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Posts Tagged ‘weekend box office reviews’

Transformers Knight

Transformers: The Last Knight, directed by Michael Bay and starring Mark Wahlberg, takes you back in time to the story of King Arthur, Merlin and the knights of the round table. This element of the story was so exciting and had me thinking about the Arthurian Legend. The story delves deep into the history of how humans and the extraterrestrials began their alliance and revealed more history between the war among the Autobots and the Decepticons. The battle between Good and Evil is intense and continuous throughout the film. I’ve read and heard some of the reviews concerning this movie, which was negative, and it seems that this film grossed the least amount money out of the franchise. I’m not sure why this is because honestly, this was a great movie. The storytelling process was very interesting; the writing was well done. I felt as if I was brought into the story and experienced the journey along with the characters. Mark Wahlberg didn’t disappoint but some of the other new characters needed more developing like Isabella and Jimmy, but I think that they could have been better portrayed by other actors. I felt as though their acting styles were forced. Thet both tried too hard and during some scenes, I thought that their characters were not needed. Sir Edmund Burton played by Anthony Hopkins was a great addition to the cast and served as a guardian and historical counsel in the film. I really enjoyed the battle sequences and the enhanced technology brought the characters to life in such a way that made this whole idea so realistic. You could tell that the writers did some intense research in regards to history, fantasy, and folklore.

The visual effects were amazing, and the overall energy of the film brought a smile to my face as the story unfolded. This movie was so good that I would see it a second time. If you have the time to do a Transformer movie marathon then do it, there are past references throughout and a reference to a future possible battle(so don’t leave during the end credits). Seeing all four movies brings the story together. Despite some casting issues, this is a great film to see. I gave this movie five stars!!

L.L.

Check out the Trailer Below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens “Movie Review”star-wars-

Star Wars: The Force Awakens directed by J.J. Abrams and produced by Lucas Films has become a global phenomenon in this new age within our society. Fans new and old went to see the film, and as of now this movie has grossed over $1 Billion dollars at the box office since the opening a little over two weeks ago.

 

Starring the Beloved Harrison Ford as Han Solo, the struggle between good and evil continues thirty years after the destruction of the Galactic Empire, which led to the death of the cosmic villain Darth Vader. A new threat arises within the universe, and with the help of The First Order, it has the potential to end life and destroy worlds, but a new band of heroes along with the Resistance does everything in their power to stop the evil from taking control over the galaxy.

 

I must admit that I am a new fan to the franchise but that did not take away from me fulling experiencing what the film had to offer. The movie is filled with nonstop action and beautiful imagery. The story line was intriguing, it wasn’t too complicated, it had the basic “good vs evil”, and the “strong will survive” theme.

 

It was the presentation, delivery, and the appearance of old characters, including the introduction of new characters that made the movie so exciting to see. The film was in 3D which added to the experience. Without giving too much away, I will say that there were some unexpected plot twists and moments of “OMG why did they do that?” So let’s just say that the George R. R. Martian and Robert Kirkman kill craze has rubbed off on the Stars Wars franchise.

 

Overall, I thought the movie was great and it was nice to feel such good and exciting energy from fellow fans and moviegoers. There was clapping, cheering, everything you could imagine that would enhance your experience. I am so excited to see the other two films and wonder if they are filming all three simultaneously like Peter Jackson did with TLOTR. I gave Stars Wars: The Force awakens five stars . See it again if you can.

 

“May The Force Be With You”

L.L.

