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QUICK REVIEW: The Big Short

Howdy people of the internet, time for another review and today I’ll be talking about The Big Short. This film has been talked about lot since it’s release last year and even more so once the award nominations started heading their way too, so after all that hype I really was expecting something beyond exceptional. So I saw it not too long ago and now I’m gonna pass judgement.

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The story for this film can be described as the following:

“Four denizens in the world of high-finance predict the credit and housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s, and decide to take on the big banks for their greed and lack of foresight.”

Now I recall the days of the big financial crisis during that period and seeing all of the madness unfold on TV news, however, I never really knew how bad the situation was and what extent of it was due to human error and/or corruption within the banks and insurance companies. Luckily this film covers the subject matter in the most detailed way possible. Besides the energetic and stylish scene transitions and breaking of the fourth wall, this film covers the financial crisis vividly through conversations whether they were one-on-one, in meetings or piece-to-camera moments, all of which helped you understand what was going on with the housing, loans and companies, how there was minor problems emerging in system and why things would eventually turn out the way they did. Adam McKay and the writers did a great job of illustrating just how deep and dangerous this whole situation was and showed that for all those who gained, there were many more who lost, and the drama got pretty intense and was highlighted further because these events really happened. That being said, I did find the film a little hard to follow at times, because this was a very complex and layered subject matter the film used a lot of technical terms and abbreviations to give you context to what was happening with the big companies and the loans, and while there were moments where things were broken down to simple terms, at the same time there was so much jargon and in-depth talking that I literally had a bit of mind implosion, plus since I’ve never technically owned a house I don’t think I related to this as well as my dad (who was actually giving me some context for some of the scenes). And finally the humour, some of it worked and I did smile and chuckle, but other times I wasn’t laughing as much as everyone else.

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As for the cast, the performances were solid all around and everyone did really well, though some stood out more than others. Firstly there was Christian Bale as Dr. Michael Burry, this was a very different kind of role than I was used to seeing Bale in, but he did really well. Ryan Gosling supplied most of the charisma and energy as Jared Vennett, and while his character wasn’t too likeable, he was incredibly smart, cunning and fun to watch because Gosling was just magnetic whenever he was on-screen. And Brad Pitt (who looked a lot like a thinner Russell Crowe for some reason) was very intriguing as Ben Rickert. But it was Steve Carell as Mark Baum who was the most interesting of the four main cast members. This character was blunt, tenacious, aggressive and like the other characters, pretty smart, but he also had the most interesting and developed backstory and when things got emotional for his character you felt it. I also really enjoyed John Magaro and¬†Finn Wittrock as Charlie Geller and Jamie Shipley as their characters really brought another interesting, funny and different perspective to this situation. Oh and finally I liked the performances from Adepero Oduye and Marisa Tomei as Kathy Tao and Cynthia Baum, I wish I could have seen more of them.

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In the end The Big Short was a very insightful and dramatic film that had an interesting story to tell and fabulous performances from everyone involved, that being said I’m not sure it clicked with me in the way that I wanted it to and I’m not sure if I’d want to watch it again.

So have you seen The Big Short and if so what did you think of it? Please be sure to comment below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2016 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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SIMPLE REVIEW: Foxcatcher

Okay we’re going to do something a little different today, I saw Foxcatcher last Sunday and I’ve been debating whether I was going to review it or not and if I did write it, how would I do it? So now I’m going to do a different kind of review dubbed “Simple Reviews” where I will basically try to sum up my thoughts on a film in the most condensed manner possible. So with that in mind let’s begin.

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The premise involves the greatest Olympic Wrestling Champion brother team joins Team Foxcatcher led by multimillionaire sponsor John E. du Pont as they train for the 1988 games in Seoul – a union that leads to unlikely circumstances. Foxcatcher is a very dramatic film which from the beginning has a very cold and unnerving nature. The story is very interesting and is less about the sport of wrestling and more about the people behind it. This is a film about power and psychological mind games and while this film has a lot of story surrounding Mark and Dave Schultz, this is the John du Pont story and the film makes you well aware of that as story progresses and things become a lot more distraught and out of control. I will say that the plot felt a little slow at times and things did not unfold in the way that expected, and overall the story, as fascinating as it was, was not as captivating as I would have hoped.

