Sunday, December 29, 2013

QUICKIES: Some 2013 movies

A group of retired crazy ass killers. Giant monsters and robots. And two movies with basically the same plot, same illogical twists & turns, and a "Jack Bauer/John McClane"-cloned protagonist to save the day.



Either I'm too lazy at the moment, or the movie does not deserve a full review. Here are my straight-to-the-point reviews, QUICKIES if you will, of RED 2, PACIFIC RIM, OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN, and WHITE HOUSE DOWN.

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RED 2

Directed by:  Dean Parisot (Fun with Dick and Jane)
Starring:  Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, 
Helen Mirren, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine-Zeta Jones
Screenplay by:  Jon & Erich Hoeber
Based on:  Red (Warren Ellis)
Music by:  Alan Silvestri (Back to the Future, Forrest Gump)
Cinematography by:  Enrique Chediak
Editing by:  Don Zimmerman (Rocky III, Liar Liar)

Running Time:  116 mins
Budget:  $84 million
Box Office: more than $140 million (I can smell the sequel brewing)

It may not be as solid in terms of storyline & thrill rides as the first installment, but this sequel pretty much made up for its weaker script & a somewhat static second act with an energetic cast. I just love the amusing performances of Malkovich, Mirren, and Hopkins. Mary-Louise Parker is still ever so charming, though not as natural as the first movie. And Bruce Willis, while a tad wooden, is still Bruce Willis - "virile and bald". Lee Byung-hun's characterization/lines/scenes sometimes fell flat, in my opinion. Catherine Zeta-Jones was okay. 


MY RATING:  3/5Red 2 can be predictable, cliched, lagging at times, but it still is abso-bloody-lutely entertaining, at least for me, because I wasn't expecting anything other than fun performances from such brilliant actors in a tongue-in-cheek, over-the-top comicbook movie. It's not as good as the first one, but it's still worth watching if you loved the gang - just don't expect anything great other than the cast's fun portrayals. 


PACIFIC RIM

Directed by:  Guillermo Del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy)
Starring:  Charlie Hunnam (Queer As Folk), Idris Elba (Prometheus), Rinko Kikuchi (Babel)
Written by:  Guillermo Del Toro, Travis Beacham
Music by:  Ramin Djawadi (Iron Man, Prison Break, Game of Thrones)
Cinematography by:  Guillermo Navarro (Pan's Labyrinth, From Dusk Till Dawn)
Editing by: Peter Amundson, John Gilroy
Running Time:  132 mins
Budget:  $190 million
Box Office: over $407 million

To those who loved Ultraman, Masked Rider Black, Voltes V, Bioman, Maskman, or whatever-man you used to watch as a kid, this movie will make you shiver with delight as it gives you that nostalgic feeling of seeing giant monsters battling with humans-slash-robots. Pacific Rim is more than a visual feast and an explosive action movie - it's not just clunking metal, ripped alien guts, squished monster brains, and explosions - it's a monster movie with a heart... and a brain. Thank you Guillermo Del Toro. Also for giving us a female character that's more than just a sexual object, more than a love interest for the male protagonist.

A solid story, great visual treat, awesome action sequences (though I would have loved it if there were more daytime fight scenes between the Kaijus and the Jaegers. And out of the water if possible), good acting, interesting characters (Ron Perlman's character was awesome!) - just pure kickassness. Although I'm not sure about Hunnam & Kikuchi's chemistry (but I did love that scene in the pic).

MY RATING: 4.5/5


OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN

Directed by:  Antoine Fuqua (Training Day)
Starring: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman
Written by:  Creighton Rothenberger, Katrin Benedikt
Music by:  Trevor Morris (Immortals, The Borgias, The Tudors)
Cinematography by:  Conrad W. Hall (Panic Room, The Punisher)
Editing by:  John Refoua
Running Time:  120 mins
Budget:  $70 million
Box Office: over $161 million
North Korean terrorists infiltrate and trash the White House. There's treachery involved (as always),  and there's a kid to save. Gerard Butler channeling Jack Bauer swoops in to save the day. 

The movie is too dark and drab for me to enjoy it. Some scenes were a bit melodramatic to the point of being unintentionally funny and while I like Butler's performance, he seems too much like Bauer, and this movie like a weaker version of 24.

I did like Angela Bassett's character. I think she did a solid performance. The shift three scene LOL.  And Morgan Freeman. Well, he is Morgan Freeman. And we know Morgan Freeman IS God. That's a given.


WHITE HOUSE DOWN

Directed by:  Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, 2012)
Starring:  Jamie Foxx, Channing Tatum, Maggie Gyllenhaal
Written by:  James Vanderbilt (The Rundown, Zodiac)
Music by:  Harald Kloser (The Day After Tomorrow, 2012),
Thomas Wanker (2012, Buffy The Vampire Slayer)
Cinematography by:  Anna Foerster (best known for her collaborations with Emmerich)
Editing by:  Adam Wolfe
Running Time:  131 mins
Budget:  $150 million
Box Office:  over $205 million

Terrorists infiltrate and trash the White House. There's treachery involved (as always),  and there's a kid to save. Channing Tatum channeling John McClane swoops in to save the day.

First of all, I need to say that I don't like Channing Tatum. I don't know why, I just don't. But he did a decent job in WHD as pretty boy John McClane, oh I mean John Cale. I wasn't irritated this time so that's good enough for me. Jamie Foxx as Obama - er,  President Sawyer, is okay as well. Sometimes he's too glib to be believable as the POTUS, but for this kind of movie, you have to suspend your disbelief. Foxx & Tatum wise-cracking as they dodge machine guns and RPGs may not be amusing all the time, but it sure is more fun than watching Gerard kicking Asian ass in the dark.


WHITE HOUSE DOWN vs. OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN

While OHF has a more serious tone and action, WHD has more entertainment value for me. Both are brainless action thrillers that makes you facepalm yourself one too many times - but I found OHF boring even though Butler was more kick-ass than Tatum. 

Both movies have good sets of cast. But a solid cast isn't enough to carry a movie with a weak script/plot that defies our sense of logical reasoning, boring action sequences, and one-dimensional characters that are either too undeveloped or too slick to be believable. WHD & OHF are unfortunately nothing but your typical popcorn flick made to entertain (not anything else) which doesn't even fall under the category of really good entertainment.


MY RATING: 
White House Down - 2.5/5
Olympus Has Fallen -2/5




YOUR POINT OF VIEW: Which is your least favorite movie? Why?



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4 comments:

  1. I liked OHF more, mas fun and it felt like Die Hard, as for Pacific Rim, if I'm going to sum it up to two words, it's.... FUCK YEAH!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. yup, i saw that people liked OHF better. But it was too dark for me (picture). Im not sure if it's my copy, pero BRrip naman sya eh. WHD had better cinematography imo. bonus points. =D

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  2. Gorgeous you enjoyed it so much, including existing Thank you

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