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Lockout (2012)


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Lockout




5/10

 

Starring
Guy Pearce
Maggie Grace
Vincent Regan
Joseph Gilgun

Directed by James Mather and Stephen St. Leger

Distributed by Open Road Films and FilmDistrict




After a lot of thought I finally took the time to see this Die Hardlook alike hopeful, Fortress 1 & 2let’s not forget Escape from New Yorkreap off, and I have to be honest this is not a good reap off neither can it pass as a good movie.

The idea of a prison in space named MS: ONE was meant to be a good idea, hey! It was written by Luc Besson who was the principal author of Taken and its predecessor Taken 2 (both starred Liam Neeson), so you will expect a masterpiece in the making, but nope! We were given a loose ended movie, with a script that lacked innovation a never ending mayhem, and a bunch of prisoners with no idea of what is important.

Set in the near future, Lockout stars Guy Pearce who plays Snow, a military operative who was wrongly accused for killing a high ranking operative and was awaiting a prison sentence.
Emily (Maggie Grace) was visiting MS: ONE to confirm the truth that long term stasis has neurological effects on the prisoners.

While there the prisoners managed to break free from their warden and the officers and took over the space prison with the president daughter still on board.

The movie took a turn for the worse when the above happened; as the prisoners either had no idea what to do, or were just dumb. This is the writers fault, as they put together a movie with an adoption scene and a bunch of prisoners who asked for nothing but ran around killing and getting killed.

The CGI and action sequence were good, if I may add but that was not enough to save the movie.

Although the movie is a useless waste of cinema time, the actors and extras were really into it, probably thought they were in another movie, because all I saw was great acting by all the cast but a bad script.

Maggie Grace (Emily presidents daughter), actually did practically all her stunts, not that they were much or impressive.

Guy Pearce was tactful, in his presentation of the protagonist. The movie had all the old tricks packaged into one, I punch the good guy a million times and he remains standing. I punch the bad guy once and he is out cold.

All in all, this movie is meant to be a direct to DVD release but the producers just wanted to waste our poor cinema time.

The Avengers (2012)

The Avengers



8/10



Starring
Robert Downey, Jr.
Chris Evans
Mark Ruffalo
Chris Hemsworth
Scarlett Johansson
Jeremy Renner
Tom Hiddleston
Samuel L. Jackson



Directed by Joss Whedon


Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures


Earth's Mightiest Heroes come together to stop Asgardian outlaw and lord of mischief, Loki.

Let me sum up this movie in two words - Ridiculous Fun.

It's a little difficult for me to review this movie objectively because I'm still reeling from having just seen it. The Avengers is everything a summer blockbuster should be, and then some. Fun Fun Fun.

Marvel's The Avengers is the culmination of years and years of teasers and easter eggs left at the end of all Marvel studio movies since Ironman in 2008. It's a long time to wait for one movie and aniticipation was almost volcanic. Based on the hype alone, the movie had a big challenge trying to meet up with expectation. And I'm glad to say it delivers. Big time!

Firstly, the setup. Before you see The Avengers, it would be best if you've seen, Ironman 1 & 2, Incedible Hulk, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger. These movies all serve as a background for all the major characters (heroes and villians alike) in The avengers.

Question: What happens when u put Bruce Banner and Thor in a vessel way up in the sky and then Banner sets Hulk loose?

Answer: Chaos like no other.

This movie is CGI invasion, almost everything at the final frontier (final battle) was CGI incorporated. So well crafted was the CGI and so well mastered were the actors themselves that they flowed with the scenes with ease.


The Norse god, Loki arrives on earth in a top secret SHIELD base, takes over the personnel and destroys the site. He also happens to acquire a very power energy source called The Tesseract, which the mischievous god intends to put to nefarious use. All these in the first 10 minutes of the movie. It's therefore up to the Director of SHIELD (Nick Fury played by Samuel L. Jackson) to commence the avengers initiative. Its all very comicbooky and sounds like something only nerds and comicbook readers would enjoy. But at the same time, it is very easy to follow and understand. 