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One of the best elements of the film is the cast. Firstly Steve Carell as John du Pont, wow what a transformation. I’ve really warmed to Carell in recent years in his comedic roles but I have never seen him do a serious role before and now we have pretty much his best performance to date. Carell is confident, mysterious as the patriotic multimillionaire who loves wrestling and wants to be part of that world, but also has some hidden demons. Channing Tatum is also very goo as Mark Schultz, he’s an Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler, however he feels like he’s living in his brother’s shadow and wants to ascend to the top. And with du Pont he finds a kindred spirit and the two of them start an interesting relationship and besides having a face similar to an ape for a fair amount of the film, Tatum turns in a good performance. Mark Ruffalo is also great as Dave Schultz, he is more well-known and respected than his brother Mark. Dave is kind and is always there to help his brother, but once du Pont comes into play it creates this interesting, if somewhat questionable three-part partnership. Each of these three actors have great chemistry and good scenes together whether it be Tatum and Carell or Ruffalo and Tatum or all of them together.

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In conclusion Foxcatcher is a very unsettling and creepy film with some awesome performances. I’m not going to lie, I was expected a lot more considering the amount of rave reviews this film has garnered since it came out in America. That being said it is a film worth seeing just for Steve Carell’s performance.

Rating: 8/10

So have you seen Foxcatcher and if soe what did you think of it? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them below and I’ll see ya on the next review. Laters! ūüôā

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Anchorman: The Legend Continues Review

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another new film review and its time to talk about¬†Anchorman: The Legend Continues.¬†I really liked the first film, it was weird, but creative, unexpected and funny. When I heard they were making a sequel I shook my head in disbelief, but then the trailers started to win me over. So I just watched the film a few hours ago and now I’m gonna tell ya what I thought of it.

The story goes a little something like this:

“With the 70’s behind him, San Diego’s top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy, returns to the news desk. Also back for more are Ron’s co-anchor and wife, Veronica Corningstone, weather man Brick Tamland, man on the street Brian Fantana and sports guy Champ Kind – All of whom¬†won’t make it easy to stay classy… while taking the nation’s first 24-hour news channel by storm.”

The story in this film is pretty decent, its funny how the film looks at the concept of news and the way it changes and develops, which obviously is normal for us now, but back then stuff like 24-news and news on random subject matters was unheard of. Also the journey that Ron goes on in this film is also pretty interesting and funny, however the story does lose some steam towards the last third of the film where something quite absurd happens which kind of ruins the whole film, its eventually rectified but is still kind of silly. Also one has to ask; was the film funny? Well as a guy who really isn’t into comedy that much I found the film to pretty hilarious and while it wasn’t consistently laugh-out-loud material, there were a few points when I laughed a lot.

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When it comes to the cast, several of the actors from the original return to their characters while we’re introduced to some new ones too.¬†Will Ferrell is still on point as Ron Burgundy, he is so charismatic, stupid and strange but he’s the guy you like because he has a personality and certain charm that you can’t help but love. Ferrell was good for the most part though there were points where I thought he was a bit over-the-top at times. The other main person to talk about is¬†Steve Carell as Brick Tamland, he was practically the only person I’d hear people talk about in the last film and that probably won’t change with this film as Carell is just as crazy as before offering up some great moments of insane, inappropriate and downright weird behaviour.

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Paul Rudd as Brian Fantana is still cool with all of his sexual references and awesome hairdo and¬†David Koechner is just totally great as Champ Kind offering some really funny lines in the film.¬†Christina Applegate as Veronica Corningstone was alright, she was my least liked character in the last film and that sort of continues in this one I dunno what it is that makes me not engage with her character but yeah she was just there to me.¬†James Marsden as Jack Lime was awesome, I liked his over-confident attitude and really cruel personality, he was a good antagonist and Marsden such a good job. And then there’s¬†Meagan Good as Linda Jackson, she was terrific as this intense, scary, confident and intellgent woman who has a way of doing things and has little time for people not playing in the same ballpark as herself. I think this has to be Good’s biggest role in years, I’ve been following her since around 2001 and she did really well and my god, she is still sexy as hell!

