Movies I've Just Seen

Quick reviews of films I've just recently seen.

All plot summaries come from IMDb
Spring Breakers (2013)
Directed by: Harmony Korine
Starring: Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez & Ashley Benson
Plot: “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.”
Review: Spring Breakers is flashy, loud and wild with an important message behind it all. Harmony Korine’s latest directorial effort shows us a darker side to spring break. The film was brilliantly shot, and had a lot of effective imagery that makes you feel like you’re watching something you’ve never seen before. The content of the film is crude and offensive but there’s an underlying message behind it all when you come to realize that the film is also a giant nightmare. James Franco steals the show in every scene he’s in as Alien. Selena Gomez was great as the innocent one of the group, but I felt as soon as she left, the movie began to fall apart a bit. This also makes sense because of how bad the rest of the girls situations become once she leaves. What I really enjoyed the most was the way Harmony repeated a bunch of dialogue throughout the film and shows you scenes that hasn’t happened yet. It leaves you wondering what’s going to happen next. It’s a hard film to describe but if you’re looking for something completely different film, give this one a shot. 
Rating: 7/10

Spring Breakers (2013)

Directed by: Harmony Korine

Starring: Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez & Ashley Benson

Plot: 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.”

Review: Spring Breakers is flashy, loud and wild with an important message behind it all. Harmony Korine’s latest directorial effort shows us a darker side to spring break. The film was brilliantly shot, and had a lot of effective imagery that makes you feel like you’re watching something you’ve never seen before. The content of the film is crude and offensive but there’s an underlying message behind it all when you come to realize that the film is also a giant nightmare. James Franco steals the show in every scene he’s in as Alien. Selena Gomez was great as the innocent one of the group, but I felt as soon as she left, the movie began to fall apart a bit. This also makes sense because of how bad the rest of the girls situations become once she leaves. What I really enjoyed the most was the way Harmony repeated a bunch of dialogue throughout the film and shows you scenes that hasn’t happened yet. It leaves you wondering what’s going to happen next. It’s a hard film to describe but if you’re looking for something completely different film, give this one a shot. 

Rating: 7/10

Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)
Director: Sam Raimi
Starring: James Franco, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz
Plot: “A small-time magician arrives in an enchanted land and is forced to decide if he will be a good man or a great one.”
Review: Sam Raimi continues to show that he is a great director that can tell any kind of story he wants. Oz the Great and Powerful is a magical film. It has some incredible visuals that takes you places that will make you feel like a kid again. The opening scenes are great, and the transition into Oz was done very well. For anyone familiar with Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead series there was a lot of shots and moments that will remind you of it. At times it feels as if the story can slow down a bit but other than that it was a real fun time. The cast was good too. At first I couldn’t take James Franco seriously but over time I became more invested in character. The Witches were all great too, even if Mia Kunis felt a bit out of place. The ones who stole the show had to be the CGI characters: the China Doll and Finnley. The movie had a lot of heart and imagination and it’s one of the very few movies that used the 3D effectively. I think some of the reviews out there are being a little too hard on this movie. If you get the chance, go see it.
Rating: 7.5/10

Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)

Director: Sam Raimi

Starring: James Franco, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz

Plot: A small-time magician arrives in an enchanted land and is forced to decide if he will be a good man or a great one.”

Review: Sam Raimi continues to show that he is a great director that can tell any kind of story he wants. Oz the Great and Powerful is a magical film. It has some incredible visuals that takes you places that will make you feel like a kid again. The opening scenes are great, and the transition into Oz was done very well. For anyone familiar with Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead series there was a lot of shots and moments that will remind you of it. At times it feels as if the story can slow down a bit but other than that it was a real fun time. The cast was good too. At first I couldn’t take James Franco seriously but over time I became more invested in character. The Witches were all great too, even if Mia Kunis felt a bit out of place. The ones who stole the show had to be the CGI characters: the China Doll and Finnley. The movie had a lot of heart and imagination and it’s one of the very few movies that used the 3D effectively. I think some of the reviews out there are being a little too hard on this movie. If you get the chance, go see it.

