Category Archives: Reviews

Black Swan Review

Controlled. Precise. Perfect.

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Glee: The Substitute Review

So I’m really pumped after watching the LATEST glee episode: The Substitute, starring the beautiful Gwyneth Paltrow.  Therefore I have decided that after doing an intense amount of posts showing my Gleekness, I think it’s time to do, that’s right, you guessed it:

MY FIRST REVIEW OF GLEE!

Here it goes – spoiler alert, I will mention the plot of the episode, if you’re one of those people that screams when they hear spoilers look away, if you’re like me & believe spoilers enhance your viewing pleasure, enjoy!

Let’s start from the beginning,

Jane Lynch is back as the EVIL Sue Sylvester, personally I hate it when they try to humanize her character.  The sister storyline is great but when that interrupts her utter disdain for Will, everything is just…awkward.  So her conniving ways to get herself Principal of McKinley was pretty tricky, making Figgins sick, blackmailing officials so that she would become head honcho.  Hopefully I hope the writers don’t make this permanent, I love Iqbal Theba’s part as the Principal and with Sue in that role, most of her foil will be gone – and where’s the fun in that?

The show started off strong with the impossibly cute kid versions of the entire glee club that Mr. Shue hallucinates.  I was disappointed they didn’t use this to their full effect.  I only burst out laughing at little Mike Chang’s statement of his only real role:

Baby Mike Chang:  “I just want to dance.”

Of course, with Mr. Shue sick, Terri’s back. Yay?!  I seriously hate her character, even from the first episode you knew she was a pain.  Her storyline in this did nothing to justify why she returned.  Oh great, her and Will slept together, he won’t take her back STILL and she gives him one last chance.  Didn’t this all happen last season?  The writers really need to step up if they want us to have any sympathy for Will.  Sure he’s a great teacher, but he’s a total “manwhore” in the words of Sue and I find his escapades with women really do him no justice to deserve Ms. Emma Pilsbury.

But I digress, let’s go back to the episode.  One of the duller storylines included Mercedes going crazy for some tater tots because she’s eating her feelings over feel abandoned by Kurt and his new “friend” Blaine.  Really?  I mean it’s not too much of a stretch when we’ve seen before how strongly Mercedes reacts to Kurt but I thought this was a really weakening storyline for her.  I hate how the writers only focus on her ‘black’ and ‘fat’, I think Amber Riley has a lot more to bring to the table and this plot just didn’t fit it.  And was anyone else disappointed with Darren Criss’ 2nd appearance?  He didn’t do much and basically did not have to be there.  Let’s hope they use him better next  episode.

However what made this episode truly amazing was the guest star we’d all been waiting for: Gwyneth Paltrow.

I must admit, I was a little wary as to her comedic chops.  I never really liked Paltrow to begin with and that only started to fade after watching the Iron Man movies.  But from that first inner monologue with that monotone voice she was gold.

Holly Holiday:  “It’s not easy being a substitute teacher, kids feel like they get a day off . They’ll goof off, egg your car, cut class, break into your car, throw spitballs, throw alligators in your car.  And I don’t even have a nice car.”

Wouldn’t everyone want a teacher like Holly Holiday.  She gives students answers, she’s fun, she gets Taco Bell for everyone, and she tells the annoying know-it-alls they suck.  I think I’m in love 🙂

The realism of the Glee Club welcoming their new substitute was to DIE for as well.  I love it when the writers just show the club having fun rather than being losers and hating life.  And can someone please just give Artie some praise?  His attempts at being black are hilarious especially when you least expect them. 

Beiste is also such a great character.  She may look strange but she’s funny.

Beiste:  “This is not up for discussion fellas.  You do NOT spray athlete’s foot medicine in your team mates eyes, COME ON!”

Now onto the songs: –

Paltrow’s rendition of ‘Forget You’ was fun, sure.  Not amazing though.  I loved the energy and the cuts back to Rachel’s hatred.  And she’s a pretty good singer.

Grade: B

Schue’s Make ‘Em Laugh felt forced.  The beginning was cute but a few seconds more into it and I felt awkward watching it.  He likes Singin’ in the Rain, we get it.  You don’t need to throw it down our throats.

Grade: D

Nowadays from Chicago was fun to watch.  Yet awkward AGAIN.  No one wants to see a teacher and student dance provocatively together.  Although I have to give it bonus points cause I love me some Chicago.

