movie, so pay attention. If you are looking for a lighthearted comedy or mainstream flick, look elsewhere. Spring Breakers has its funny parts and some mainstream good times, but it is far more than that. You will frequently find your brain melting, for example. Not from stupidity but rather from trying to comprehend the insanity you are watching.

Overall though, the movie works. It depicts a life that few of us ever live — the true “wild side” of life — so it is impossible to watch expecting the plot points to be normal. The direction helped add to the bizarre feel of the movie which seems to cause eye-glazing among the general public. A hit with the critics; less so with the general public. If nothing else, Spring Breakers is a very unique movie and should be appreciated for that.

Prudes beware: nudity abounds. Spring Breakers earns its 18A rating within the first 2 minutes with more breasts in the movie than there are aliens in Alien. Although there is no doubt that the nudity helps appease the male audience, it is used in such a way that it actually adds to the validity of the setting. Some nudity, of course, has been thrown in to increase word of mouth.

James Franco does a surprisingly good job playing a drug dealer/rapper/straight-up gansta. His performance was very refreshing after The Great and Miserable Oz. The ladies (Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine) were great performance-wise as well, though they were largely eye-candy.

In summary: if you go in expecting a weird but unique movie with a lot of boobs, you will not be disappointed.

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The 2013 Oscars Were Great — Thanks to Seth MacFarlane!

Despite being an avid movie-goer, I usually don’t find myself caring about the Oscars very much. This year was certainly an exception.

Many people without a sense of humour, or those that are overly sensitive, claimed that Seth MacFarlane bombed. Everyone else loved it! Besides does that look like a face that cares? (see main image).

There are a number of reasons why I thoroughly enjoyed the Oscars this year:

1. Seth MacFarlane hosted

Seth MacFarlane was an amazing host for so many reasons. First and foremost, he was hilarious! He had jokes for everyone. Some zingers that crossed a line or two, some funny sketches and the usual poking and prodding at the stars in the audience. What was a surprise to many, I’m sure, is how talented Seth is. He writes brilliant comedy including several TV shows and a movie and sings as good as Frank Sinatra.

Fun fact: Seth MacFarlane vocally trained with Lee and Sally Sweetland — the coaches behind Frank Sinatra and Barbara Streisand.

Fun fact #2: Seth narrowly missed getting on one of the planes that ended up crashing into one of the twin towers.

I obviously adore the man but in trying to be objective, I think he was the overall best-suited for the job — perhaps ever. His comfort with comedy is no laughing matter and his vocal skills made for some great musical numbers. Combined, they killed (in a good way).

2. The nominees were amazing and the winners deserving

The Oscars can certainly be hit or miss. I can recall several years where I was thoroughly frustrated by both the movies nominated and the winners in each category. However, this year was not the case. The fact that I watch upwards of 52 movies a year means that I have seen almost all of the winning movies and found most of the winners to be deserving.

I thought Argo most deserved Best Picture and had entered the movie on my ballot but then changed my mind as the show went on thinking that they would give the award to Lincoln. It was very refreshing when Argo ended up winning (and very fortunate that my ballot was set in stone before I decided to change it).

3. There were many surprises

Surprises in the Academy Awards can be frustrating but during the 2013 Oscars most of the surprises were good ones (or neutral). The neutral surprise was the fact that both Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty won the award for sound editing — something I did not know was possible to do.

Seth MacFarlane’s jokes were often surprising. The best example was, when introducing Meryl Streep, he says “and now an actress that needs no introduction” and immediately bolts of the stage. It caught me by surprise and almost brought me to tears with the way he pulled it off.

Argo winning Best Picture was a surprise, presumably even to Ben Affleck. I was personally very pleased that a movie with broader appeal and more diversity won. There have been too many years when the honour goes to the most artsy period piece in the group — appealing only to the utmost movie snobs.

Normally I would say that if you missed the Oscars you wouldn’t have missed much but 2013 was definitely a stand-out year.

Too Many Ads Before the Movies – Cineplex

Too much advertisingI am a frequent moviegoer, seeing over 52 movies a year with a passion for almost all genres except “Chick Flicks”. Unlike my unwavering love for movies, however, my love for Cineplex has been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs recently.

I wrote previously about the not-so sneaky introduction of advertising in TimePlay, and later wrote about how they fixed the situation by removing the ridiculous advertising and made TimePlay awesome. However, they have recently taken a step back by introducing heavy advertising before the movie begins. I realize that movie theaters probably aren’t doing so well these days with piracy rates going up but by introducing too many advertisements before the movies, they risk alienating what audience they have left and stressing relationships with loyal customers like myself.

As far back as I can remember theaters had advertisements before the movies but Cineplex has recently taken it to a whole new level – some movies starting with up to 12 advertisements! Going to the movies isn’t cheap. People will begin to get very upset with the fact that they’re paying top dollar to see movies when they’re released only to be bombarded by more advertisements than watching movies any other way. So now the options are to see the movie in a theater while watching an abundance of advertisements, or download the movie in the comfort of your home and have no advertisements. Which option do you think will be more popular?

