RSS

Tag Archives: Michael Pena

ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: Collateral Beauty

Now this was a film I was super excited about way back when the first set pictures were released with Will Smith and Helen Mirren, I was just giddy and intrigued to see another dramatic film with Smith and the incredible cast… However, I saw the trailer, and I wasn’t impressed, in fact I was underwhelmed. And then, when I found out the actual premise of the film online and how it was different from what the trailers was selling you, I was quite annoyed. So I felt like I was going to skip the film after the mixed reception I saw from the US release, but I thought “Screw it, let’s give it a shot.”

collateral_beauty_poster

The plot can be summed up as the following: “Retreating from life after a tragedy, a man questions the universe by writing to Love, Time and Death. Receiving unexpected answers, he begins to see how these things interlock and how even loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty.” Now I heard this film was either underwhelming or just downright bad (especially from what I’ve recently read online), so I expected the worst, but I walked out of the film liking it more than I expected. I feel like this film had some interesting elements with the story and characters, but the execution was messy and questionable. Mourning the death of a loved one is something we all deal with in different ways, some harder than others, and I felt for Howard played by Will Smith, and could understand the difficult situation that he put his co-workers/friends in. However what Whit (Edward Norton), Claire (Kate Winslet) and Simon (Michael Peña) do in this film to their supposed friend is some of the most crafty and terrible things you could do to someone who is grieving. I would have liked more a focus on Howard and less on his coworkers lives because I feel like they took the focus away from Howard which was the most interesting part of the film. At several points I questioned the moral and ethical integrity of the people in this film, and while the film tries to present both sides of the argument for why certain plot elements transpire in the way that they do, and some people do present some logic as to how and why what these people are doing to Howard is wrong, its like the characters just give in and you as the audience still don’t buy into it because at the end of the day what Howard and his coworkers did was still wrong. I feel like the performances from the cast ranged from good to questionable, I liked Kate Winslet as Claire and Michael Peña as Simon I tought was good with the dramatic material, Edward Norton had some bad material to work with as Whit, while Keira Knightley as Aimee/”Love”, Jacob Latimore as Raffi/”Time” and Helen Mirren as Brigitte/”Death” did fare better in their roles though Knightley had some questionable scenes too. The best material comes from Will Smith as Howard, Smith delivers a performance that mainly relies on his physicality, facial expressions and little dialogue, but he was really good and his dramatic chops were put to good use in my opinion. And finally Naomie Harris as Madeleine was also quite good, I predicted how she would factor in the film early on, but she was one of the better actors in this film and her scenes were quite engaging. In conclusion Collateral Beauty was not the train wreck I expected and there were small moments of drama and emotional material that worked for me, but is a film that was predictable, had too many convenient moments and feels morally and ethically wrong with a conclusion that doesn’t feel entirely earned, but I didn’t hate the film so it wasn’t a complete waste of time.

So have you seen Collateral Beauty and if so what do you think of it? Be sure to leave your thoughts on the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 7, 2017 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

ONE PARAGRAPH REVIEW: Tower Heist

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another one paragraph review and today I’ll be talking about Tower Heist. Now I’ve been meaning to watch this film for a while because I missed in this the cinema due to its mixed reception, but over the years I’ve heard it wasn’t too bad so I decided to check it out and see what it was like.

tower-heist-poster

The plot can be summed up as the following: “The plot follows a group of employees of an exclusive apartment building who lose their pensions in the Ponzi scheme of a Wall Street businessman. So the group enlist the aid of criminal, a businessman and another employee of the apartment building, to break into the businessman’s apartment and steal back their money while avoiding the FBI agent in charge of his case.” I thought Tower Heist was a fun little film, I’ve always enjoyed a heist film and the fact that it was mixed with comedy was an added bonus. I liked the story, it was humourous but a enough heart so you cared about most of the key characters and their motivations. The pacing was swift, the action set pieces were good and while the humour wasn’t the funniest material, there were a good few moments that made me laugh. The plot wasn’t what I expected and while it hit some familiar beats that I’ve seen in films like this before, there was enough unique and unexpected aspects that made it worth a watch. The cast was all really solid too, I really enjoyed Michael Peña as Enrique, that dude is just naturally charismatic and funny, also Casey Affleck is someone I don’t think I’ve seen in a comedy before so I was pleasantly surprised at his performance as Charlie. Gabourey Sidibe was pretty funny as Odessa despite the questionable accent, Alan Alda was also good as Arthur Shaw and Téa Leoni as Claire Denham was great as she was very serious and by-the-book, but also sweet and funny. But the real stars of this film were Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy as Slide and Matthew Broderick as Josh Kovaks, Slide and Mr. Fitzhugh. Stiller is normally fun to watch and he brought a lot of charm and humour to this film, Murphy was also really great in this film, he had all of the key elements that make him so funny and magnetic as a comedic actor and this was the best film I’ve seen from him in a while and then there’s Broderick who I havent seen in many films in recent years, but here he was so funny because of his character’s cowardice and weak yet likeable persona. In conclusion Tower Heist was a good time and I’m glad that I watched it, the humour, action and music was solid and I would recommend it.