Grade: B-

Umbrella/Singin’ in the Rain was beautiful.  Seriously if they performed this at Sectionals, they’d WIN!  Although I have to minus marks for not letting the Glee club even sing, cause you know, it’s kinda they’re club :/

Grade: A-

Overall a solid episode musically but storywise they still need to work on it.  However, I really feel the season’s picking up finally.  Going by the 3 Glees theory which I believe is absolutely correct, I’d say this was Ian Brennan’s doing, just because of the weird tots plot but otherwise, he’s improving 🙂

Oh and before I forget, award for best running joke in episode:

Random Glee member:  “Sir I was wondering if we could do ‘insert modern song’?’

Mr. Schue: “No.  But listen up guys, I’ve found a new Journey song we haven’t done yet.  YAY!”

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The Last Song

The Last Song is a novel written by the same man who wrote A Walk to Remember, The Notebook and Dear John – Nicholas Sparks. All of which, incidently, are motion pictures.

It is what it promises; a gooey, emotional and heartbreaking romance. Be it father-daughter love, brother-sister love or boyfriend-girlfriend love, there’s affection… and a lot of it.

Directed by Julie Anne Robinson, The Last Song stars Miley Cyrus, rising actress and singer, who also has her own Disney show by the name Hannah Montana.

She plays the leading lady, or teen, who goes through a transformation  which changes her personality and outlook on the world. Of course, this doesn’t happen without some life changing experiences.

Which reminds me, her co-star Liam Hemsworth, was a major part of her decision to open up her heart to the world and its frightening possibilities. They meet accidentally and he soon proves to her that he’s not the jerk she believes him to be.

Not too much to our surprise, they fall in love eventually and, together, face the obstacles life pushes their way.

Along with the laughter and smiles comes the tears of joy and sadness.

[ Personal Note: This movie made me cry more than thrice. ]

But while on this rollercoaster, we notice that Cyrus’s acting has matured, the storyline is not as cheesy as you’d expect and that sometimes, even the things we most take for granted could disappear in a matter of moments.

Do you ever really forget your first heartbreak?

*

Cyrus performed a ballad especially for The Last Song which featured as the soundtrack.

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Twelve Angry Men

This movie was released in 1957 – yes, it’s black and white.
With 20 nominations, including  3 Oscars, this movie took home 12 wins.

The director named Sidney Lumet also directed Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express and the 1977 film Equus.

Twelve Angry Men refers to the 12 men who sit on a jury for a court case.
It revolves around one room where the 12 men sit and discuss whether or not they should send a 16 year old boy to the electric chair.

The turn of events and leading man, the Late and Great Henry Fonda, will keep you excited.
However, there are a few bits where the plot begins to drag and you feel the movie is getting a bit slow, but the wait’s worth it.

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Mrs. Marple

A Murder is Announced.

The late David Giles directed this murder mystery – The late Dame Agatha Christie wrote it.
She’s a famous crime writer, but wrote romances too, though under a different name.
She is mainly remembered for her 80 detective novels – one of which is A Murder is Announced.

The delicate Joan Hickson plays the character of Mrs. Marple – the detective.
She does a stellar job; she manages to seem like an old, confused lady. Though in relality, she is the sharpest knife of them all.

The action is set off with an advert in the paper announcing that there will be a murder in the Chipping Cleghorne Gazette to take place on October 5th, 7 PM at Little Paddocks cottage. The residents of the village all turn up at the house a little while before 7PM to witness the prank themselves.

Little did they know, the “prank” is not a prank at all and someone gets shot.

With a whole lot of suspense, a splash of excitement, a dash of frustration and a few more deaths, the movie continues.

And like most good mysteries, the ending will catch you off guard.

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The Ghost Writer

When the well-known director, Roman Polanski, was arrested September 2009 in Switzerland, post-production of this movie was never put on hold. He saw every step of the film and made all artistic decisions. He finished editing the movie while in a Swiss prison. In December 2009, Polanski was released on bail, but placed under house arrest, where he remained when his movie was released.      – imdb.com

 

 

Based on the Novel “The Ghost” by Robert Harris, The Ghost Writer is the story of a man, Ewan McGregor, who is hired by the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Pierce Brosnan (this role was first offered to Hugh Grant who turned it down), to write his memoirs for a quarter of a million dollars.