The Avengers is a glowing testament to Joss Whedon's ingenuity as a writer/director because he manages to not only write a funny and fast-paced script(more on that later) but he also writes the characters in a way that portrays them as heroes with flaws. This makes it very easy for the audience to relate with whatever is happening on screen instead of alienating those who've never opened a comic book.

And watch out for cool camera angles, one had Captain America assessing a scene and we get to see it from a reflection.
Which brings us to the screenplay. This is a comic book through and through, so there's a plot to take over the world, lots of funny quips, high tech weaponry, an alien race and some fantastic battles. 

One of the major fears in doing an avengers movie is handling all the characters (there are 7 major characters) and their story arcs, working their motivations and personality into the script. In the hands of someone else, this may have been a recipe for disaster, but not Whedon. He manages to bring out each character's personality and idiosyncracies, giving each one enough screen time to allow the actors really shine. The dialogue was sweet as no one seemed to speak out of character. The story, though a little generic - crazy god steals a doomsday device that can end the world and several superheroes band together to stop him, is quite adequate as the first part of this franchise (a sequel has been confirmed). 

And the action... Oh the action!

Halfway through the movie I ran out of Exclamations and just hanged on to my seat. Loaded with amazing scene after amazing scene, you'd be hard pressed to get bored watching this. It's like the producers kept asking "That last scene was good, but how do we top that in the next scene?" Then they went ahead to just blow the coolness level off the charts in the final action sequence.

It's no wonder because the budget for this movie was titanic (pardon the pun) - nearly 220 million US dollars. And it's worth it because every scene in the Avengers is just so spectacular. The attention to detail was intricate. Things like Thor's lightning bolts tearing through the night sky, the wear and dents on Iron man's battle armor, Bruce Banner's hulking out scenes, the list goes on and on. Everything looked so good it was like the special effects people were saying "look at me, aren't I pretty?" If I was to be nit-picky, I'd say the aliens looked quite generic and not as foreboding as those trying to take over a planet.

The actors did a splendid job playing their respective roles. Particular mention for a wonderful performance by Tom Hiddleston (Loki). When he played Loki in Thor(2011), he did it so well I actually thought he knew the guy. He kept up the good work here also and I hope this won't be the last we hear of him. Sad to say, but Samuel L Jackson's acting was the weakest among the group and Mark Ruffalo's was the best. It was also good to see Chris Evans playing Cap with such aplomb and Robert Downey managed to chew up his screen time also. Though his "funny" lines always went over my head all through the movie(maybe its just me though). Captain rose up to the occasion to show why we all (especially Agent Colson) love and respect him. Without a doubt, he deserves to lead the Avengers into any battle. One thing that I enjoyed was seeing his character be so oblivious to pop-culture references thereby re-enforcing his back story as a man "out of his own time". Thor was graceful as usual, but the Hulk was the icing on the cake.

All in all, go see it.


by Ibukun Taiwo and Tosin Laguda

A Thousand Words (2012)


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A Thousand Words



3/10




Starring
Eddie Murphy
Kerry Washington
Cliff Curtis
Clark Duke
Allison Janney
Ruby Dee


Directed by Brian Robbins


Distributed by Paramount Pictures and Dreamworks Pictures



They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so most definitely a moving picture is worth more than a million.

I am sad to say, I am short of words when it comes to the movie a thousand words.

The thing is Eddie has lost it and he is trying hard to get it back. After a string of children films he went back on the horse of serious adult movies and still has not been able to pull out the stuff he was known for.

The movie mind you was done in 2008, 4 years before now meaning it was done before Tower Heist, a movie where Eddie Murphy’s performance was a great improvement. Due to some studio issues the movie A Thousand Words ended up being released in 2012.

