Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Sleepless Movie Review

So I finally got to see the completely useless and uninteresting action crime thriller titled Sleepless.
                                     
                            

       I originally skipped going to see this film in theaters during its initial theatrical run not because I heard any negative reviews about the film, but mainly because the trailers and marketing for the film didn't catch my eye. The film essentially flew under the radar in theaters and quietly made it to DVD in less than a few months. Now that the film is out on video, I decided to give it a chance as a new release and someone who enjoys a good action movie. Having seen Sleepless now, I can understand exactly why this film underperformed in theaters and why the marketing wasn't very strong for it.  The movie simply isn't very good.

       Sleepless is an uninspired and tired old crime drama, that completely wastes it's talented cast among the likes of Jamie Foxx and Michelle Monaghan, along with its source material that could've been truly compelling had the filmmakers given much more effort to the story. The film is devoid of any real thrills and feels rushed while recycling every tired out clichéd in the book. This is one of those films that either needed to be really good or really bad to leave an impression with audiences as this film comes off as being utterly forgettable. The story centers around a cop with a connection to the criminal underworld scourings a nightclub in search to his son whose been kidnapped by drug dealers, who don't know that he's an undercover cop. In term of performances Foxx and Monaghan do the best job they can with the material given to them, which ultimately results in lame scriptwriting. Sleepless is a action crime drama that feels like a doomed project from the start but is made to be digestible through editing that makes the film move at a fast pace that makes its dullness less torturous for audiences. The script borrows almost every major clichéd from other crime drama films, making it unexciting and not allowing the audience to become emotionally invested in the characters particularly Foxx trying to save his on while evading Monaghan's character. For a subplot that could've been quite powerful had it been given more elaboration and development, it ends up being an afterthought for the audience. The film also lacks truly compelling and sleazy villains that the audience can despise and wasn't to see brought to justice by Foxx's character as he fights to save his son. The subplot involving Michelle Monaghans character trying to pursue Foxx's character thinking he's a dirty cop is poorly fleshed out and comes off as being rather silly than compelling. The films flatness and lack of inspiration from the movies opening scene to the climax leaves the audience thinking and feeling that the director and screenwriter behind the film were simply unenthusiastic about the project, leaving the actors with the work of trying to take a watered down script and make the material at least watchable without transcending the material. With the genre of the film being action and crime, Sleepless comes off as being rather dull, boring, and uninspired. One can only imagine what a passionate director could've done with this concept, and the theme of a child being taken with the father being left with no choice but to save him himself could've gone the action route of films like Taken in regards to edginess. The moral of the story is not to assume that a cop working a high profile case is a dirty one or working with the bad guys, but that message never fully feels like its properly conveyed to the audience.
 
       The greatest crime with the film Sleepless is not that the move itself is poorly done but how forgettable the film is. One will end up watching the movie and will essentially forget everything about the film afterwards as it never leaves an impact on the viewer which is a shame because a crime drama should always leave a moral lesson for the audience to ponder on once the ordeal is finished. With talented actors like Foxx and Monaghan at the helm, one wishes that they had stronger material to work off of and help flesh out the story rather than playing paper-thin characters. As far as 2017 films go, Sleepless is one of the more disappointing and forgettable ones that only makes for passable entertainment if audiences have nothing else to watch, but should discard it immediately after and put on a stronger action and crime drama film with a similar story to see how its actually done. Sleepless is routine and an average journey that lacks excitement, thrills, a gripping emotional core, and never gets the audience fully invested in its scenario. The greatest tragedy is not the film wasting the talents of everyone involved, the tragedy is knowing what could've been had the story been done right with greater care. The film even goes out of its way to set up a sequel that no one is interested in nor will support because of this movies shortcomings and box office failure.
                                                                                                                                   4 out of 10

          
          
          
               
                             
           
                     
           

Monday, June 19, 2017

BayWatch Movie Review

So I finally go to see the unnecessary yet reasonably entertaining live action movie to the classic 90s television show called Baywatch, this time with Dwayne Johnson in the lead.