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There were also good performances from¬†Fred Willard as Edward “Ed” Harken,¬†Chris Parnell as Garth Holliday and some funny moments with¬†Kristen Wiig as Chani. Oh and by the way¬†Harrison Ford¬†as Mack Tannen was pretty pointless, his role could have been played by anyone.¬†And then there are the cameos, holy crap like the first film there are some incredible cameos and I swear so many of these come right out of nowhere, some of my all-time favourite people ended up there. I don’t wanna ruin the surprise for those who haven’t seen it, but suffice to say that its badass.

In conclusion Anchorman: The Legend Continues is a pretty good sequel to the original, it has everything you liked about the first film with some new stuff thrown in the mix to make it stand out. While it does have some story issues and lacks some of the charm from its predecessor, this film is definitely recommended for fans of the last one.

Rating: 7/10 (A solid sequel with plenty of laughs but it loses its way during the last third of the film)

So have you seen¬†Anchorman: The Legend Continues and if so what are your thoughts on it? Whatever your opinion is drop it in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Despicable Me 2 Review

Alrighty then, time to review another animated film that I’ve been looking forward to and this one¬†comes in the shape of Despicable Me 2. Initially I was never interested in Despicable Me, but after watching it a few months ago I converted to being a fan, the first film was a lot of fun and trailers lead up to this sequel seemed promising enough as well. Now I watched Epic and was pretty let down by that film, so I’m hoping that this film will be more entertaining yo. So I went to see it today and you know what it was pretty damn awesome and I’m gonna tell you why in this review.

So the story in this film involves¬†Gru, as he is now out of the villain business and is experiencing life as a father to Margo, Edith and Agnes. However Gru’s life is changed when he and his minions are recruited into an Anti-Villain League¬†to take out an evil supervillain who¬†causing¬†havoc¬†elsewhere. So Gru along with his new partner, Lucy must get to the¬†bottom¬†of this plot before things get out of hand.

I thought the plot in this film was great, I like how this film continues the great material that it gave us in the last film but presents some new and interesting elements that keep it fresh and interesting. it was wonderful to see Gru¬†transition¬†from his former villain role to his life now where is going through the ups and downs of being a father. This film is very much for the kids and doesn’t quite have the universal appeal that you’d find in a Pixar or to some degree a Dreamworks film, nevertheless this is a still fun little tale that has more pros than cons.

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When it comes to the characters all of the cast old and new turn in some lovely performances.¬†Steve Carell is still great as Gru, offering great moments of humour, strangeness, sarcasm and also emotion too.¬†Miranda Cosgrove also makes a lovely return¬†as Margo, in this film there’s a few new things going on in her world and I like how her character was handled.¬†Dana Gaier ¬†is still fine as Edith still being a¬†tomboy and all that jazz. But my favourite is still¬†Elsie Fisher as Agnes, her character is one of the most adorable kids in any film ever and that continues in this film, Gaier does a great job in making this character so¬†likable¬†through her voice.

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Kristen Wiig¬†was nice as Lucy Wilde, while a bit over-the-top and weird at times I did like her as an addition to this film series. She was a great partner/love interest for Gru and the two had some nice chemistry together. Also¬†Benjamin Bratt¬†was jokes as Eduardo Perez/El Macho, such a strange yet hilarious character with loads of charisma and stand-out moments.¬†Russell Brand¬†also does a good job again as Dr. Nefario, I wasn’t expecting his storyline to unfold in the way that it did but he was still good in the film and Russell Brand continues to sound nothing like himself in this role which is still surprising to me.¬†Ken Jeong as Floyd Eagle-san, is great, his role is small but definitely worth of a few laughs.¬†Steve Coogan¬†as Silas Ramsbottom, he was good but not nearly as¬†utilized¬†as much as I’d hoped.¬†Mois√©s Arias as Antonio Perez, is pretty jokes, while¬†Nasim¬†Pedrad as Jillian is this crazy chatterbox full of funny moments in the film and lastly¬†Kristen Schaal as Shannon was great, she reminded me so much of her character¬†Hazel Wassername¬†in¬†30 Rock¬†it was unreal.

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As for the presentation it was firing on all¬†cylinders¬† Visually the film was fabulous, the last film already looked great, but I think I noticed a lot more¬†shininess, detail and a very vivid colour scheme in the art and animation. I love the way this film looks. And the soundtrack is also wonderful,¬†Pharrell Williams¬†and¬†Heitor Pereira¬†return o craft the music for this film. Pharrell is still doing his thing bringing in some of the songs from the previous film while introducing new ones with¬†“Happy” being my personal favourite, and Pereira’s score for the film is still is good as ever having the right tone and emotion for¬†each¬†moment in the film. And I also have to mention that I loved some of the film’s choices of songs from real life that they inserted into this film, some it was perfect.