A Thousand Words is directed by Brian Robbins who also worked with Murphy in Norbit and Meet Dave, both which were as useless a watch as cinnamon is to the taste. Murphy before now was set to host the Oscars but stepped down and Billy Crystal took his place.

The movie script for A Thousand Words is shamble, if you have seen Liar Liar, or other feel good movies then you have seen this before; same trend and same ideology but different cast.

Eddie plays Jack McCall, a motor mouth who can talk people into doing what he wants, one day he was sent to get for his publishing company a religious character that is making the air waves.

He goes, says all he had to say and told some lies and then all of a sudden he gets cursed (yeah right). He goes home and in his backyard he sees a tree (which appears out of the blue, sad thing is we get to see it grow out of the ground) that looked like one he saw in the religious man’s home.

Calls the man (the religious man) over to see the tree, and they notice that as he speaks, the leaves of the tree fall off. So what happens when all the leaves fall off? What happens to Jack as he has to mind his words? Well, same like all the feel good movies you and I have seen.

He first loses his job because of his inability to behave normally, his girl leaves him and he finally learns what is important in life.

What a waste of time watching this movie was and I advise all not to join people like me who were unfortunate enough to have seen it.

The Three Stooges (2012)


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The Three Stooges





4/10




Starring
Chris Diamantopoulos
Sean Hayes
Will Sasso


Directed by Farrelly Brothers

Distributed by 20th Century Fox



Could have been better ….

It is clear after seeing the three stooges that the Farrelly brothers love the original stooges is a little too much. The brothers to me have been a little shy of delivery in their movies since Something About Mary (1998), before this was Hall Pass, which was also a drag.

If you are a huge fan of the original stooges and don’t believe in remakes, I will advise you to stay clear of this movie. If you have not seen the stooges before and decide this will be your first… You may not like this picture. But if you love slapstick comedy, go ahead.

One thing I must say is the performance given by Chris Diamantopoulos, Sean Hayes and Will Sasso as Moe, Larry and Curly respectively is so good and so like the original I actually applauded them for their work. Another high point in the movie is the mastery and well-choreographed eye-pokes, knuckle sandwiches, elbow nudges, and stunts I was thrilled by them.

But let’s look at why this movie is lacking the Midas touch, too much recycling of the old stooges flick when all I need to do if I need to see them (i.e the old stooges) is visit the nearest video store. Irritating screenplay that makes me wonder why anyone will think, spraying baby urine and using them as squirt guns will be funny. Even SofĂ­a Vergara performance as the villain too became boring after a while.

The use of Larry David (maker of Seinfeld), as one of the nuns was weird too me and the joke of using Jennifer Hudson as one of the singing nuns went over my head, (I still haven’t figured it out).

The story is plain and simple as all stooges story starts till the trio make a mess of things, The trio needed to raise 830,000 dollars to save their orphanage from closing, a task they took upon their themselves to save their home.

They decided to do all it will take to raise the money, and so began the journey of the stooges.

Their journey led them to the show “Jersey Shore” and they had to interact with the cast on the show, and we saw eye poking, punching, head hitting, all over the place and I just couldn’t wait for it to end.

Jersey Shore is a waste of T.V time to me, now add the stooges...???

At the very end of the movie I just appreciated the actors for their work other than the movie for what it was meant to be, that is funny (because it wasn’t).

Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows (2012)


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Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows




8/10



Starring
Robert Downey, Jr.
Jude Law
Noomi Rapace
Jared Harris
Stephen Fry
Kelly Reilly
Rachel McAdams

Directed by Guy Ritchie

Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures


One thing you have to love about “A Game Of Shadows” is the pitch which it starts. The touch of comedy makes it enticing to the eyes and ears. With over 2 hours of watch time, Holmes delivered a enough juice to keep you watching.

With a more like Jackie Chan fight scenes, lovely disguises by Holmes and it was fun to see the dynamic duo, battle together in a sheer masculine type male bonding, with Watson being the joker in every scene introducing jokes and fun as the plot untangles.