Rating: 7.5/10

Warm Bodies (2013)
Directed by: Jonathan Levine
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich
Plot: “After R (a highly unusual zombie) saves Julie from an attack, the two form a relationship that sets in motion a sequence of events that might transform the entire lifeless world.”
Review: Warm Bodies really surprised me. I wasn’t very fond of the trailers and previews before but I decided to be a good sport about it and go see it with my girlfriend. This movie had some style, and I really enjoyed it. It had a real good entertaining opening. The jokes were great and cheesy, but how often do you see some zombie humor? The movie really made you look at zombies in a different way. It gave zombies the depth that a lot of movies don’t offer because they are just getting killed off. Nicholas Holt and Teresa Palmer both stole the show together. It was a great take on zombies and it was great to see something different. It was a lot of fun, had good laughs and it had a good heart. Also, the soundtrack was probably my favourite part. A lot of great catchy songs that were actually pretty fitting. Warm Bodies is another strong 2013 release.
Rating: 7/10

Warm Bodies (2013)

Directed by: Jonathan Levine

Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich

Plot:After R (a highly unusual zombie) saves Julie from an attack, the two form a relationship that sets in motion a sequence of events that might transform the entire lifeless world.”

Review: Warm Bodies really surprised me. I wasn’t very fond of the trailers and previews before but I decided to be a good sport about it and go see it with my girlfriend. This movie had some style, and I really enjoyed it. It had a real good entertaining opening. The jokes were great and cheesy, but how often do you see some zombie humor? The movie really made you look at zombies in a different way. It gave zombies the depth that a lot of movies don’t offer because they are just getting killed off. Nicholas Holt and Teresa Palmer both stole the show together. It was a great take on zombies and it was great to see something different. It was a lot of fun, had good laughs and it had a good heart. Also, the soundtrack was probably my favourite part. A lot of great catchy songs that were actually pretty fitting. Warm Bodies is another strong 2013 release.

Rating: 7/10

Side Effects (2013)
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Jude Law
Plot: “A young woman’s world unravels when a drug prescribed by her psychiatrist has unexpected side effects.”
Review: I wasn’t sure what to expect going in but I was pretty blown away. Side Effects is probably the first really great film released this year. Excellent performances from everyone especially Rooney Mara. Her suffering was very believable and I just fell for everything that happened. Another stand out was Jude Law. This was probably one of my favourite Jude Law performances, and you just really felt for his character. Around half way through the movie it begins to throw a bunch of twists at you. My head kept turning so often, especially in the last act. It was one twist after another and I had no idea what to think. In the end, I felt very satisfied. I got more than what I was expecting. 
Rating: 8/10

Side Effects (2013)

Directed by: Steven Soderbergh

Starring: Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Jude Law

Plot: A young woman’s world unravels when a drug prescribed by her psychiatrist has unexpected side effects.”


Review: I wasn’t sure what to expect going in but I was pretty blown away. Side Effects is probably the first really great film released this year. Excellent performances from everyone especially Rooney Mara. Her suffering was very believable and I just fell for everything that happened. Another stand out was Jude Law. This was probably one of my favourite Jude Law performances, and you just really felt for his character. Around half way through the movie it begins to throw a bunch of twists at you. My head kept turning so often, especially in the last act. It was one twist after another and I had no idea what to think. In the end, I felt very satisfied. I got more than what I was expecting. 

Rating: 8/10

Movie 43 (2013)
Directed by: Peter Farrelly
Starring: Emma Stone, Stephen Merchant & Richard Gere
Plot: “A series of interconnected short films follows a washed-up producer as he pitches hilarious and insane story lines featuring some of the biggest stars in hollywood.”
Review: You know, I don’t got much to say about this one. It’s neat to see a cast like that together in one movie, but it’s not told as a story. It’s a series of different skits. The jokes are cringe-worthy and that’s all I really have to say.
Rating: 1.5/10

Movie 43 (2013)

Directed by: Peter Farrelly

Starring: Emma Stone, Stephen Merchant & Richard Gere

Plot:A series of interconnected short films follows a washed-up producer as he pitches hilarious and insane story lines featuring some of the biggest stars in hollywood.”

Review: You know, I don’t got much to say about this one. It’s neat to see a cast like that together in one movie, but it’s not told as a story. It’s a series of different skits. The jokes are cringe-worthy and that’s all I really have to say.

Rating: 1.5/10

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D (2013)
Director: John Luessenhop
Starring: Alexandra Daddario, Tania Raymonde & Scott Eastwood
Plot: “A young woman travels to Texas to collect an inheritance; little does she know that an encounter with a chainsaw-wielding killer is part of the reward.”
Review: Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D is an interesting entry in the franchise. It follows exactly where the last one finished but set in modern day. The big problem with this film is that I felt nothing really happens. I don’t feel as if this added anything to the series other than the interesting twist at the end. I haven’t seen any of the other sequels besides the original and from what I’ve heard, this one is at least better (besides Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 from 1986) but that still doesn’t mean too much. I thought Leatherface was alright but he was missing his signature squeal. Other than it’s gorey kills, there isn’t too much about this movie that I’m going to remember other than the couple things that go on during the end. If you’re a fan of the franchise, it’s probably worth the watch for the final act.
Rating: 3/10

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D (2013)

Director: John Luessenhop

Starring: Alexandra Daddario, Tania Raymonde & Scott Eastwood

Plot: A young woman travels to Texas to collect an inheritance; little does she know that an encounter with a chainsaw-wielding killer is part of the reward.”