 

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Poltergeist-poster

Poltergeist starring Sam Rockwell and directed by Gil Kenan and produced by Sam Raimi was a horror movie remake that disappointed me in many ways. The movie was supposed to be a reboot of the haunted house classic Steven Spielberg film, starring JoBeth Williams and Craig T. Nelson, but I just couldn’t get over how badly it was done. There was nothing authentic about this film, and the writers did nothing but add some overrated special effects and overuse the original script. The names of the characters were changed for some reason, and I found that the actor’s performances were weak. The mood of the film was disappointingly mellow, and for me there was no real fear that the characters displayed.  For this to have had Sam Raimi’s name behind it, I was expecting so much more. I think that the film could have been done so much better if Sam Raimi would have had complete creative control in addition to the writing. The casting and storytelling was just all wrong, and I hope that the next horror I see will make up for this one.  The only two positive things I have to say was that the scene where we were able to see how the other realm or alternate dimension looked was good, even though I also think that the drone going into that realm was out of place. Technology should be dead in this this case. (I believe that was Raimi’s influence, good idea but it just wasn’t delivered creativity.) I also thought the scene with the family trying to leave the house was good. They are sitting in their SUV and are suddenly dragged back in through the garage as the house becomes consumed by the portal. That was an interesting add on to the movie. Throughout the movie I kept calling the little girl “Carol Anne and was comparing the remake with the original. It was so hard not to. The ghost hunter Carrigan Burke played by Jared Harris didn’t do much for me, but prove that the writers tried too hard with making the movie fit into the modern world. The paranormal research team was horrible, and at this point I can’t write anymore bad things about this movie. Wait, yes I can, it was in 3D which was an excuse for theaters to charge more money than necessary. It didn’t add any depth to the movie at all, just a dent in my purse. Not worth seeing it, but if you must as a fan of horror, wait until it’s out on cable and you have nothing else better to do.

I gave this movie two stars just because of the two scenes I liked and because I like Sam Raimi.

L.L

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Dawn of the planet of the apes

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, directed by Matt Reeves and starring Andy Serkis was an outstanding film that has all the elements that make a blockbuster.

The movie takes place ten years after the Apes emerged to claim their freedom. The world is plagued with a virus that has wiped out most of the human race. Led by Ceaser and portrayed by Andy Serkis, the apes build a world where they thrive as they band together to protect their home. A group of human survivors led by Malcolm and played by Jason Clark encounter the apes in their search to bring electricity back to the city, so they can begin to restore the life they had before the virus.

Caesar struggles with trust issues with the humans as Malcolm tries to convince him to come into their territory so they can restore power. Ceaser agrees but on the condition that the group of humans enter without weapons. Some of the people in the group battle with their own issues with the apes, in fear that they will be attacked. They betray the trust that is established and Caesar questions their true intentions.

Koba—one of Caesar’s lieutenants, who was rescued from the Genesis research facility in the first film holds an unforgiving grudge against the humans and will stop at nothing to break the peace among the two species.

Ceaser sets an example by teaching non violence, community and morels to his fellow apes, but despite his efforts to spare the lives of humans and the apes—a fight between the two is inevitable.
Initiated by Koba, a war breaks out as the two groups fight for freedom. Ceaser almost meets his death as Koba betrays him in the worse way. After his home is destroyed in the forest and he is left for dead, Caesar is saved by Malcom. They seek a safe haven away from all the destruction as Caesar returns to his old home with Malcom and his family to recuperate from a gunshot wound. While on the mend, Caesar makes a connection with Malcolm and reconigizes his genuine nature as demonstrated with his past relationship with Wil Rodman, played by James Franco in the first film.

Meanwhile Koba kills his kind as he makes an attempt to intimidate the other apes to follow him. The apes invade the community of humans and capture them. Koba’s intention is to inflict the same pain on the humans that he endured within the facility.

The final battle between Koba and Caesar is an intense one, filled with lots of action and high energy sequences. The power and emotion behind these scenes are adrenaline driven and will leave you on the edge of your seat the entire time. In the end, power was restored within the city, Caesar killed Koba, re-claimed leadership among the apes and was reunited with his family.

The 20th Century Fox film is an experience that movie goers must see to believe. The visual presentation, special effects ,score and the emotions behind the CG characters bring the story to life in way that demonstrates a creative craft that is absolutely impeccable. Even the language of the apes was impressive, the sign language blending with English and the dialect of the apes fit the tone of the film and was delivered in a manner that made you appreciate what this film represents.