What makes the situation even more insane, is the fact that movie previews are already built in advertisements. So not only do you spend several minutes watching ads for other movies but you must also spend many more minutes being spammed over and over again with additional ads. And don’t even get me started about the annoyance of seeing the same ads over and over — made excruciating because of how frequently I go to the movies. It was a slight annoyance before when there were only a couple ads for each movie but now the number of ads has become intolerable.

The worst situation was when I went to see The Hobbit recently. My fiancée and I actually counted the number of ads and we got to 12 – give or take, we somewhat lost count. We just sat there in astonishment as ad was followed by ad for what seemed like an eternity. Since then we saw one more movie and although there were fewer ads, there were still way more than in the past (probably double).

Cineplex, I want to love you like I used to but you’re making it very hard right now. We may have to see different people. It’s not me, it’s you.

Django Unchained Movie Review

With the help of his mentor, a slave-turned-bounty hunter sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner.
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Movie Poster - Django Unchained CastDjango Unchained is both very intense and very good. Be warned, however, that the movie has many uncomfortable scenes, even by my standards. Racism runs throughout the entire movie and, although uncomfortable, appears to be an accurate depiction of the monstrosities of the past.

Django Unchained is a movie that does not hold back in any way. Quentin Tarantino seems to fear no one, not even mixed reactions from the audiences, so he does not hold back. This is what separates Quentin Tarantino from other directors — the fact that he has a back bone.

What has always stood out to me about Tarantino movies is the amazing balance he is able to find between dead-seriousness, ridiculous over-the-top violence and pure comedy. As dark as some scenes in Django Unchained were, many were hilarious. And do not get me started on the witty dialogue!

Christoph Waltz is without question, one of my favourite actors and the way he delivers his witty lines is nothing short of amazing. Those that believe they are not familiar with Christoph Walz, may remember his spectacular performance in Inglorious Basterds as part of a hilariously bizarre opening scene (see video below). Needless to say, Waltz is an incredible actor that I hope to see take on many more roles — currently he is primarily a favourite of Tarantino’s.

Django’s character, played by Jamie Foxx, was more simplistic than Waltz’s, however Foxx still crushed the performance. It certainly seemed like the entire purpose of the movie was to first build-up how atrocious slavery was and then have Foxx come in an make up for the harm that was done in glorious fashion. This, he most certainly accomplished.

The plot was simplistic but did not hinder the movie in any way. In fact, I tend to think it a characteristic of some of the best movies – following the Keep-It-Simple-Stupid principle. Instead of a convoluted plot, Django Unchained focused all of it’s attention on Tarantino’s signature blend of action and dialogue and the outcome was very satisfying.

To finish up this post, I figured I would leave you with a checklist that can help you decide whether or not you should see this movie. You should definitely watch Django Unchained if any of the following are true:

  • You are a Tarantino or Christoph Waltz fan
  • You enjoy a movie with a blend of action, comedy and dialogue
  • When you see gore you do not hide in a corner and cry

SkyFall Movie Review | Bond is back. James Bond.

Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.
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James Bond is back and he is kicking ass and taking names! SkyFall is action-packed but it is not the action that carries this movie. Instead, it is nostalgia and overall utter brilliance – as the British would say.

For those who are unaware, our favourite agent 007 is celebrating his 50 anniversary and for his birthday he gets an amazing gift — without question the best Bond movie. Sure, you may argue that an older Bond film is better because you prefer a particular portrayal of James Bond but there is no arguing that SkyFall is one of the most perfectly put together movies of the franchise. Here’s why:

  • Action. But unlike many other Bond movies, action is not all she wrote.
  • A perfect blend of nostalgia and throw-backs combined with graceful modernization
  • A storyline that, while simple, is very engaging and restarts the franchise (much like Batman Begins)
  • Performances that are likely to be remembered for years to come

Much like Christopher Nolan’s revamp of the Batman franchise, SkyFall succeeds in transcending James Bond movies of the past in terms of relevance, polish and a level of “seriousness” that was absent from many of the mainstream-action iterations of the past. You can hear it amongst the group of moviegoers as they exit the theatre. Not only the joy of having witnessed such a great movie but pure excitement; already eagerly anticipating the next movie in what will hopefully be a whole new era of Bond. An era of high expectations and delivering upon those expectations.

SkyFall also toys with a unique bond girl setup in which there is not a specific woman of interest. Although still present, sex appeal was used more sparingly than previous Bond movies, if my memory serves me correctly. This is not a sour point, however, as I believe that many bond girls in past movies have merely served as a distraction from the plot and little else (a significant visual distraction). Instead, Bond interacts with the women in the movie in a much more progressive way. Perhaps as a means of appeasing a changing female demographic or perhaps to eliminate distractions from the main story. After all, Bond never really spent a great deal of time building relationships in the past so any character contributions made by “romance scenes” in previous movies were negligible.

SkyFall is the best iteration of James Bond in a long time and probably ever. Everyone will find something about this movie that will truly catch their attention. Die-hard fans of the original movies will enjoy the many inclusions of nostalgic elements, while new-comers to the franchise will enjoy the modernization of the story and the removal of many “cheesy” elements that are no longer acceptable in great modern movies.

I tend to rate movies rather favourably, however, exaggerations aside, SkyFall has likely found its place in my list of Top 10 Movies of All Time.