 

What he doesn’t know, until he’s accepted the job, is that his predecessor died on the job. McGregor stumbles upon clues left by the dead writer and uncovers more than he can handle.

This thrilling, suspense-filled mystery will have you watching intently, making sure you don’t miss a moment.

 Also, the twisted ending will have you smiling at the brilliance of it all.

~

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Predators: The ultra shit movie that preys on the poor misinformed people out there

I have been  very excited to see Inception, especially after hearing all the buzz going around on facebook, the internet and word of mouth but possibly the most important  factor involved in my decision is  MIHIR’S REVIEW: https://filmfix.wordpress.com/2010/07/16/inception-review/

And today being a Sunday, the one day I get off and am completely free in my LBW camp in the States, I was completely psyched and pumped to see this amazingly hyped, apparently brilliant and supposedly epic movie in an American cinema. So I gathered some friends and we walked to the cinema at around 2:30 planning to catch the 3:00 show, but being as dumb and stupid as I am, I didnt think of booking the tickets which meant when we got there the tickets were sold out. But my hope to see a good movie resurfaced when we decided to go watch the Robert Rodriguez produced, Nimrod Antal directed movie named, yes you guessed it, Predators. Now, I’m just going to be straightforward with this one right now, the movie sucked, and not so sucky its funny bad, it was just plain, how should I put this…, SHIT.

Predators

Plotline

The movie stars Adrien Brody, who plays an ex-black ops mercenary named Royce, and starts off with him awakening from unconsciousness only to find himself parachuting into a jungle. After touching down he meets several other characters who arrived in the same manner:

Mexican drug cartel enforcer Cuchillo (Danny Trejo, who will be starring in the upcoming Machete: https://filmfix.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/158/ ), Spetsnaz soldier Nikolai (Oleg Taktarov), Israel Defense Forces sniper Isabelle (Alice Braga), Revolutionary United Front officer Mombasa (Mahershalalhashbaz Ali), death row inmate Stans (Walton Goggins), Yakuza enforcer Hanzo (Louis Ozawa Changchien), and doctor Edwin (Topher Grace).

They then find out that in this jungle, which just happens to be on an alien planet, they are being hunted by Predators, pretty much alien hunters, after which this movie is named.  All that ensues is the fight between these humans and the Predators, with a few twists along the way, one of which arises in the form of Noland (Laurence Fishburne).

predator.jpg (800×517)

Review

I confess that I have never watched the original Predators nor any of the sequels including Alien vs. Predator, but in my eyes the movie sucked for 3 main reasons 1) The plot 2) The charaters and their dialogues and 3) The action sequences

Alright, to start off with the stupid, crappy, absurd, not enough revealed, and in essence pointless plot. I mean who would pay $9, 30Dhs, whatever it is you pay for your movie ticket to watch just a whole bunch of nonsense unfurl before your eyes. And fine I agree action movies usually don’t necessarily have a good storyline per say but at least most action movies ARE FUN. I mean this movie wasn’t fun, it was just plain stupid, with no real plot intricacies and only a few twists which barely even arouse any sense of shock nor surprise in a viewer. Now, the ending was also stupid and I don’t want to spoil it for any of you who are going to watch it, and I am praying for you already but let’s just say its completely open to the sequel and the quintessential romantic action hero couple are still on the planet.

2) The characters and dialogue, now with this movie being in the works for many years, anyone would expect even, at least a semi-decent script. Now let me tell you this, don’t expect a semi-decent script, don’t expect a tolerable script, be prepared to lay witness to a crappier version of your run of the mill action movie script. I mean the dialogue was so bad I cringed when I GUESSED THE LINE THAT WAS COMING UP CORRECTLY, I could probably write these lines while going into anaphylactic shock by watching every crap movie ever made. The dialogue was so cliche, that it felt like I was watching every single crap action movie crammed into one half an hour session. Rants about absolute shit dialogue aside, the characters in this movie had great potential for excitement and pointless fun, but no one aside from Adrien Brody and Walton Goggins, acted  even minutely believably in the part that they played. I felt no emotion when any of the characters died (not saying who), and saw no change in any character besides Royce and the Doctor, even Fishburne failed at pulling off his Dissociative Personality Disorder ridden character. All the characters in this movie should have died, they all deserved it solely due to how unbelievably crap and one dimensional they were, but needless to say they didnt all die. Don’t worry I’m not going to spoil it for any of you poor souls who have to go through that one and a half hour of just BS that smells, sounds and looks like it came out of a cows ass

