Lucy Movie Review

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Many people thought that Lucy was going to be a direct rip-off of Limitless, another film that involves the concept of unlocking the secrets of the mind. I haven’t seen Limitless, but from what I understand about it, Lucy takes quite a different direction. Whenever I hear arguments about a movie “ripping off” an earlier film, I notice that the people speaking about the similarities between the two flicks don’t understand the purpose and message of each individual work. There are only a few cases in which I find these arguments valid, and even then there are places where they fall through. With that in mind, let’s evaluate Lucy. Continue reading

Snowpiercer Movie Review

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Science Fiction is by far and large my favorite movie genre. I love films that take the issues of our time and put them in a different setting than what we know, showing how these themes would apply to a different world. You could make the argument that the most enjoyable sci-fi films are action-adventures such as Star Wars or The Avengers that keep our adrenaline pumping through the entire running time. Other types of sci-fi films, a kind that I have only dug into within the past few years, are the kinds of films that take human stories and place them in a sci-fi environment. Movies such as Blade Runner, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Moon certainly make us use our brains much more than films such as Total Recall. Despite the undeniable high quality of these films, they aren’t always exciting to watch, as their slow pace can make distraction-prone viewers fidget in their seats. Director Bong Joon-ho’s latest film Snowpiercer, starring Chris Evans, is a combination of both the action-packed and dramatic styles of sci-fi, and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t think that it’s the greatest film that I’ve seen all year. Continue reading

The Purge: Anarchy Movie Review

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There were a lot of high hopes for The Purge: Anarchy. After the first Purge movie last summer was highly criticized for its waste of an interesting premise, the first ad for the second film in the series revealed that this new movie would take place throughout the city. This is the kind of setting that many filmgoers were hoping for the first time around, and something that would hopefully make better use of such an interesting idea. I have to give some respect to writer and director James DeMonaco for hearing the complaints of both filmgoers and critics and putting those suggestions to use in this film. Continue reading

The King’s Speech Movie Review

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It seems as though historical films never get all of the details right about the actual events. Look up the Wikipedia article on any movie based on a real event and you’ll find a section entitled “historical accuracy” devoted to tearing apart the work for any liberties taken. Sometimes, these creative choices can be beneficial to the plot. In The Sound of Music, it is very satisfying to watch the Von Trapps climb over the Alps at the end, and it makes for a much better conclusion than watching them board a train as the actual family did in real life. Some changes in these films, however, are taken to appease the filmmaker’s agenda, such as when Michael Bay chose to show the Japanese bombing the hospital in Pearl Harbor. Although I feel that changes such as this can be harmful to both the art of film and our society in general, I don’t believe that we should discard all historical movies just because of their inaccuracies. No matter what care is put into the filmmaking process, there is no way that all of the facts of an event can be crammed into a two-hour window. With that in mind, I recommend that we sit back and watch these films, overlooking the minor differences between the real story and the fiction, and look instead at the movie’s deeper meaning. With that in mind, let’s dive into The King’s Speech. Continue reading

The Shining Movie Review

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Horror movies aren’t made like they used to be. I don’t think that saying that means that I want modern filmmakers to repeat the past, but rather that I’d like them to stop repeating the present. Most horror films today are very dependent upon the gore and jump scares thrown in to “surprise” the audience, but the filmmakers fail to realize that after a handful of movie like this, the effect of these methods wears off. My favorite horror films are the ones from the 70s and 80s, when the genre was starting to be pushed to limits that it never was in the past. One of the movies from this era that did a fantastic job capturing the true essence of horror was Stanley Kubrik’s classic, The Shining. Continue reading

Life Itself Movie Review

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For awhile now, I’ve been thinking that I should put some sort of article up on Heavy Metal Ebert as a tribute to Roger Ebert. After all, I am using his last name in the very title of this blog, and I want to borrow that from him out of respect, not the opposite. There are many qualities about Roger Ebert as a film critic that I have always admired, and many which I try to take into my own film criticism. Although I disagree with some of his opinions in his later years (specifically those expressed in the 2010 article, “Video Games Can Never Be Art”), I still think that he did more for film criticism than any other critic of our time. However, I never really learned very much about Roger Ebert as a person, something that the new documentary Life Itself sheds some light upon. Continue reading

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

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I feel that most filmgoers agree that rebooting franchises is one of the most nauseating trends in modern cinema. Reboots usually contain weak plots, bank on the special effects used in the film to sell tickets, and never live up to the original work. I have yet to meet anyone who claims that they prefer the recent Robocop or Total Recall movies to the originals. Because of this, many people were naturally skeptical when Rise of the Planet of the Apes was released in summer 2011. It didn’t help that an attempt to reimagine this franchise had already failed with Planet of the Apes in 2001, one of director Tim Burton’s few disappointments. Rise, however, was met with both critical and commercial success, so naturally, a sequel was in order. Now we are treated to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which is a sequel to the franchise reboot. The movie also has a new director, Matt Reeves, who has replaced Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt. You can clearly see why I was worried when this film was announced. Continue reading

Broken Flowers Movie Review

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To be honest, my knowledge of modern Bill Murray films is a bit lacking. I haven’t seen any of his collaborations with Wes Anderson save Moonrise Kingdom, and most of my knowledge of his work involves the classics such as Ghostbusters and his work on SNL. I’m trying to catch up on the Murray that I’ve missed in the last few years, and since 2005’s Broken Flowers was on Netflix, I thought that I’d try it out. Continue reading

Earth to Echo Movie Review

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I’m really dreading one day having kids because of all of the children’s movies that we’ll have to go to. I’m sure that all of the other joys of parenting are very rewarding, but I doubt that many people have said that they really enjoyed their children dragging them into the cinema to see Cars 2 or The Lorax. There is also a plethora of excellent family films, some of which have been released this summer, but the kids never check the reviews before going into the theater. And the worst part is that, no matter what, you’re going to have to pretend that you liked the movie. You don’t want to look your kid in the eye and tell them about the bad acting and immature humor that you pray they won’t appreciate for much longer. At best, they won’t understand your complaints, and at worst, you’ll break their heart. I’m sure that many parents are fearing that they might experience this frustration this weekend as they are being pulled into Earth to Echo. Continue reading

Pacific Rim Movie Review

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About a year and a half ago, I saw an ad for Pacific Rim, a new film coming out that, at first glance, looked like an attempt to cash in on the financial success of the Transformers series. However, when I found out that acclaimed director Guillermo Del Toro was at the helm of the project, my expectations rose significantly. I’m a fan of both Pan’s Labyrinth and the Hellboy movies, so I figured that Del Toro would be able to pull through with Pacific Rim, as well. So was this 2+ hour kaiju-rama worth the $15 I paid to see it in 3D? Continue reading

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