Andy Serkis’ portrayal of Caesar was astounding. If the Academy does not nominate Serkis for an Oscar then they really need to re-evaluate their whole nomination process. This movie grossed big at the box office and the marketing plan was strong in their efforts to draw in movie goers, so why are most films nominated that people have never even heard of, seen and or released in a limited capacity? I’m looking forward to Andy being acknowledged in the Oscar Realm. He deserves it.

Dawn of the Planet of Apes has become an instant modern classic and was masterpiece in every way shape and form that a film can be.
A must see on your summer movie list. I gave this movie 5 Stars!!
L.L.

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Transformers Age poster

Transformers:The Age of Extinction directed by Michael Bay and starring Mark Wahlberg was an action packed film filled with heartstoping adventure. The movie takes place 5 years after Optimus Prime and the Autobots saved the human race from Megatron and the Decepticons.

Prime and the surviving Autobots are now in hiding from the government and have a large price on their heads. A struggling mechanic, Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) purchases a run down truck that just so happeneds to be the transformer Optimus Prime. As the the Autobots come out of the shadows, they rise up to face a new threat— the humans, and newly manufactured transformers. Feeling betrayed by the humans, the transformers put aside their trust issues to team up with Cade and his family. Cade and his daughter Tessa are now wanted for harboring a transformer fugitive— Prime. They band together with Optimus and the other Autobots to once again save the human race from being destroyed. This time they must locate and take an object called “the seed” and remove it from the possession of the humans. The humans working on the project unknowingly realize that the seed has the power to destroy the entire world. An inside man working for the government- Harold Attinger played by Kelsey Grammer betrays his people by being in league with one of Optimus’ worse enemies.

The battle is on as good faces evil. The Autobots strive to defend and protect the planet. Optimus recruits the Dinobots as they lay dormant, deep in the mountains of China. They fight with bravery and honor as they struggle to battle a power that has been engineered.

The age of extinction was a great movie. Every other scene was an action sequence, and the special effects were eye-catching and emotion driven. Mark Wahlberg, Kelsey Grammer and John Goodman portrayed memorable characters. The storyline was a bit predictable, but overall you really don’t miss the characters from the past three films. It stood out on its own and everyone contributed a little something new to the already established franchise. The score was the only thing that I had a problem with. It wasn’t nearly as good and engaging as the past three movies, but the cars that were featured were more luxurious. Nicole Peltz— Tessa aka Bates Motel’s Bradly, was a breath of fresh air which added a modern flair to the film. Spielberg executive produced and Micheal Bay’s vision once again reflected the overall tone of the film.

Put this movie on your summer to see list. I gave it 5 stars.
L.L.

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Bert wonder poster

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone Movie Review
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone directed by Don Scardino, known for directing many popular television shows including 30 Rock, stars Steve Carell and follows the story of a middle aged Las Vegas Magician as he struggles to remain one of the top magicians in Sin City.
Wonderstone and his partner/best friend Anton Marvelton played by Steve Buscemi have had an act based at Balleys hotel and Casino for over ten years. Stuck in their old school magician ways, their careers and friendship is put to the test when fellow magician and rival Steve Gray portrayed by Jim Carrey attempts to show the world a fresh new form of creating illusions.
The team of magicians try to keep up with the competition by creating a stunt that hopefully will boast ticket sales, But Burt and Anton soon part ways when the idea of the new stunt goes terribly wrong and Anton gets hurt.
Burt struggles to maintain the show on his own, but the show sinks without his partner. As a result of the act loosing money Burt is fired. Unable to properly adjust, Burt is faced with living in a motel with accommodations that do not suit him.
During his travels and transition he meets the king of magic and learns that throughout the years he has lost his passion for the art of magic.
As realizes that the passion he once had can be regained, he reconstitutes his friendships and opens himself up to new ideas.
The movie was funny but still was not 40 Year Old Virgin funny. That is what I was expecting. Jim Carry’s character was very funny and it was nice to see him back on the screen doing what he loves. Carrell and Buscemi were a great team and had great chemistry.
I give this movie 3 stars and recommend it to anyone that wants to laugh and enjoys the combination of all actors.