3) The action sequences were very disappointing, not to put too fine a point on it. When I walk into an action movie, I want to be thrilled by the explosions, feel like I’m there when the bullets are being fired, I want to experience the brutality of the hand to hand combat and this movie did none of that for me. Though there were some nice trap scenes, the actual fighting was nothing than a blur of weird blue plasma shots and blades as well as green and red blood flying through the air. I was just dumbfounded at how badly spent those $40 million were spent on the action choreography and CGI.

Long Conclusion

Now besides those main problems I had with this movie, along with a plethora of others, something else motivated me to write this scathing and possibly expectation shattering review. When I got out of the cinema with my friends, we all agreed it was a shit movie, along with possibly every other torchered individual in the cinema. I even asked my friend if we could sue the cinema to give me my money back as a joke, and in all seriousness he replied if we walked in the first half hour they would have given us that money back. After that statement I almost cried at that waste of $9 and an hour or so of my life.  I mean this movie reminded me of another shitty action movie I had seen before called the Devil’s Tomb which just FYI was a direct to video release. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Devil’s_Tomb

This movie according to one of my other friends should have been a straight to garbage release, a sentiment I can wholeheartedly understand, but none of these is the reason I truly wrote this review, nor is the fact that there is a SEQUEL COMING OUT because the movie completely covered its budget. But rather, what motivated me was the review and ratings it was given by critics. This movie was rated 63% FRESH, YES FRESH, on rotten tomatoes which I cannot understand and I don’t want other avid movie buffs falling for this weird and decent score. It even holds a 7.2/10 rating on IMDB, which in my eyes is more shit than the movie, AND THAT IS SAYING SOMETHING. 63% makes no sense, this tomato is so rotten I can smell it and see the green mold engulfing the tomato from at least 200 miles away.

So please guys please, trust me when I say this movie is shit and if you do watch it, promise me you will truly write up how much you hated it? And for those of you who watched the predators franchise, did you enjoy this sequel and if so WHY?! and more importantly WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!

But all jokes aside  I’m totally open to people who disagree, which also happens to include 63% of the critics out there.

Back to the Future…or the Past?

I don’t know about you guys, but I personally felt that the 1980s produced movies of such standard and quality it could easily rival movies of this day and age. Yes, contemporary flicks do have the upper hand with regard to existing CGI and enhanced effects that have come about due to technological advancement. However, the foundation of a movie doesn’t lie in the visuals but rather in the story. It is that which ultimately makes or breaks a movie. And the Back to the Future Trilogy of the late 1980s delivers just that. The idea and plot (aka the story) of the Trilogy completely made to perfection just makes the three movies an enjoyable watch for any person of any age group. If you ask me, I feel that it is by far, the best trilogy of movies I’ve ever seen to date (please don’t hate me you Lord of the Rings lovers).

Back to the Future - The Official Poster

I’d however, like to highlight the fact that out of the three movies, the first one was by far the most successful and popular of the series and for the sake of not revealing excess spoilers (and obviously because I’m THAT lazy), I’ve chosen to give a brief explanation on the first out of the three movies. For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, Back to the Future is about a teenager named Marty Mcfly who accidently sends himself thirty years back in time (from 1985 to 1955) using a “flux capacitor” installed in a car named the DeLorean (please Google this car people, it’s quite a sight). He meets his parents except they are thirty years younger and Marty accidentally manages to attracts his mother’s romantic interest in him. Thus, the story involves Marty’s efforts to repair the damage caused through means and methods of making his mother fall back in love with his father and at the same time, figuring out a way to transport himself back to 1985. Not repairing the damage could cost his life because if his parents didn’t fall in love, he wouldn’t be born and thus fail to exist. That is a basic summary of the first movie in the Trilogy.

The DeLorean DMC-12 Time Machine. Sexy stuff ain't it?