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In conclusion¬†Despicable Me 2 is a great follow-up to the previous film, it’s basically more of the same material except with new scenarios and obstacles that need to be tackled. I didn’t expect to like the film as much as I did but by the end I was just in a very happy place and I knew that this was gonna have to be one of my favourite films of the year. Before watching the film I saw that this film was being¬†received¬†pretty well and I can see why so many people loved it, this film is just pure fun and I recommend it highly.

Rating: 8.5/10 (A great fun film full of humour and great animation)

So what did you think of Despicable Me 2? Are you fan of the films or are you not swayed by its charms? Whatever your thoughts drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo! ūüėÄ

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The Incredible Burt Wonderstone Review

I remember seeing the trailer for The Incredible Burt Wonderstone back in January and saying to myself “Oh look, a comedy film I am actually interested in seeing.” And I really needed it after being tricked by that other filthy film called Movie 43. So this was my first comedy film of this year and I was hoping for something good especially since Jim Carrey was involved. So I watched the film yesterday and it ended up not being nearly as good as I’d hoped but I still had a bit of fun with it.

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The story involves Burt Wonderstone and Anton Marvelton, they’re friends who have been doing magic together since they were kids and when they grow up they become successful Las Vegas magicians who have been performing the same show for years. After a while there show starts to become stale so hey attempt snow new, but when Anton is injured in a performance, Burt is left vulnerable to competition. That competition comes in the form of Steve Gray, an edgy street magician who does extremely strange and disgusting tricks that captures the attention of most audiences.

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The plot in this film is alright though uneven in places. Also when certain characters come into play you sort of see what their role will be or how they will interact with each other a little while later. A lot the film was predictable, not that funny and inconsistent. There was potential for this film, while it deals in the realm of magic performances, the change in times and what has become the norm for magicians moving from the stage to the street and television, those elements aren’t fully looked into and not executed as well as they could have been.

Now let‚Äôs move onto characters. Steve Carell as Burt Wonderstone was decent. Carell played the lead magician in the Las Vegas show along with his friend Burt. Now for me Steve Carell is one of those actors that can go one of three ways; really good, average or just bad. This time he was average, his humour just wasn’t as strong as some of his other films and I wasn’t laughing as much as I would like to. I really liked Steve Buscemi as Anton Marvelton; he was Burt’s partner and long-time friend. I am a big fan of Steve Buscemi and I liked how clueless and strange his character was and it was definitely a difference from seeing him in Boardwalk Empire. Olivia Wilde as Jane was nice; she plays¬†Burt and Anton’s assistant who dreams of becoming a magician herself. Wilde still looks as pretty as ever and she plays her role well, though this role could have been played by many other female actresses too.

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Alan Arkin was pretty funny as Rance Holloway. Arkin played an old magician who inspired Burt to become a magician. I liked the character, his dialogue and how active he was regardless of his old age. James Gandolfini as Doug Munny was alright, he was the billionaire owner of the venue where Burt and Anton performed. I didn’t care much for his character. Jim Carrey was great as Steve Gray. He was like a weird version of David Blaine who was very big-headed and bit of jerk. Carrey was in very good shape in this film, I was surprised with his¬†physique. But besides his good shape I thought his performance in the film was great, his whole use of physical comedy reminded me so much of his days back in the 90s doing stuff like The Mask and Ace Ventura. This is the Jim Carrey that I’ve missed over the last few years. One last thing to note, I just wanted to say that I loved the appearance of Gillian Jacobs as Miranda, as a fan of Community that just made me absurdly happy to see her there.

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In conclusion The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is decent comedy, but it really does fall short of the laughing standard that should come with films in this genre. The plot is fairly weak and predictable as are the jokes and actions of some of the characters involved too. But that’s not to say it’s all bad, it does have Jim Carrey and some other funny elements here and there, however without Carrey I don’t think this film would have worked as well as it did.

Rating: 6/10 (I have seen funnier but I’d say still give it a try)

So what did you think of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone? Did you like it or hate it? Whatever your thoughts drop them below and let me know yo! Until the next review I’ll see ya later. ūüôā

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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