So have you seen Tower Heist and if so what do you think of it? Be sure to leave your thoughts on the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 19, 2016 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Martian Review (SPOILER FREE)

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen, time for another film review and today I’ll be talking about The Martian. This is another film that’s been on my 2015 anticipated list, even when there was no footage, I had hope for the film considering that it had an interesting premise, Ridley Scott was directing and it featured Matt Damon. And after the trailers and early positive word of mouth I was excited to see this. So after seeing an early screening at Cineworld yesterday I’m ready to pass judgement!

the-martian-poster02

The story can be described as the following:

“When a mission to Mars goes wrong for a group of team of astronauts, they escape, however one of their members, Mark Watney is left behind and presumed dead. With limited resources and a harsh environment to live in, Watney must fight for survival while communicating with NASA, other scientists and his crewmates on a rescue plan.”

I thought the story was really good. This is another film that focuses on survival, human ingenuity, endurance and spirit. I like how there was moral, ethical and logical dilemma’s for not only Mark, but his crewmates and the people at NASA as well, there wasn’t an easy way of doing things and for a lot of the choices that some of these characters made, there’d be sacrifices or negative consequences involved. I also appreciated the realism, the scientific talk and unpredictable nature of space, the Mars environment and spacecraft equipment. The film was also a lot funnier than I expected and I think it really helped ease the loneliness and dread. While this isn’t a brilliant or unique adventure, it is a solid and well-made film from director Ridley Scott, there is a sense of confidence and intelligence with Scott’s direction and I liked that aspect a lot.

the-martian07

The cast did such great work with their performances, but the main star is Matt Damon as Mark Watney. This is a character who is smart and courageous, but also has to deal with the fact that death is constantly present and could take him at any moment. Damon is a really great actor and I think a lot of people forget that, but here is allowed to be dramatic, charming, funny, frustrated and so much more, and a lot of the time he has to act alone, yet pretend like there is someone is watching and he pulls that off fairly well.

the-martian-image05 themartian-jeffdaniels_donaldglovers

As for the people down on Earth I really liked Jeff Daniels as Teddy Sanders, he was an interesting character because he is a good person, but he also has to think of things from a business perspective and his decisions puts him at odds with his other staff members. Kristen Wiig as Annie Montrose did pretty well and I think I think I liked her performance a lot mainly because it was the first time I’ve seen her in a serious role. Chiwetel Ejiofor as usual turns in a great performance Vincent Kapoor and Sean Bean was good as Mitch Henderson too.  Mackenzie Davis was cute and good in her role as Mindy Park, Benedict Wong was quite good as Bruce Ng and Donald Glover’s appearance as Rich Purnell was strange, humourous and entertaining for sure. As for the space-based characters, Jessica Chastain did well with her material as Melissa Lewis, she’s the most developed and important of the crew and has a lot of important decisions to make too. Michael Peña as Rick Martinez was also good, he had some humourous moments and good banter with Mark. Kate Mara was also good as Beth Johanssen, I also liked my man Sebastian Stan as Chris Beck and Aksel Hennie as Alex Vogel was good but a little forgettable. Together these characters had good chemistry and felt like a good team of individuals who cared about their mission but also for each other and Mark.

the-martian04 the-martian03

When it comes to the presentation it was really good. Visually this was a great experience. Spaced-based sci-fi films have been getting better with their special effects over the last few years with Prometheus, Guardians of the Galaxy and Gravity showing more and more impressive their art direction, realism and level of detail, and this film is no different. The Martian has wonderful cinematography, editing and sound design too. I was just stunned by the scenery of Mars, all the shots on the planet were gorgeous and the scenes in space were also very beautiful with great lighting and clarity. The film score by Harry Gregson-Williams was also quite good, William’s soundtracks tend to be a little hit and miss for me, but here he did a good job creating music that really amplified the action on-screen and it had many great moments elevating the emotional scenes.

the-martian-image03

In conclusion The Martian is a return to form for Ridley Scott, offering up a thrilling and dramatic story, great performances and brilliant production value. While I wouldn’t say it blew me away, it is definitely on the higher end of films I’ve seen post-summer season and in 2015 in general.