SPOILER FREE
Image result for baywatch movie poster
      Let me start by saying that going into this film, I wasn't a huge fan of the popular television show, only catching glimpses of it occasionally on television. As someone whose a fan of the show reviewing this movie, I am not the most reliable person for a review comparison between the show and the movie. As someone whose a genuine lover of movies and will give different genres of films a chance even raunchy comedies, I will be honest about my feelings towards the film while separating it from the television show I was never a die hard fan of. Upon hearing about the release of a Baywatch movie, I questioned the reasoning behind it as I felt the time had long passed since the show ended and when the movie should've came out. Hearing that Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron are the main leads in the film along with it being Rated R caught my interest even though I was still very hesitant of the final product. Despite the many nasty reviews the film received from critics, I decided to give the film a chance and see for myself whether its really that bad or just a fun and silly film that never should be mistaken as serious filmmaking. Having seen Baywatch now, I can say that the film for the most part is fun, but not necessarily a good movie.
 
      Baywatch is a film that exists for one specific purpose which is to entertain it's audience by providing raunchy and edgy laughs for fans of the show or those who are fans of both lead actors. Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron, are a fun pair that work very well together chemistry wise while providing a solid rivalry turned partnership. One of the things that I noticed from the old show while catching glimpses of it is as campy and cheesy as the show came off as being, it was full of charm and heart. Both are severely absent from the movie and the film is replaced with raunchy humor that's either hit or miss as it can be genuinely funny or too forced. Baywatch as a film doesn't offer audiences anything in regards to being deep-thinking or philosophical except some decent laughs with Dwayne Johnson carrying the film on his shoulders as being the films main selling point with Zac Efron coming in a close second with a likeable performance as the brash new recruit butting heads with Johnsons character. Together the two uncover a criminal plot that ultimately puts the future of the bay at risk. Baywatch embraces camp and utilizes its R rating to full advantage presenting obnoxious characters with Johnson making his character work through his charismatic performance, although it never quite has the charm of its TV show that made it both amusing and successful in the first place. What makes both the show and the movie so appealing to audiences, is both recognizing themselves as being a parody of what generally is a silly concept that allows for the actors to have fun with the material. When the movie becomes excessive with its humor, it works as a piece of entertainment, although one can feel that the directing and story weren't given their full push, leaving it up to the appealing cast to carry the film from its shortcomings. There's something genuinely fun about the concept of lifeguards playing detective that is so cheesy and ridiculous that it makes for an entertaining comedic story, even if the final product never reaches that level of entertainment that the story poses potentially

       Overall Baywatch is a mildly entertaining yet forgettable comedy, that brings the concept of the show up to speed in modern setting with the humor being raunchy and excessive to blend with todays style of humor. If one goes into Baywatch and doesn't take it seriously then the will find reasonable amounts of entertainment with it before discarding the film from memory. It is Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron that carry the film on their shoulders and save it from being a complete disaster as the script and directing never fully do the concept of the film its total justice as being fun entertainment. For fans of the show, they will either love the film or they will hate it, feeling the movie doesn't quite capture the charm and heart of the show, even with attempts to bridge the two together by having cameos with the main stage such as Knight Riders David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson. For regular movie-goers who look for an entertaining comedy, that is completely ridiculous and doesn't make you think about any thing else other than which beach you want to vacation at this summer then Baywatch is worth watching to get in the summer spirit but should be quickly forgotten about right after as its quality doesn't offer much else than harmless fun mixed with some crude humor
 
                                                                                                                    6 out of 10
            
                     

The Mummy 2017 Review

So I finally got to see the critically reviled and not too great start to what's supposed to be the beginning of the dark universe titled The Mummy starring Tom Cruise.