Now, the reasons as to why the movie has such a high likeability factor are numerous.  I’d like to highlight the fact that the movie did contain mild swearing and being the kid I was when I saw it, nothing thrilled me more than hearing the occasional ‘son of a bitch’ or ‘asshole’ fly out of the actors’ mouth, the best part being, the dad never shutting off the TV. That might not sound like a big deal to you all but to me that was an awesome feeling. Yes, I’m a strange person. The acting in the movie is also highly commendable. Not only was the chemistry between the two main characters Doc Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and Marty Mcfly (Michael J. Fox) unquestionably brilliant, but the characters themselves are extremely lovable with their smart and quirky moments. Even the antagonist Biff Tannen played by Thomas F. Wilson is a person you actually start loving to hate; he has a great comedic side that balances out his negative persona.

Marty Mcfly with the Doc 🙂

However, majority credit must be given to the brilliant direction and story writing done on this trilogy and the one man that deserves the maximum credit in the making of this saga is Robert Zemeckis. His work on the trilogy as well as the part animated, part live action movie ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ easily pushes him up to the top spot on my favorite directors list. Not only was the idea of the movie brilliantly conceived, it was carried out well. I mean, who wouldn’t enjoy going back in time themselves and seeing their own parents thirty years younger?! I would.

Left & center - The Dad and Mom minus 30 years, Right - Marty Mcfly

Explanations of situations were well done and scenarios were layered out systematically and are easily understandable by all. And, being the film it is, about time travel, there are bound to be several loopholes created and left unanswered due to the nature of the film. However, the screenwriters did their very best to make sure that they covered up as much as they could and oh yes, they did a brilliant job about that too.

Biff Tannen and his cronies. What a bastard 😛

Once again, I must impress upon the universal appeal the movie has. Get the joke? Because the movie was distributed by Universal Pictures? Hah. Okay, bad joke for the review, check. Anyways, I’d highly recommend this movie for a family watch or a watch with the friends, it doesn’t only appeal to a particular area of the family and that’s what makes it special. Girls, guys, moms and dads all love it. I must address the fact that the first movie got a 96% fresh rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website. That speaks for itself, in addition to the 381$ million gross revenue generated on a 19$ million dollar budget. To all you people out there, I beg you all to watch the first film at the very least and if you do enjoy it as much as I did, watch the next two.

Inception Review

“One resists the invasion of armies; one does not resist the invasion of ideas.” – Victor Hugo, History of a Crime.

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I’m not LIEing when I say Lie To Me is great

Lie to me is one of the newer shows that I’ve fallen in love with, and is definitely one of my favourite shows especially after the demise and growing stupidity of other cable shows like Heroes, Lost, etc. etc.

Lie To Me was introduced to me by a friend around a year ago, and it centers around Dr. Cal Lightman a psychologist who pioneered the field of facial expression reading, mainly micro expressions, and through his reading Dr. Lightman can tell whether someone is lying and what emotions they are feeling at the time as well as their reactions. Now though this is a crime solving drama type show, a genre which is way overdone by American cable TV, it is different in many ways.

Firstly the main protagonist played Tim Roth  of the show is a great actor with interesting and great dialogue which sets him apart from the other main male characters in crime dramas.  He does not have stupid one liners like Horatio Caine from CSI Miami, however he does have the same cool, I dont care about what people think of me because i’m so cool but I’ll get pissed if you hurt me or people around me type attitude. This mixed with a Gregory House type suave, genius and expert knowledge in his field and most importantly “houseisms” i.e. the greatest one line insults and punchlines. Much better than *puts on sunglasses* Horatio Caine’s lines and one liners*YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH*

Ok all stupidity and CSI Miami mocking aside,  Tim Roth is a great main character with his utter Britishness  and great delivery of speech and acting. But the other members of the cast shouldn’t be put down, they each have all their perks and strengths, along with a few and mainly insignificant lapses.

The other reason I love this show so much is the diverse range of cases that are shown, not every show depicts a murder where the murderer has to be tracked down nor is it always rescuing a hostage from capture after the family is blackmailed. The plot varies from court room cases, to murders, to fighting terrorism (no, not jack bauer style) and even to high stakes poker.

Trust me when I say Lie to Me is an addicting show, that is both entertaining and a learning experience in the art, or more correct, the science of lie detecting. This show has had me hooked from the start, and is much more than your average, run of the mill crime drama t.v. show. It strives to be more than that, and in my opinion it definitely is much more than that.

So if you have a lot of free time this summer, just try watching one episode of lie to me 😀

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