King Arthur: Legend of the Sword – Movie Review

As an avid fan of the Arthurian legend, I have watched every movie scene there is out there with Arthur drawing the sword from the stone. Guy Ritchie’s version doesn’t fail to deliver.

Charlie Hunnam was an excellent choice to portray King Arthur.  Jude Law, whose overly intense expressions never sat well with me, was a disappointment but the rest of the surrounding cast turned out good, Eric Bana as Uther Pendragon in particular.

This is not the classic myth of King Arthur and his knights. Guy Ritchie has an unique way to tell the story and whoever sat down to watch this movie hoping to see the well-known tale will be disappointed. Personally, I could do with less extravagant magic monsters and less Lord of the Rings vibes, e.g. the oliphants and the Great Eye and the Tower of Mordor collapsing.

The soundtrack was goosebump inducing, the scene about the round table hilarious and Arthur’s monologue about his origins while he is killing his uncle awe-inspiring.

I rate this movie with 7.4/10.

Deepwater Horizon – Movie Review

Deepwater Horizon, the movie about the worst environmental disaster in USA history, was surprisingly gripping.

Admittedly, it had a slow built with too many silly family moments. Okay, I understand they were needed to build on the later drama but they could be less concentrated on a single character.

I’m not a fan of Mark Wahlberg and my suspicions about him were confirmed. Colourless and stiff during the action but kudos on his performance when he’s supposed to be on shock after the rescue. Well played.

Kurt Russell and Gina Rodriguez were amazing and the few scenes Dylan O’Brien was in were well executed.

The finale with the tribute to the real heroes of that dreadful day was really moving and fitting.

I rate this movie with 6.9/10.

Manchester by the sea – Movie Review

The most realistic movie I’ve seen this year, passing a very human message: Shit happens in life and there aren’t always some good stuff to come along and make everything better.

Casey Affleck’s character, Lee Chandler, is a man destroyed. Losing three kids in a house-fire he caused, there is nothing left for him to go on. Despite the fact that he still lives, he is frozen in a state of self-deprecation that not even his recently orphaned nephew can help him overcome. Affleck carries a sad quality with him that manages to portray all that perfectly. An Oscar well-served.

Kenneth Lonergan wrote a beautiful script and directed it as coldly as it left you feeling. An amazing feat if you ask me.

What I can’t understand is Michelle Williams’ Oscar nomination for supporting actress. She was on screen for barely five minutes, half of it spent on cursing and the other half having a badly performed psychotic break.

In the end, two and a half hours well spent.

I rate this movie with 7.5/10.

Wonder Woman (2017) – Movie Review

A lot of buzz around this movie so let’s see…

Director Patty Jenkins did an exceptional job. She kept moving among the Amazons and their battle moves giving us an awe-inspiring perspective, only a bit reminiscent of the movie “300” by Zack Snyder who actually was one of Wonder Woman’s writers and was on the driver’s seat for other DC movies like “Man of Steel” and the awful “Batman v Superman”.

The writing team behind Wonder Woman delivered an appropriately funny and inspirational script that Chris Pine, playing Steve Trevor, managed to elevate with his subtle acting that let the women of the film shine and kept our attention to them at all times.

The supporting cast was also kind of awesome, especially David Thewlis and Robin Wright.

BUT

Gal Gadot is a beautiful woman and kicked ass in every action-filled scene. Her posture, the way she held herself with confidence, was amazing and her husky voice, tinted a little bit by her accent, gave her a more exotic vibe. Sometimes though, mainly during the scenes with only dialogue, it felt like she was trying too hard to act, like “What am I doing here exactly?”

 

I rate this movie with 8/10. Better than anything DC we have seen lately.

 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – Movie Review

!Beware of the spoilers!

 

Let’s start this review making perfectly clear that, although Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 had very thin plot, it was much more enjoyable than Vol. 1.

The movie started off with some awesome dance moves from baby Groot who is, literally, the cutest creature that has ever adorned the big screen, and went on reminding us the hilariousness of the universe. Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and even the voice of Bradley Cooper had excellent chemistry, exchanging brilliant quips that made everyone laugh hard every ten seconds. Kudos to the assembly of writers for that!

The most epic scene for me was with Michael Rooker’s Yondu, where the character escaped from the mutineers that had commandeered his ship, whistling his red arrow around under the soundtrack of the Awesome Mixtape. Brilliant! A pleasant surprise was also Yondu’s atonement scene where he died after saving Peter Quill and calling him his son. “He may have been your father boy, but he wasn’t your daddy,” he said for Kurt Russell’s “Ego” who portrayed Quill’s biological father and was the basic theme of this movie: Exploring Starlord’s origins (=he is a demigod with a conscience).

Awesome Mixtape #2 was, as expected, an excellent collection of classics tailored nicely to the onscreen shenanigans. Even the special-effects where suitably handled, giving the film the needed super-hero vibes but keeping the characters in the centre of each scene (see for example Quill resisting his father’s torture by remembering his mother).

More than one post-credits scenes this time. The best was, hands up, the one with teenager Groot and Quill telling him to clean his room. Hilarious!