Image result for the mummy movie poster
SPOILER FREE
 
      Let me start by saying that prior to going into this film, I was a fan of both The Mummy and The Mummy Returns as a young moviegoer in the early 90's and early 2000 era. The Mummy worked as being a great adventure and mystery thriller, that was slow-paced yet exciting while paying homage to the original monster movie classic from the 1930s. The Mummy Returns, although not as good as The Mummy, is more of a wall to wall action adventure that does it's best interpretation of Indiana Jones while continuing the storyline from the first movie. What makes both Mummy films work so well and why they resonated with audiences (Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor does not apply here, it ruined what could've been a strong action-adventure trilogy), is not only the movies being highly entertaining, but how much you care about the characters and connect with them. All the explosions and special effects in the world are meaningless unless you have characters the audience becomes connected with, and want to experience their adventures with, With both films, the characters of Rick O Connor and Evie played by both Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz are well played and acted with Imhotep being an effective movie villain played by Arnold Vosloo. While the third Mummy film was viewed as being the critical dud of the original trilogy, it was clear the Mummy franchise was burnt out and in need of a reset button. Fast-Forward to 2017, the filmmakers behind Tom Cruise's The Mummy hope to use the film as an introduction for their dark universe of monster movies taking place in a modern day timeline. A lot is riding on this movies success in order for that to happen which makes the critical and box office reception of the film even more gut wrenching to those hoping for the universe to expand. The new Mummy film is darker and more serious toned than the Stephen Sommers films, ditching the camp and fun-spirit of those films. Having seen the new Mummy film, I can say that while the film is not as disastrous as many reviewers make it out to be, the film also misses some of the key essential things that made audiences connect with the earlier Mummy predecessor films before it with one in particular being that it lacks the heart of those films.
 
      The Mummy is a average at best retelling of the classic Mummy story except modernized to fit in todays society with an ancient princess being awakened from her tomb beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, as well as terror that defies human comprehension. It becomes up to Tom Cruise and his female partner and love interest played by Annabelle Wallis to put the Mummy to rest and undo her awakening and path of terror. The Mummy tries very hard to be it's own definitive telling of the classic tale but it's problem lies in the fact that it lives in the shadow of it's 1999 predecessor with the film lifting essential plot elements from that movie such as the Mummy being awakened in the desert or Cruise's character having a partner in the desert who turns against him much like Rick O Connor and his shady partner Bennie, who begins with being O Connors Wingman before going over to the Mummy's court. Cruise's character feels like an attempt to recapture the awesomeness of Fraser's character despite coming off as being Tom Cruise essentially, who just happens to go toe to toe with a Mummy. One is never convinced that Cruise truly becomes the character he's playing in this one, with his female counterpart played by Annabelle Wallis, delivering a much stronger performance even if she comes off as an attempt at being a modern day Evie type character. The performance of the female Mummy played by Sofia Boutella is effective and carries the film when the story stumbles, although she isn't as memorable of an antagonist as Arnold Vosloo's Imhotep. One of the things that made Vosloo's character so compelling as a villain is you understood his motivation for wanting to take over humanity because of his desire to bring back his love/mistress from the grave so they can rule humanity together. The thing about The Mummy is even though you cared about Rick and Evie, you also wanted Imhotep to succeed in his mission as he was too cool of a villain to not care about and love. The problem with the new Mummy film is rather than the character being the central focus of the movie, the character of Ahmanet takes a backseat in the film as Cruise is the main focus on the movie. The film comes off as being Tom Cruise fighting Mummies rather than the audience fully grasping the nature of this character. Russell Crowe is one of the films saving graces in a brief role as Dr. Jerkel and Mr. Hyde, delivering an effective scene stealing cameo that is a tad awkward but leaves the door open for future dark universe stories to tell as he feels like this universes version of Nick Fury. It's not that The Mummy is a terrible movie nor a boring one, it's that the film lacks a true soul for audiences to become connected with. It wants so desperately to achieve the same kind of legacy that Brendan Frasers 1999 film achieved in pop culture but never dares to reach further than it's grasp which it feels confined to. The relationship between Cruise's character and Annabelle's, feels like a mediocre version of Rick and Evies romance, and the movie lacks true thrilling moments that made the first one work such as the airplane trying to evade the sand storm created by the Mummy in Frasers film. The scene in the new film in which a similar sequence is shown involving a city draws clear inspiration from that film but isn't quite as memorable. It's not that Cruise's film provides no clear competition to go up against Sommers work, it's that the film lacks true charm and is too serious with it's type of story. Given that the movie boasts some of the more popular screenwriters in the business such as Jurassic Park's writer David Koepp and The Usual Suspects writer Christopher McQuairre, one looks at the final product and wonders where all the talent and effort went in the story department as the film literally feels like a remake rather than being an actual telling of The Mummy story.
 