Happy Reading and Writing
L.L

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The hobbit

Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit starring Martin Freeman is the spectacular genesis of an epic adventure that follows a small hobbit a young “Bilbo Baggins” as he sets off on a journey to help a clan of dwarves reclaim their homeland at the Lonely Mountain which was stolen from them by a fierce dragon called Smaug. Recruited by the great wizard Gandalf, Bilbo is approached by the dwarves and their King Thorin to assist in their efforts. Labeled as a “thief” Bilbo is Reluctant to leave the comforts of home and branch off into the world. As the dwarves try to convince Bilbo to take on the task, he continues to let his fears of the outside world get the best of him.
Once the dwarves make way out the Shire, Bilbo soon decides that he will not be a product of his own fears and sets off on “an unexpected journey.”
Bilbo’s travels open him up to a vast array of possibilities that Middle Earth has to offer including the most important aspect of his journey which is his encounter with the creature Gollum and finding “The Ring of Power.” Bilbo and the dwarves encounter trolls, orcs, and even battles goblins on the journey to recapture the dwarf land.
The opening of the film was just wonderful. Bilbo starts off as the Bilbo we know and love in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. He and Frodo (yes Elijah Wood makes an appearance!) are preparing for Bilbo’s birthday party. Bilbo is in the process of writing his book An Unexpected Journey.
This movie is the most perfect prequel that I have ever seen. I was looking at this movie as if I hadn’t seen the others. We learn more about the character that makes up Bilbo, as well as the relationship between Gandalf, Saruman, Elrond and Galadriel. It amazing how well Jackson tells this story.
Without giving away anything else, this movie is a must see and fans will be in awe once again over this cinematic experience.
The cast was stunning in their collective performance which included Ian Holm, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ian Mckellen, Elijah Wood, Cate Blanchett, Andy Serkis, and Christopher Lee. Howard Shore graced the musical scene for The Hobbit and Jackson’s team of creatures and makeup artists ultimately created a film of sensational measure.
I give “The Hobbit” five stars.
L.L

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Paranormal Activity 4 directed by Henry Joost and starring Katie Featherston takes place five years after Katie kills her family and kidnaps her nephew baby Hunter.  Hunter now known as Robbie, along with Katie are the new residents of a neighborhood in Nevada.  The moment Katie and Robbie move in across the street, Alice the teen that notices that Robbie is strange begins to experience paranormal events in her home.

The subtle noises in the night become elevated when Robbie is forced to stay a few days with Alice and her family.  Her friend Ben encourages Alice to video record all the strange activity.  Alice feels that Robbie is a bad influence on her brother Wyatt.  After viewing the tapes of recorded footage the teen is convinced that something maybe after her and her brother.  Alice ties to confront her mother about her findings, but her mother continues to not listen and ignore the signs.

Alice eventually discovers that Robbie may be linked to a coven of witches and a demonic force.  By the time she learns this information it is too late for her and her family.

The fast moving movie really was pointless and did not answer any of the questions franchise fans want to know concerning Katie and Kristi’s past that involve the demonic creature.  The movie was done the same way as the others.  A bump here, a crash there, then suddenly Katie pops into the home and randomly kills everyone.  Katie makes a statement at the end of movie telling the possessed Wyatt that “he will be ready soon.”

For those of you who still plan to see the movie, I will not give any more away, but to tell you the truth, I should have gone to see Taken 2, which I am three weeks late seeing.  I am not going to go over special effects or score, because this movie did not bring anything new to the franchise at all.  This movie should have gone straight to DVD and Netflix.  I cannot believe that the production company wasted money to release a movie like this.  I give Paranormal Activity 4 two stars.  I hope they do not make another one for next Halloween.

As a horror fan, I was disappointed and screamed only once.

Happy Reading!!