Review: Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D is an interesting entry in the franchise. It follows exactly where the last one finished but set in modern day. The big problem with this film is that I felt nothing really happens. I don’t feel as if this added anything to the series other than the interesting twist at the end. I haven’t seen any of the other sequels besides the original and from what I’ve heard, this one is at least better (besides Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 from 1986) but that still doesn’t mean too much. I thought Leatherface was alright but he was missing his signature squeal. Other than it’s gorey kills, there isn’t too much about this movie that I’m going to remember other than the couple things that go on during the end. If you’re a fan of the franchise, it’s probably worth the watch for the final act.

Rating: 3/10

Mama (2013)
Director: Andres Muschietti
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Megan Charpentier
Plot: “Annabel and Lucas are faced with the challenge of raising his young nieces that were left alone in the forest for 5 years…. but how alone were they?”
Review: I rarely ever watch new horror films but I decided to watch Mama just because of Guillermo del Toro’s name was on this. I’m very divided on this one. I like the way the movie looks, and I think Jessica Chastain and the two little girls were great but I just don’t think the script was that great. The movie is made up of a lot of suspenseful scenes of dark shadows crawling in the back and I think for this type of movie it works a lot better than it would have if it was replaced with a lot of intense gore. For that reason alone, I appreciate them going for some old-school type of horror. The ending sort of lost me too. It’s not a great horror movie but if you’re into these kind of movies, go check it out while it’s still in theatres!
Rating: 5.5/10

Mama (2013)

Director: Andres Muschietti

Starring: Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Megan Charpentier

Plot: Annabel and Lucas are faced with the challenge of raising his young nieces that were left alone in the forest for 5 years…. but how alone were they?”

Review: I rarely ever watch new horror films but I decided to watch Mama just because of Guillermo del Toro’s name was on this. I’m very divided on this one. I like the way the movie looks, and I think Jessica Chastain and the two little girls were great but I just don’t think the script was that great. The movie is made up of a lot of suspenseful scenes of dark shadows crawling in the back and I think for this type of movie it works a lot better than it would have if it was replaced with a lot of intense gore. For that reason alone, I appreciate them going for some old-school type of horror. The ending sort of lost me too. It’s not a great horror movie but if you’re into these kind of movies, go check it out while it’s still in theatres!

Rating: 5.5/10

The Last Stand (2013)
Director: Kim Ji-Woon
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Forest Whitaker & Johnny Knoxville
Plot: “The leader of a drug cartel busts out of a courthouse and speeds to the Mexican border, where the only thing in his path is a sheriff and his inexperienced staff.”
Review: The Last Stand marks Arnolds return in a leading role since Terminator 3. I’m not going to say this is an incredible film but in my own opinion, it was extremely satisfying. Korean director Kim Ji-WOon makes his American debut film and I think he did a very good job with this. I think the movie had some pretty good supporting characters. Johnny Knoxville and Luis Guzman were hilarious to watch. My biggest complaint is how unlikeable Forest Whitaker was and continues to be. The movie is full of action, violence and enough comedy to make you walk out of the theatre with a smile on your face. My favourite scene had to be when they were out in the middle of the street (but I won’t go into spoilers). If you’re looking for a great popcorn flick, I say go check this one out. It may be corny at times but hey, what Arnold Schwarzenegger film isn’t?
Rating: 7/10

The Last Stand (2013)

Director: Kim Ji-Woon

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Forest Whitaker & Johnny Knoxville

Plot:The leader of a drug cartel busts out of a courthouse and speeds to the Mexican border, where the only thing in his path is a sheriff and his inexperienced staff.”

Review: The Last Stand marks Arnolds return in a leading role since Terminator 3. I’m not going to say this is an incredible film but in my own opinion, it was extremely satisfying. Korean director Kim Ji-WOon makes his American debut film and I think he did a very good job with this. I think the movie had some pretty good supporting characters. Johnny Knoxville and Luis Guzman were hilarious to watch. My biggest complaint is how unlikeable Forest Whitaker was and continues to be. The movie is full of action, violence and enough comedy to make you walk out of the theatre with a smile on your face. My favourite scene had to be when they were out in the middle of the street (but I won’t go into spoilers). If you’re looking for a great popcorn flick, I say go check this one out. It may be corny at times but hey, what Arnold Schwarzenegger film isn’t?

Rating: 7/10