      Overall, The Mummy despite it's major flaws that weigh it down, is a mildly entertaining Tom Cruise ride, that offers reasonable amounts of entertainment, despite the film never truly achieving a soul of it's own. It lacks the heart of the Brendan Fraser films, that made audiences fall in love with the first two films as well as the fun and campy nature. Perhaps the film would've worked if a less demanding actor was able to take over the lead role, allowing audiences to become more acquainted with the films main antagonist rather than have her in the background as second to Cruise's screen presence. One feels that he was clearly trying to create a serviceable vehicle for him to move from action to try his hand at monster movies, but the film struggles with giving him the spotlight while laying out the groundwork for the rest of the dark universe. The film does have moments where it channels the feels of the original classics, which also becomes the films main highlights, but the movie never rises above being just average entertainment that isn't quite sure what it wants to be as it's main actor is the primary focus. As for the film being destroyed by critics, the picture doesn't deserve the excessive bashing it received on rottentomatoes putting it at just 16 percent in approval, but it's also not worthy of the nostalgia that Stephen Sommer's first two Mummy films have on audiences. As being the door that opens up the rest of the dark universe stories that are set to come, the film is a rocky start that gets the door cracked but never fully opens it as audiences are not yet sold on the new universe of films, giving the next batch of filmmakers for the dark universe extra pressure in hopes of getting them hooked on what's being mapped out for them. As a Tom Cruise flick, it's entertaining but as a dark universe monster flick, the film is at best ok but leaves much room for improvement.
 
                                                                                                                                       6 out of 10

Image result for the mummy 2017 movie picsImage result for the mummy 2017 movie pics
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Image result for the mummy 2017 movie pics
Image result for the mummy 2017 movie pics
 


Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Great Wall Review

So I finally got to see the critically panned and terribly mediocre Matt Damon action and historical flick titled The Great Wall.

                                       

SPOILER FREE

       Let me start by saying that going into this film, I originally avoided it's theatrical release and waited for DVD mainly due to largely unimpressive trailers and what feels like Hollywood white washing of a significant event in Chinese history mixed with fiction. As big of a Matt Damon fan that I come off as being, I honestly felt that he was miscast here due to his surprisingly wooden performance, and that he wouldn't be able to prevent the film from ultimately flopping at the box office. Unfortunately my feelings and suspicions about the movie tanking both critically and financially came true, as the film was one of 2017s first major box office bombs and easily got passed up by American audiences. Having now gotten the chance to sit down and view the film on DVD, I can confirm with ease that the movie deserved it's fate domestically.

       The Great Wall is a mess of a movie, that is uninspired and lacks true excitement to make audiences care about its plot. The story of the film centers around European mercenaries searching for a black powder that leads them to become embroiled in the defense of the Great Wall of China against a horde of monstrous creatures. To put it bluntly, The Great Wall is all over the place stylistically and lacks genuine heart to make audiences care. With the image of Matt Damon and William Dafoe battling ancient monsters, the overall final product is never as entertaining nor exciting as it could've been. The Great Wall feels less of an epic and more of a B- level creature film with the attempt to deliver a unique yet questionable storyline appearing to be a noble intent but ultimately poorly executed. The characters are poorly developed to the point where you dont become emotionally connected with anyone including Damon and Dafoe characters. The concept allows for large numbers of cheese to plague the script which doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad thing but given the story presented here, it's not in a good way. The action is over the top with its striking visuals, but even its impressive set pieces can't make amends for lackluster storytelling and poor character development. For a film that's titled The Great Wall, nothing about the movie truly rings as being great because the final product though ambitious falls completely flat on its face. For the narrative being centered around a Westerner, who shifts his own perspective from being a self-centered character to someone who demonstrates self-sacrificing tendencies by the film's climax, one can't help but feel underwhelmed by the potential that arc could've presented had it been handled with greater care. Outside of the film's battle scenes being well-choreographed, The Great Wall in the grand scale of things is a huge disappointment and ultimately terrible movie that audiences should avoid like a nasty plague.
 