L.L

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The LionsGate and GhostHouse production of the film The Possession directed by Ole Bornedal opened this Labor weekend.  The so-called “Based on a True Story” was not the horror movie that it claimed to be.  Starring Kyra Sedgwick and Jeffery Dean Morgan, the movie tells the story of a divorced couple, making an attempt to raise their two daughters in two separate homes.  One weekend as the girls spend time with their father in his new home, he takes them to a local yard sale to find items for the house.  His youngest daughter Emily is drawn to a large antique box and ends up buying the box.  Curious over the box it’s self and the possible contents inside the box, the daughter quickly becomes obsessed with it.  Slowly her father notices that his little girl is demonstrating odd behavior at home.  Her life at school is also affected to the point where her dad tries to separate her from the box.

Her downward spiral and her social and physical demise is fast-moving.  The obvious psychiatric evaluation is recommended as well as doctors appointments and MRI’s are scheduled in order for the parents to seek answers in what is wrong with their daughter.  Once medical issues are ruled out the father puts two and two together and learns that his daughter is possessed.  As he familiarized himself with the concept of possession, he realizes that his daughter must have an exorcism.  Finally embracing his heritage, Clyde makes contact with a Jewish priest to seek advice and plead for him to exorcise the demon.

This movie was not what I thought it would be.  The Sam Raimi element of the film to me was non existent.  The special effects were minimal and  the demonic transformation was disappointing.  The movie was not original and had elements of The Unborn, Emily Rose, The Devil Inside, and The Exorcist wrapped up into one film.

The acting skills were pretty basic, and that was not a negative reflection on  Sedgwick and Morgan.  I think it was the lack of commitment and passion from the writers.  Just because the story is “based on true events” does not mean that the writing can be dull.  Just the idea alone is not good enough.  The writing must be passionate so it can transform the story into something that will “Pull us in”.  It was a nice surprise to see Melrose Place’s bad boy Grant Show make an appearance as Stephine’s new man.  The character was really pointless, he took up space in the house and that is all.  The score was not that impressive and did not enhance the movie.

Overall this movie would be best to watch on Dvd or Netflix on a Friday evening when there is nothing else much else to do.  I give this move two and a half stars.

Happy Reading and Writing

L.L!!

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 The Lionsgate production, The Cabin in the Woods directed by Drew Goddard and starring a cast of relative unknowns follows a group of five college kids on a trip.  The kids intent for a fun weekend filled with booze, sex and drug usage is cut short when two of them are attacked during a moment when they believe they are alone.  Attacked by flesh-eating zombies, their traumatic ordeal and experiences in the cabin are being filmed in real-time.  Every step they make is monitored and controlled by some kind of high functioning underground operation.   From the very beginning,  starting with their encounter with the stranger on the road, to the discovery of a torture chamber in the basement,  and the moment leading up to the initial attack prompts the movie to go  in so many different directions.  The movie simultaneously follows what is happening to the college kids and the adults responsible for their demise.  Strangely they take up bets, and route for their favorite.  In the end no one is to survive this experience.

After running and making attempts to protect and save themselves the kids die one by one with only  two to survive.  Dana and Marty aka the virgin and the fool end up underground in the official facility that has control over everything.  They learn that for some reason they are ones that have to die, in order to save the world from destruction.  At this point this is where the movie looses me completely.  The Sci Fi horror legend Sigourney Weaver makes a cameo appearance in the movie as The Director of the Facility.  She explains that their purpose is to offer up human blood to satisfy the gods, in order to save humanity.  Dana is then given the opportunity to rid the world of the fool so that the world has a chance to survive.

The hour and thirty minute flick is fast-moving but really does not stir anything in me.  The movie does keep you interested because the question of knowing who, why, how and when is always on your brain.  There were elements of 13 Ghosts, infused with Hostel, Stay Alive and Silent Hill in this movie.   The movie’s horror  intention was lost in its interpretation, even though there were some scary parts.  This movie was very hard to follow at times.  The acting was not impressive but the special effects and creature designs were very cool.  The make up effects for the zombies was also very interesting.  They didn’t appear to look like the traditional zombie but more, like a hybrid demonic creature with elements of  the classic zombie.  It was a refreshing twist on the creature.

Overall I give this movie three stars for cinematic effort and the attempts to being unique in its concept.

Happy Reading, Writing, and Creating!!

L.L.

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