Holmes brother Mycoft was also introduced, as in the books Sherlock Holmes brother was more in touch with his power of observation than Sherlock himself. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle made Holmes brother smarter and better than Holmes in his books the only different being he had more political ambition than Holmes and less interest in being a detective.

Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr) is up against a criminal mastermind Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris) who is Holmes' intellectual equal. The story starts off with the death of the Crown Prince of Austria. Holmes deduces that the prince has been the victim Professor Moriarty.

Holmes goes after Moriarty, but always seems to be behind all that is going on. The two masterminds start a game of who will succeed; a game which Moriarty’s lack of conscience led to chaos and death.

The movie did have an initial face-off between the two major players Holmes and Moriarty, a face-off that was less exciting than I hoped.



No need to say anything about the acting, as it was the main steed in the movie as it rode hard and strong till it crossed the finish line in front. The acting was something extraordinary with good delivery of lines, wonderful facial expressions and grand gestures; making the actors more like the character they represent rather than being distant from the movie, what I'm saying in few words is the actors were the bomb.

The scenery was well crafted to fit and suit the screenplay which was a grand gesture of mastery. Directing must have been made easy for Guy Ritchie (who directed the first Sherlock Holmes) as the screenplay to me did the main task. The script and dialogue won’t bore you that’s for sure and the cat and mouse game of Holmes and Moriarty was good to watch.

The effects were great and the tragedy was endless as the collateral damage grew intensively in this movie. There was a scene that was like a war was going on.

The negative things about the movie has to be the way Ritchie made Holmes look like a clumsy mercenary, over using the slow motion theme and too much emphasis on guns.

At the end of this movie all i have to say to the producers is, "a little of all this in the next Sherlock Holmes please."

If like me you delayed in seeing this masterpiece, I advise you do so now before it gets away from the cinema if it hasn’t already.

Alien Resurrection (1997)


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Alien Resurrection



7/10



Starring
Sigourney Weaver
Winona Ryder
Ron Perlman
Dominique Pinon
Gary Dourdan
Michael Wincott
Brad Dourif

Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Distributed by 20th Century Fox



If you have missed this movie then you need to back track and make sure you do see it. The fourth installment in the Alien Franchise was this 1997 film titled Alien Resurrection which had Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) cloned after she died 200 years ago in the incidents of Alien 3. The cloned Ripley had in her the DNA of the Alien so what they company had “CLONED” was a hybrid, a human and the alien DNA mixed.

The new Ripley had in her chest the Queen Embryo, which was removed as soon as the cloning process was a success, and she was studied and she bred a new kind of Alien, a Hybrid that was part human and part Alien, making this film thrilling as you eager to see what will happen next, as we all expect the aliens to break loose as they always have

Well the company also had Alien eggs and they captured men in hyper-sleep and used them to breed the Aliens. They caged them and tried to train them but soon the Aliens got smart and broke free and again all hell broke loose.

What makes this last installment to the franchise good was the suspense, in every turn there is something you thought you had figured out till it changes the next second, making the story dynamic as it twist and brings in each twist excitement. The film is written by Joss Whedon, who had worked on Buffy the Vampire slayer before this, the story and screenplay had enough action to keep you on the edge of your sit.

The actors were on their toes throughout the movie, delivering their lines and their interpretation of the characters with finesse. Another thing that did it for me was the idea to use the Alien’s blood as part of the script, not much about this acid blood has occurred in the previous two installments. But here it played a vital role in the story.
It was also directed by another director, a French director Jean-Pierre who I have to give kudos to, as he did a fine job in delivery.

The CGI and the effects in this installment was better than all previous 3 put together, and it has to be said even though this is not better than the part 2 (Aliens (1986)), it redeemed the image of the franchise.

This was the last time we saw Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) and it was a wonderful exit for her.