        Given the film is the most expensive film in Chinese history with the first major co production between an American film studio and a Chinese-owned studio with Matt Damon riding the project as the main star, audiences deserved so much better than what they got with The Great Wall. The film is so poorly done and uninspired that it never lives up to its name and will leave audiences bored and frustrated rather than excited and inspired. The film could've been a great blend of entertaining over the top action, that best represents Asian cinema along with good old fashioned American banter but what audiences got in the end was a mess of a film both story wise. What could've been an epic image of a row of soldiers mixed with rains of spears and surging forces along the likes of something out of the battle of Helms Deep in Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers, ultimately feels like a wasted opportunity to give audiences something amazing on the big screen, but instead settles for horrific mediocrity. Its not that the film was white washed for American audiences, as it could've been a terrific film even with its story that gives flashbacks to The Last Samurai, its that the filmmakers look like they didn't try to give their all with a film that signifies an important piece of Chinese history mixed with fiction and two historical film fronts coming together in delivering what shouldve been grand scale filmmaking. The film couldn't decide on whether itnwated to be an epic action movie drama or a cheesy monster flick. For Hollywood taking a risk by telling this story, it shouldve been much more.

                                                                                                                        4 out of 10

                              
                              
                              
                             
                             
                             
                             
                             
                             

Friday, June 9, 2017

Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man Tell No Tales Review

So I finally got to see the 5th and completely unnecessary installment in the once popular and epic Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise titled Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man Tell No Tales
 
Official epic artwork poster
 
       Let me start by saying that prior to watching this film, I was a fan of the Pirates Of The Caribbean series up until the third film. The first Pirates Of The Caribbean is hands down the best one of the series as it was fresh, exciting, and had a hilarious performance from Johnny Depp, which not only propelled him to full blown stardom in terms of being a sex symbol for ladies, but earned him a well deserved Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. What was so special about the first Pirates film, is not only did it leave you exhausted like the theme park ride that inspired the movie, it gave audiences a thrill ride that they would feel good about ultimately and leave them pumped when it was over. Although the second Pirates Of The Caribbean movie never felt as good as the first one as it was more stretched out and overly long, it was still engaging because the audience became connected with the three central characters in the story such as Depp's drunk and clumsy Captain Jack Sparrow, Kiera Knightley's Elizabeth, and Orlando Bloom's Will Turner. At World's End in many audiences eyes felt like the real ending of the series as the storyline not only felt all over the place, the action was still compelling with the main characters arcs all coming to a beautiful closure with Will and Elizabeth getting married during the climatic battle sequence and Sparrow demonstrating by the end of the trilogy that as deeply flawed of a character that he comes off as being, he's a loyal friend when needed and has a good heart. The fourth Pirates Of The Caribbean titled On Stranger Tides was not only completely unnecessary but just awful. The problem with that film is not so much that the story continued after the ending of At World's End, but the audience doesn't care about any of the characters in that film outside of Captain Jack Sparrow despite the film being shorter and tighter paced than the previous sequels. The problem that every sequel after the third Pirates movie has is outside of Depp's character, the audience doesn't connect with a trio of characters that carries the whole film and the movies lack the heart and thrills of the first trio of films. Having now seen the newest Pirates Of The Caribbean film, I can honestly say without any hesitation that it's officially time to put the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise to bed indefinitely.
 
      Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man Tell No Tales desperately tries to recapture the magic and glory days of its earlier installments, but still lacks the fundamental driving force behind the first three that made them connect with audiences which is that despite their flaws, they possessed heart. Despite the films being excessively longer with each installment, you still care about where the story would go with Jack, Will, and Elizabeth's adventures and dearly missed them both with the 4th installment and ultimately with Dead Man Tell No Tales. The story for the new film had potential to be great, but severely underwhelms with its execution with Captain Jack Sparrow searching for the trident of Poseidon while being pursued by an undead sea Captain and his crew. With a premise like that, one would think that the new film could be as compelling with the first three had they gave it the proper execution and surrounded Jack Sparrow with strong and likeable characters. The problem is that the main characters that Sparrow surrounds himself with in the film feel like poor attempts at recapturing the magic and chemistry that Sparrow had with Elizabeth and Will. While the characters of Harry and Carina are not exactly terrible characters, they lack the proper development and smart writing to make them stand out as being proper replacements. They merely seem like attempts to help repeat the extravagant set pieces of the original and people the audience can relate to and cling on for emotional support. To put to bed a question that's clearly on the mind of many fans of the franchise, especially the first three, the new film is indeed an improvement over the 4th installment but not by much. The magic of the first trio of films has faded and everything for the most part feels like a cash in attempt to prolong the longevity of the franchise when clearly it already had it's peak. Johnny Depp's performance doesn't feel as fleshed as it once was and feels more cashed in as if he's phoning it in for a paycheck as he acts drunk throughout the film. Geoffrey Rush gives a reliable performance as Barbossa with a surprise yet poorly developed plot twist involving his character that comes near the end of the story. Javier Bardem does the best job he can as Captain Salazar even though he doesn't feel fully fleshed out as a villain and severely underused. As hard as Brenton Thwaites and Kaya Scodelario try to be Kiera Knightley and Will Ferrall, they just don't come off as being as appealing as those two were in their roles. The film also severely lacks the sense of grandeur that made the original three so massive in scope, giving them an epic feel. The film feels like a case of unfreshed leftovers, that one puts on high in the microwave in hopes of capturing the sensational taste of trying the food for the first time after being cooked but it just feels in the end like the leftovers have been in the fridge for too long. That analogy is the best way to describe the new Pirates Of The Caribbean as it never manages to capture the magic of the first three and while it has a more interesting storyline than it's predecessor, it's never fully fleshed out and neither is it's villain played brilliantly by Bardem, who gives the paycheck club a nice classy feel to it. It can be suggested that the key to going into this film and enjoying it is to go in expecting nothing so that way you can be pleasantly surprised in return. While that logic isn't necessarily bad, the question arises with the type of franchise that Pirates Of The Caribbean is, should one have to resort to limiting their expectations in order to enjoy what's supposed to be a blockbuster epic? That's not the fault of the audience but the fault of the filmmakers for failing to make the film on par with the quality of the first three films, and recreating some of the magic of those movies. While nothing can ever be as great as the first Pirates Of The Caribbean flick, the second and third film despite being underrated show that there was enough story to draw the franchise out if needed.
 
      Overall, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is a severe disappointment for fans expecting a quality sequel in this franchise, and signifies that the once great Pirates franchise is way past it's expiration date and needs to be put to bed permanently and not resurrected. The switching of directors throughout the franchise form Gore Verbinski who helmed the first three to Rob Marshall who did On Stranger Tides to Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg directing Dead Man Tell No Tales, didn't actually benefit the franchise at all since Verbinski left but rather helped to bring down the quality of the films. While the art-set decoration of the films along with the costume design remain stellar along with the cinematography, the heart of the franchise has faded along with Hans Zimmer's epic score that's been replaced by a generic one that only has it's truly good moments when it repeats the best parts of Hans music from the previous films. If one is a die hard fan of the series, they may enjoy Dead Men Tell No Tales for that specific reason and bypass much of the films glaring flaws. However, if one is a fan of the first three and felt that the story was finished with At Worlds End and disliked On Stranger Tides, their opinion won't change much with the newest installment. As a whole the film is mildly entertaining at best but is an installment in the franchise that is unnecessary and should be quickly forgotten after watching it. Not even the glorified and over exaggerated cameos of Will Turner and Elizabeth are not enough to save the film from being an underwhelming sequel as their cameos are too brief and feels like the filmmakers and studio saying "Here, they're back, you guys happy now?" Getting some extra backstory on Jack Sparrow is noble but an unnecessary move to try and make a tired out character great again. Sometimes the audience doesn't need to know everything about a character like Jack Sparrow to understand where he comes from in the case of this film, it was fun seeing a young CGI Johnny Depp. Dead Men Tell No Tales is ultimately a failed attempt at bringing the franchise back to it's glory days, and shows how a movement needs to be created that demands this franchise be put to bed and not resurrected ever again.
 
                                                                                                                                                  6/10
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Image result for pirates of the caribbean dead men tell no tales movie pics
Image result for pirates of the caribbean dead men tell no tales movie pics
Image result for pirates of the caribbean dead men tell no tales movie pics
Image result for pirates of the caribbean dead men tell no tales movie pics
Image result for pirates of the caribbean dead men tell no tales movie pics
Image result for pirates of the caribbean dead men tell no tales movie pics



Wonder Woman Review


So I finally got to watch the much anticipated, surprise smash hit of 2017, and the film that single handedly rescued the DC universe for the better in terms of film quality, Patty Jenkins box office juggernaut titled Wonder Woman.

SPOILER FREE

Image result for wonder woman movie poster
 
      Let me start by saying that going into this film, I have always been a fan of the DC universe as I grew up loving the characters of Batman and Superman deeply. I wasn't a Wonder Woman fan until I got older and caught glimpses of the Lynda Carter television show. I found the character of Wonder Woman to be intriguing while also being an empowering figure for women as not many female superheroes are glorified in the same light. When hearing that a Wonder Woman film was to be made in the DC universe of superhero movies that began with Man Of Steel, one looked to it not only with great anticipation but also concern given the quality of the films thus far in the universe. While Zack Snyder's Man of Steel isn't as bad as many Superman fans make it out to be (It looks much better than Batman Vs Superman despite it's story and character faults), it also wasn't the definitive take on the classic Superman story many fans were hoping for it to be. Batman Vs Superman was a mess of a film despite it being entertaining if one prefers the three hour directors cut over the heavily panned theatrical edition, and Suicide Squad looked like fun upon first viewing, but the more time passes it's true lack of quality begins to shine through. Going into the release of Wonder Woman, many DC fans held out hope that the newest addition to the DC universe, would finally get things right with the universes shortcomings and right the ship. The universal praise that Wonder Woman received upon it's release with endless critical acclaim from critics, DC, and Marvel fans gave fans hope that for the first time since Man of Steel starting up the universe, DC finally hit a home run with one of their films. Having seen Wonder Woman and still in awe with it's quality and overall reception, I can honestly and proudly declare that Wonder Woman is indeed the DC film that fans of the universe and heroine have been looking for.
 