Rating: 8/10

So what did you think of The Martian? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them below and let me know. Until the next time, see ya later! 😀

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 28, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ant-Man Review

Howdy people of the internet, today I return to give you a new film review and this is for Marvel Studios’ latest film, Ant-Man. Now, this film has had quite the history with the directors behind it, script rewrites and a less than stellar hype from fans and the general public about there being an Ant-Man film. But now the film is out and the early response has been pretty positive, so it is good? Well I can’t hide my excitement for this film as I thought it was awesome and I’m going to tell you why in this review!

ant-man-poster04

I am going to keep this review as clean and simple as possible.

When it comes to the story it goes a little like this:

“Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.”

The story in this film is actually really good. The film’s also bizarre and self-aware and it makes the experience more enjoyable. What makes this film work so well is that is that it isn’t like a typical superhero film, much like last year’s Captain America: The Winter Solider and Guardians of the Galaxy, this film adopts a style puts that first and then incorporates the superhero elements later. Ant-Man is a heist film and it has all of those quirky, smart and inventive aspects that makes films of this genre so fun to watch and speaking of fun, the film is also hilarious. I know that is to be expected in a Marvel film and some have gotten sick of it, but here it really works. There is a constant sense of fun, quirkiness and just randomness that makes the film great to watch. But beyond the humour there is heart, like the best of the Marvel films there’s genuine emotion and drama to draw you in and make you root for the good guys. I have to commend not only Peyton Reed for directing this film in such a great way, but also for the script done by Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Adam McKay and Paul Rudd as it is very witty and unique. If I had any negatives it’s that some of the plot elements do fall into that “I’ve seen it before” department, but beyond that the film’s very good. There are also some nice references to the comics and other MCU films from the past and future and they’re great, make sure you stay for the post-credit scenes! Don’t be a donut and leave early! 😀

ant-man-image09

When it comes to the cast they’re all pretty good. Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man. What I liked about Scott is that he’s a great guy who wants to do good but has ends up in bad situations and doesn’t commit to doing good deeds, and it’s interesting to see him go on this journey and change for the better. Rudd, he’s just great in this film. Rudd naturally excels in comedy and he uses that to his advantage as he’s really funny and has great timing with his jokes, but in addition to that he brings a lot of charm and depth to his character with the more dramatic moments. Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym. I knew that Douglas would be important in the film but I didn’t expect him to have such a significant presence because this film felt like a passing of the torch, but Douglas had so many great lines and he continues to show why he’s such a great actor as he’s emotionally versatile and just kills it in every scene he’s in. Oh and his relationship with Rudd is great too. Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne was really good too. She’s strong, confident, but also defensive and complicated emotionally because of her father and I love what Lily did with this role. Her and Douglas have a great dynamic because of their family based relationship, and Lily and Rudd also had pretty good chemistry and their banter was lovely.

Corey Stoll was really good as Darren Cross/Yellowjacket. Darren is a man with class, style and charm at face value, but he’s also sneaky, dangerous and obsessed with power and success. Stoll plays this character with just the right amount of villainy and craziness. You could argue that his character was a bit cliché and stereotypical, but I thought he was one of the stronger and more memorable villains of the MCU. Then there’s Lang’s heist team consisting of Michael Pena as Luis, Tip “T.I.” Harris as Dave and David Dastmalchian as Kurt. The strongest of the three is Pena as Luis, this guy is seriously one of the most strange and funny people ever. The guy’s so energetic and jokes and Pena just oozes charm and humour. T.I. and Dastmalchian are also pretty good and have their individual moments to shine. Bobby Cannavale did well as Paxton and it was good to see Wood Harris as Gale too and finally Judy Greer was good as Maggie and Abby Ryder Fortson is just one of the most adorable and hilarious child actors ever as Cassie.