American Reunion (2012)

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American Reunion



6/10




Starring
Jason Biggs
Thomas Ian Nicholas
Chris Klien
Seann William Scott
Eddie Kaye Thomas


Directed by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg


Distributed by Universal Pictures



After watching this movie i came to the conclusion that American Pie 1 was the best out of all four movies in the franchise and it is safe to say that American Pie 3 (American Wedding) to me was far better than two, but this new American Pie (Reunion) is better than two but not three.

The original cast all reprise their roles, giving us the same deal as the first three nothing new:

Masturbation (check): in fact the first scene has it occurring twice
Jim watching porn (check): that has been a stalemate in all American Pie
Stif-mister (check): not growing up at all he is still obnoxious and out of his senses defecating in some teenagers drink cooler
Sex (check) and nudity (check).

Nothing much can be said about the movie’s plot without dropping spoilers, just that all our characters have grown, some are married, and Jim and Michelle had a two year old son.



The gang decided to have a 1999 reunion party, which brought back old feelings, causing some to reunite and another to stay friends, Stifler gets to pull one over Finch which is the main twist in the movie. Finch who has since American Pie 1 been going to bed with Stifler’s mum.

In 1999 it began with losing virginity and the raping of a pie, to a weird weekend getaway down to the marriage between Jim and Michelle, and Stifler plans to milk a lady going moo – moo (in American Pie 3). With all this in the past we now see them in a different light, old and kind of boring light.

Well if you are looking for a good story line, know that American Pie has never tried to offer any neither has the acting been extra-ordinary as most cast behaved like over grown kids. The directing is not exceptional as the movie is juvenile and the plot is just over the roof ridicules. But hey! What were you expecting? It is American Pie.

One thing though, if you are in the mood for some juvenile high school kind of movie, 21 Jump Street is a good movie for you, because that too had grownups behaving like misplaced juvenile youths.

If you are a fan of the older versions then this can slip under the rug as a movie you may like, but if you are not a fan of the whole "Pie" raping scheme, then maybe another movie will be just right for you.

Alien 3 (1992)

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Alien 3 (1992)






4/10







Starring

Sigourney Weaver
Winona Ryder
Ron Perlman
Dominique Pinon
Gary Dourdan
Michael Wincott
Brad Dourif


Directed by David Fincher


Distributed by 20th Century Fox






If for any reason other than watching the franchise while preparing for Ridley’s Scott Prometheus (2012), I will advise you skip this movie. In fact Prometheus is of an independent story arc from the Alien movies.

I still have a bad after taste and a feeling that I’ll throw up all I have seen.
It may have been a big budget production, but what a waste it was. As this movie is a distance from interesting or effective if compared to the others in its franchise.

Imagine a movie that starts production without a complete script, the script itself went through 5 re-writes before starting. This to me is a sign that the movie itself didn’t want to be made.

But sadly to say in 1992 Alien 3 was produced and it was a mess, directed by first time movie director at that time David Fincher (alien 3 was his debut, although he has gone to direct hits after that some including Seven (1995), Fight Club (1999), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) and more), who did a job worth getting sidelined for.

As usual, the pod heading for earth got delayed and an alien was onboard and killed most of the crew on board.

Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) survived and she brought with her to the Fiorina 'Fury' 161, a foundry facility and penal colony inhabited by all-male inmates, the Alien.

All hell breaks loose as usual people running here and there, death everywhere, chaos, pandemonium and something growing where it should not.

My very candid thought on this movie is this:
Although the action was there, the suspense was not, the horror genre gone and replaced with drama. The dialogues were too long and so much pause in-between, not evenly paced and the worst part is the story was out of place, ending unbelievably annoying.

I regret seeing this movie, after seeing the Alien (1979) and Aliens (1986) done by Ridley Scott and James Cameron respectively I expected something better, because this was supposed to be a follow up to an already well built story all the writers had to do and the director is to continue from where the two great directors stopped, but instead they tried to make more out of it and ended up wrecking it

In conclusion this movie dragged and makes you wish you didn’t hit play when you got the DVD.