      Wonder Woman is not just a good movie, it's an awesome movie, that instantly draws the audience in from start to finish making fans of the character proud while having the ability to draw in newer ones that'll become engulfed in not just her origin story but also her beauty, her willingness to fight for what is right, and falling in love with a hero that stands as a symbol for peace and the desire to put aside differences and work together in order to preserve the future of mankind. The story centers around an Amazonian Princess growing up to embrace her idyllic life on an island occupied by female warriors. Her life is interrupted when a make pilot crash-lands nearby whom she saves from the wreckage. Upon discovering that World War l is slowly engulfing her planet, she vows to use her superpowers to help bring peace to mankind. Wonder Woman feels like a combination of three films specifically with the first being Richard Donner's classic Superman: The Movie 1978 with Wonder Woman feeling like a Clark Kent type character, when she is brought from her home to Earth during World War l setting with her trying to blend in with the rest of society with the assistance of Chris Pine's character, Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins in showing how Diana grew up to become a great female warrior, as well as the plot twist during the films climax with the revelation of the enemy, and Captain America: First Avenger with Diana being looked down upon in the army as well as the rest of society for being female much like Steve Rogers in the first Captain America film, and both going onto becoming the symbol of hope for the future of both wars as well as godly symbols upon their peers. The film also has a Raiders Of The Lost Ark feel to it with Chris Pine's character falling in love with Diana in a style similar to Indy and Marion. With the combination of all these films mixed together along with Wonder Woman's compelling source material, the stage is set for a film that not only embodies all the great traits of the films mentioned but morphs them into it's own type of special experience for the audience. What makes Wonder Woman resonate so strongly with audiences, is that the film has something that many films in the DC universe lack which is that it's all heart. Director Patty Jenkins goes in deep and makes the audience care about the characters as they become invested in Diana's journey as well as her relationship with Steve played by Chris Pine. Their romance feels like Splash meets Enchanted with a touch of The Terminators love story in which their romance is brief but powerful as it resonates with the audience long after the films over. Connie Nielsen and Robin Wright Penn deliver strong supporting female performances and while their roles are not as large as Gadot or Pine's, they give memorable performances with what they have to work with making the film even more badass for heroines. The greatest power that this film has, is it sticks with you long after it's over making the audience reflect on the pure awesomeness that was displayed on screen. In regards to the acting performances, Gal Gadot is the true star of the film as she's not only gorgeous but convincingly plays the part to perfection, giving her all while bringing true sincerity with her performance. She's charismatic, thrilling, engaging, and brings a sense of class to the character. Her best moments acting wise are not the thrilling action sequence that she delivers but the scenes where she becomes adjusted to the modern setting that Steve introduces her to with her learning about the role of a female in the early 20th century, showing the kind of roles that were expected for women at the time. The film makes a powerful statement about a woman stepping into what was essentially viewed as a mans job to fight in the war, and becomes the ultimate key in regards to ensuring her sides victory as she commands the battlefield. The film tackles issues such as ones pertaining to female power, along with the need to turn hate into love, and war into piece with it's powerful heroine who bears a heart of gold. On the films technical side, the movie is stunning visually with it's breathtaking CGI, stunning cinematography, masterful score with the iconic guitar theme for Wonder Woman being reused from Batman Vs Superman and placed here, and fantastic art-set decoration and costume design. The film may feel a bit overlong to some audiences as it's pacing is slow for it's 141 minute running time, but the film is never truly boring as every minute of it is used to further develop the story with heavy doses of origin story exposition that doesn't do any harm to the film but enhances it's depth. Patty Jenkins has an eye for creating truly dramatic and powerful moments, that hit the viewer hard in the gut and make them feel something long after the credits roll. Whereas many comic book films have trouble juggling their subplots or themes, Wonder Woman does an exceptional job of balancing all of it's themes and subplots, demonstrating pure craftsmanship and skill in regards to it's style of filmmaking. Here's hoping that Patty Jenkins not only gets the opportunity to direct the sequel but that her work here opens the doors for more future female directors.
 
      Overall Wonder Woman is one of the greatest comic book origin stories ever told in modern cinema, making it stand proudly next to Donner's Superman: The Movie and Batman Begins. Like those films, the pacing is slower than the typical comic book movie and blockbuster, which will not please all audiences but it delivers richly in the story and character department while being a visual delight (By that I don't mean just Gal Gadot's beauty). The film is brilliantly directed and written delivering an epic origin story with steady pacing, but packs an emotional punch to it once it's over. Along with Jenkins directing, Gadot and Pine give ambitious and masterful performances with terrific chemistry making the audience believe in their relationship and romance. Much like Superman and Begins, Wonder Woman is full of charm and fun that successfully puts the DC universe back on track after the mediocre Batman Vs Superman, Suicide Squad, and the entertaining but deeply flawed Man Of Steel film. The film works as a great piece of summer blockbuster entertainment because of it being funny, exciting, action-packed, deeply humane, romantic, and touching that make it quite a surprise and refreshing experience with audiences while not taking itself too seriously, which is a serious fault with DCs prior efforts as they try too hard to be dark and gritty. Wonder Woman succeeds where those fail, because it shows that you don't need to be serious and dark in order to be a great movie, sometimes all you need is heart and a great character the audience can rally behind and support. With Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman, DC has found that hero while also seeing a path to redemption for the universe as a whole with their future installments. The greatest compliment that can be given towards Patty Jenkins film, is not only does it exceed all expectations placed upon it, but the film not only entertains but has something to say in regards to turning hatred into love with Wonder Woman standing as a symbol of piece and hope for the future both on film and perhaps for ours as well.
                                                                                                                                          9 out of 10
 

Image result for wonder woman movie picsImage result for wonder woman movie pics connie nielsen
Image result for wonder woman movie pics robin wright penn
Image result for wonder woman movie pictures chris pine
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Image result for wonder woman movie pictures chris pine