ant-man-picture02 ant-man_yellowjacket

As for the presentation is pretty damn good. Visually the film is really cool, the cinematography is well-done and the use of special effects used to craft the action sequences, suits and the miniaturised world that Ant-Man and Yellowjacket inhabit is so unique and interesting. The creativity behind the shrinking and growing of the Pym particles was great and there’s some really interesting, unexpected and hilarious uses of the powers. The soundtrack crafted by Christophe Beck is also very nice too, it has a great sense of charisma, sass and style, it had the perfect sound for a heist film but also for a 1960’s spy film.

screen-shot-2015-04-13-at-10-04-28-am

In conclusion Ant-Man was pretty badass. I had hoped it would be good and that the early reviews were a good sign, but the film exceeded my expectations so much. It was full of all the regular great superhero codes and conventions but beyond that it had heart, style and stood alone perfectly from the rest of the MCU films while also existing within the same world. Marvel continue to prove that they are far still incredibly creative and versatile and I would highly recommend this film as it is SO much fun and really entertaining.

Rating: 8.5/10 (Very impressive)

So what do you think of Ant-Man? Did you love it, hate it or think it was okay? And how do you think it compares to the previous Marvel films? Do you think it’s the best solo film since Iron Man like some claim or do think differently? Sound off your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review. Laters! 😀

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 17, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Gangster Squad Review

Alrighty then, Gangster Squad, my first proper 2013 film that I’ve seen in the cinema. I had hoped that this film would be worth my time and not just another one of those hyped up thriller films that actually suck. Luckily this film was pretty good, but I have indeed seen better before.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/03/Gangster_Squad_Poster.jpg

So the story takes place during the 1940s and ’50s in Los Angeles where gangster, Mickey Cohen owns the streets of the city with his ruthless gang members. However Sergeant John O’Mara along with some other LAPD officers and detectives form a group called the “Gangster Squad unit” who attempt to take back LA from Mickey Cohen and make the streets safe once more. I think the story for this film had a lot of potential because of its subject matter and the fact that it actually happened in real life, however I feel like the story never really reached that peak point. Also I never really found myself emotionally invested in the film at all which kind of sucked for me because most thrillers can engage me pretty well. The writing in this film was a little weak and predictable with me being able to actually guess what certain characters were going to say before they said it.

https://i1.wp.com/fwooshflix.com/files/2013/01/gangster-squad-2.jpg

While the story didn’t hold up as well as I’d hoped, the characters of Gangster Squad were a lot better. Josh Brolin as Sergeant John O’Mara was cool. I liked his no-nonsense approach to things and how he was determined to get his work done, though I found it funny how much I kept comparing him to Tommy Lee Jones throughout the film. Ryan Gosling as Sergeant Jerry Wooters was nice character and I liked his easy-going style. I think that the trailers lead me to believe that he was going to be the leader of the squad more so than O’Mara, but anyway he was good in the film though I wish his character had been fleshed out a bit more. Emma Stone as Grace Faraday was nice though severely underused. Stone looked immaculate in all of beautiful dresses and while her character has relevance to the story Grace is simply there just to get with Jerry and potentially get in trouble Cohen.

https://i1.wp.com/www.filmofilia.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Gangster-Squad-2.jpg

Also Nick Nolte as Chief Bill Parker was good too though I had hoped to see more of him really. Easily the best character was Sean Penn as Mickey Cohen. Mickey is a ruthless sadist who will grow his empire at any cost. Another mention goes out to Anthony Mackie as Detective Coleman Harris. I was paying extra attention to him due to the fact that he’ll be The Falcon in Captain America 2, so I wanted to see what skills he had and I thought he was pretty cool and liked the scenes he was in; he was an efficient and essential member of the group. Overall besides Sean Penn being the best character in the film, I also liked the “Gangster Squad” as a whole all of them seemed to gel well together and when they’re acting as a unit creating chaos in the streets and being people up I liked it a lot.

the-gangster-squad-02

The presentation of the film was alright both in the visual and audio department. The look of the film was nice and some of the camera shots were cool and the soundtrack by Steve Jablonsky is also good but nothing overly memorable.

So in conclusion Gangster Squad is good film, I liked the story but I wasn’t overly invested in it. I was hoping for something a little more in line with Boardwalk Empire or maybe even some like Lawless. I mainly liked this film for the characters involved and the good action scenes. I would still recommend Gangster Squad though, it is a good watch and I was entertained for the most part.

Rating: 7/10

Well there’s my review people, what did you think of the film? Drop me a comment and let me know! Until the next time, later on. 🙂

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 19, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: