Patema Inverted: 4/5
Kingsmen: 4.5/5
The Maze Runner: 3.5/5
Big Hero 6: 3.5/5

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)

Avery's Review
     My love toward the Harry Potter movie franchise has pretty much consistently decreased since the third film. While not spectacularly pieced together, the first and second movies were still a fun, magical ride. The third, in my opinion, was excellent all around. Beginning with the fourth movie, I felt that all magical (in terms of wonder and awe) aspects were forgotten in lieu of darkness and grit. I know the books are supposed to become darker as they progress, and I did enjoy the books. Maybe it's because they felt rushed - like items were left out from the books, particularly in The Order of the Phoenix. My opinion of The Goblet of Fire has gotten somewhat better after watching it multiple times as part of ABC's neverending Harry Potter Weekend(s). I loved Deathly Hallows Part 1. I don't know why. I just did. But Deathly Hallows Part 2 seemed to have way too many plot holes for me to completely enjoy it.
     So many things in this movie are not explained. I won't even go into them, but it's like important parts of the book were left out just so we could get straight to the action. It felt really rushed, like many major, or at least semi-important scenes were cut just so we could focus on Harry and not his friends. The only protagonists focused on for any length of time at all besides Harry are Ron, Hermione, McGonagall, and Neville. The rest of the cast make fleeting appearances, so quickly that it's hard to distinguish each individual from another.
     To the movie's credit, the King's Cross part now makes much more sense to me. I had no idea what was going on in the book at that point. I think I missed the whole part about the Deathly Hallow Harry found before facing Voldemort. But Dumbledore was waiting for him there. What? Had Dumbledore just been wondering around there, not passing on for a year just in hopes that Harry would come along soon enough? Must've been super boring in there for a year. But maybe I'm looking at that all wrong. After going to Harry Wiki, I see that the stone had nothing to do with his resurrection. There goes my understanding. Anyway, this isn't important to the review, so I'll move on.
     Alexandre Desplat does a great job with the score again. I liked his score for the last movie better (I'm in love with the Ministry of Magic theme), but this one is still great. 
Rupert, look the other way,! No, the other way! Ah, nevermind.
     Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Tom Felton, Alan Rickman, Ralph Fiennes, Matthew Lewis, and all those fine fellows return to reprise their roles (minus Jamie Waylett, who portrayed Vincent Crabbe in the previous movies) and once again do an outstanding job.
     Once again, the movie differs a lot from the book. But I suppose that is to be expected. One thing to note about this movie is the comedy. There is a good bit of it, placed expertly throughout the movie. The Half-Blood Prince had comedy as well, but not quite as much and only one laugh out loud scene that I can remember. 
     The effects, not just 3D, are great. Seeing it in 3D (at midnight, and in a hot costume no less) with the special Harry glasses was cool. I really only noticed 3D in the beginning parts of the movie, as I think I was too preoccupied with the movie for the rest of its duration, which was surprisingly short.
     Well, I've rambled a lot here, as I usually do, but now allow me to sum it all up. The movie should have been longer to allow for better plot explanations. The plot is loosely the same as the book, just with differences that affect individual elements but not the overall outcome. This movie has enough action to make up for the action that is actually missing. Important characters die, but you don't even get to see how they die. What a bummer. If you're a Potter fan, sure, by all means go see this. It is a good movie. If you're really into Potter, it's a fantastic movie. If you're a casual moviegoer who has not seen a Harry Potter movie in your life, I suggest you either start with the first one or read the books. But if you don't want to, it's up to you. Despite all the movie's flaws and muddled plot points, it was fun. I can't criticize it too much.
Rating: 4 out 5