All in all, an excellent night at the movies.

I rate this movie with 7/10.

 

PS: Watch out for David Hasselhoff!

Power Rangers (2017) – Movie Review

I had low expectations for this movie, anticipating something between “Transformers” and “Age of Ultron”. Thankfully, I was wrong since the movie concentrated on building the relationships between its five protagonists first and falling back into the familiar special effects recipe only towards the final half hour.

The young cast did exceptionally well, especially RJ Cyler as Billy, the Blue Ranger, while Dacre Montgomery as Jason, the Red Ranger, managed to manoeuvre his character between the landmine that is playing a jock pretty notably.

Special moments for anyone, like me, who grew up watching Power Rangers:
1. Alpha 5’s “Ay Ay Ay”

2. The zords

3. The Megazord!

4. The Go Go Power Ranger song moment

and something extra:

5. The “Stand by me” included in the soundtrack (the scene where Billy dies)

The suits were a bit too flashy but it had some original battle scenes that were really impressive, especially the underwater one where the Rangers fight together for the first time.

For a pleasant evening, and the memories, I rate this movie with 7/10.

Underworld: Blood Wars – Movie Review

Disappointed, saddened, let down, <insert any other synonym here>.

This movie had nothing to offer plot-wise. They tried to connect it to the previous ones by having Kate Beckinsale’s Selene narrate over some scenes but the end result was awkward and unconvincing, too obvious that they tried hard to just place this movie in the Underworld’s universe but not having anything more to add to the story.

Theo James’s performance was lacking but still better than Bradley James’s whose  character didn’t really fit in for me. Really bad written, changing sides without a deeper motive. Not even Charles Dance and Lara Pulver managed to save the show.

Not much more to say.

I rate this movie with 5/10.

Beauty and the Beast (2017) – Movie Review

In this adaptation of the classic Disney fairy tale directed by Twilight’s Bill Condon, where a prince is cursed to resemble a monster until true love breaks the spell,  Emma Watson, Dan Stevens and Luke Evans are starring.

A beautiful story told by its classic point of view without too many unnecessary stunts and effects. Luke Evans was delightful as Gaston, the sexist man who covets Emma Watson’s Belle. The latter did a fine enough job although her role wasn’t so challenging. The only think she had to do was lie back, play beautiful and not use her eyebrows too much which she managed alright. The big revelation of the movie was Josh Gad as LeFou, Gaston’s servant. Hilarious! Although I couldn’t stop picturing the great lengths to which James Corden would go with this particular character. An extra surprise was the great assembly cast which we only got to see for a few moments but kept hearing their voices throughout the whole movie: Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci etc.

The only downside for me was that the film was stretched thin during some of the music parts. Granted, it was a musical but the dance scene were Belle wears the characteristic yellow dress could have played out better.

A great movie for a family night.

I rate this movie with 6.8/10.

 

PS.: A friend sent me this link last night

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nu4Pzsolyhg

I dare you to watch it and not laugh.

 

The Magnificent Seven (2016) – Movie Review

Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Olympus has fallen, King Arthur etc), The Magnificent Seven remake manages to reproduce a believable western vibe on par with similar films made in the 60s and better than anything of its kind we’ve seen this last decade.

 

A great assembly of cast but:

  1. Haley Bennett’s character Emma Cullen was severely underdeveloped.
  2. Denzel Washington didn’t exactly bring it home.
  3. Extra kudos to Chris Pratt for the charisma and mischievousness he brought to his character Josh Faraday.
  4. Extra Extra kudos to Vincent D’Onofrio for the creepiness, the voice and the madness of a man who slaughters his enemies while sending a prayer their way.
  5. Looks like they tried too hard to have diversity but the film’s Indian and Mexican, apart from a few clever quips from Manuel Garcia-Rulfo’s Vasquez and the bromance with Faraday, most of the time was just …there. Could have turned out better.

 

The music was also kind of awesome and discreet and the scenery reminiscent of the Wild West.

 

I rate this movie with 8/10.

MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN – MOVIE REVIEW

Tim Burton is Tim Burton and Eva Green is a goddess among humans. The ‘Home for Peculiar Children’ is basically Burton’s attempt to create one of his fantasy worlds but doesn’t quite succeed in reinstating the atmosphere of his previous masterpieces like Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice and so many others including the underrated Planet of the Apes. For the first hour especially, this movie completely lacks the characteristic Burton touch so much so that you think you are watching a usual children’s fantasy film.

 

In Miss Peregrine’s home for peculiar children, one of the few Burton’s movies that doesn’t include Johnny Depp in the cast, Eva Green manages to slay as Miss Peregrin, the headmistress of the orphanage accommodating children with special abilities. Asa Butterfield as the outside kid who discovers a strange world is weak and at times clumsy while Samuel L. Jackson is at his worst. Judi Dench only appears for roughly five minutes.

 

Towards the last thirty minutes of the film the exaggerations and unnecessary scenes are so many that it ends up as a boring bad special effects action flick.

I rate this movie with 5.5/10.