Zack's Review

     As a person that read only as far as The Order Of The Phoenix and then didn't take the time to read more, and had only seen the 6th Harry Potter movie, I didn't have any sort of expectations for this movie. However, I am glad to say Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2 still somehow surprised me. Unlike some book-to-movie adaptions, it is accessible to all (although I would recommend watching the other movies at least instead of just jumping in like me).
     If you don't watch for the plot, at least watch for the spectacularly epic battle sequences. It was a fantastic movie, not necessarily because of the acting or screenplay, but because it was an excellent joy ride.
     So yes, if you are a super-dedicated Harry Potter fan, it may dissapoint you. However, for casual fans or regular movie goers (such as myself), it is a must-watch-at-some-point-in-time.
     As such, I give this movie a 5 out of 5.
Rating: 5 out of 5

Quick Ratings: None So Far

Final Rating:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Harry Potter Review Delayed

Well, we saw Deathly Hallows Part 2 at midnight for its premiere. But, well, we're a little behind with the review writing, so it'll be tomorrow before the reviews are posted. Sorry!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Super 8 (2011)

Avery's Review

     I went in to Super 8 not really knowing what I was getting myself into. To be honest, the film, the plot of which I had very little knowledge of, sparked only slight interest in me. I sat down with my Popcorn and Coke, sort of expecting some bland dialogue in the way of Lost or something incredibly sci-fi in the way of Star Trek. Super 8 was neither. 
     J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg bring to the silver screen a story about a group of kids who, well, are attempting to bring their own film to the not-quite-silver screen. In doing so, the kids witness a massive train wreck brought on by their honors biology teacher. From the train, an alien is released into the town. As a result, the area is taken over and driven by the Air Force, who want to reclaim the creature (as it was originally under their lock). I won't go any more in depth than that or list the individual actors like I often do, but it's basically sci-fi wrapped in a cleverly disguised ball of drama and slice-of-life. The latter is basically about the strained relationship between the main character Joe and his father after the death of Joe's mother, and the relationship they have with Alice Dainard and her dad. ...And thus I lied.
      About half the cast of kids (there are 6 if memory serves) is new to the acting business, and, well, it shows. Even from the experienced actors and actress (notably Elle Fanning, who plays Alice [I lied even more]) the acting is subpar. However, it actually lends to the film. It's a rare case where the mediocre acting (it could have been a lot worse) actually makes the movie more realistic and believable. I didn't feel like they were rehearsed (they didn't have any powerful, memorable lines), but that they were just speaking what came to mind, as humans often do. It almost makes me wonder if it wasn't intentional. 
       As most people who gave the film negative reviews say, the ending was disappointing. The climax was weak. However, the rest of the movie made up for it, certainly. It really is only bothersome if you hate abrupt endings or feel the need to question the reality of certain events, the latter of which would actually be bothersome throughout the entire film (IE how the spacecraft transforms and why the creature didn't just stay in it's lair, although this last bit is partially explained). Urg, I'm spoiling it again. Well, sorta. 
       Final thoughts are upcoming. You could tell when something was about to jump out at you most of the time - the music and background noises disappeared, one character was alone, it was dark, etc. It wasn't surprising when something did jump out. However, there is one certain instance in the movie that did make me jump, and it is probably one of the most surprising (in the way of making a person jump) scenes I have seen in movies. It's horror wasn't great, but it's energy was definitely there. The film, though, is more about the interactions between the different characters than the actual alien threat, so that's one reason the genre is ambiguous (like the aforementioned "horror" scenes).
     Maybe it's because my hobby is making films and videos, but I loved this movie. Yes, I actually am probably biased on this one (just as I was on Cars 2 when I could not bring myself to give a Pixar film a flat 2 rating). As a great masterpiece, Super 8 does not rank at all. It is by no means a great feat. However, it is a fantastic piece of entertainment, especially the end credits. Just for it's entertainment value, I have to give this film a 5/5, the first 5 I have given on this site. If you are looking for the next Academy Award winner, though, look elsewhere, as this film more than likely won't be seen as such. It's honestly too bad that this film is actually forgettable (just in the fact that it WASN'T a masterpiece), as I would love to watch it again forty years from now.
Rating: 5/5 (unless you are looking for a movie marvel, in which case it earns a 2-3/5, but that's your call, not mine)

Connor's Quick Rating: 4/5

Final Score: