2016年7月19日 星期二

Movie Review: The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)) | by volcanolam - "The 16 yr old Casual Blogger" [Movie Reviews, Opinions, Essays & More!!]

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Rating: 7/10

The nightmare before christmas poster.jpgCaptivating and unforgettable. The stop-motion musical is one of the most creative and unique works of animation ever to be squeezed within a mere runtime of 76 minutes. Despite how short it is, there are so much being told thanks to the incredible storytelling. But most importantly, gratitude has to be given to producer Tim Burton for his excessively ingenious vision and for his idea of making characters sing through their dialogue and poems as if there are doing a play, making the film feel unique through its songs and dramatic delivery. Accompanied by low budget stop motion and a genius score (Danny Elfman OUTDID himself here!), it is one fantastic animation that I'd highly recommend to everyone who wants to see something enjoyable yet not too childish.

The score is really majestic, also the way the characters sing through their lines in a musical is very enticing to see. The musical pieces are distributed evenly throughout, contributing to the dark, scary ambiance. Yet, the music also seem to be what prevents the film into an too scary horror flick. There were scenes where the music added a cheerful tone to potentially frightening, disturbing images and make it somehow enjoyable. For example, the villain appearance might prove to be a bit too scary, but as soon as you realized he was just one of those chanting and bantering characters you'd overlook that fact. All these testifies how well executed is the movie, walking the trampolines between film elements of horror and family-fun. Release in 1993, before even the release of Pixar's first feature film, the animation should prove to be one of the freshest animated pictures ever to have shown on the big screen at that time.

I do believe, however, that the film lost a bit of its momentum as the climax kicks off, as if Burton couldn't conceive of the best way to end. Why should the villain begin mutiny? What got Jack enamored with Sally? Didn't it feel forced? What was with Santa Claus' inexplicable act of gratitude and kindness towards the village he abominates, raining snow over the land just after he censured the kidnappers for their diabolical act?

But regardless of some unexplained storylines and an average climax, you guys should be watching this film just in case you get bored of watching the same genre all over and over. Here's something new, even after 23 years since release.

2016年7月15日 星期五

Movie Review: Mosters Inc. (2001) | by volcanolam - "The 16 yr old Casual Blogger" [Movie Reviews, Opinions, Essays & More!!]

Monsters Inc. (2001)

Rating: 9.5/10

Extremely ingenious high concept film that is superbly well scripted. Not only does the film boosts the very best character chemistry, the plot is so brilliantly crafted with all those superior foreshadowing and connections. As the Randy Newman song, also such a great song, kicks off in the background, it is all for you to continue expanding the wonderful bond between the two leads and to marvel how much you have seen throughout just 80 minutes. Vintage Pixar.

Even crazier still, this is one hell of an animation that entertains adults too. Basically I couldn't find a scene older viewers would feel uncomfortable with, and even the emotional scene to the end was so well done it may even touch adults alike (though I somehow didn't feel connected with that particular scene Idk why but anyways good scene). The animation is great too, and I'm talking about a sequence in particular during the second act where Mike and Sully entered the huge hall full of door transferring wires. That is the jellyfish sequence in Finding Nemo happening two years prior. Last but not least, Billy Crystal was KILLING it in his role as the one-eyed monster Mike. His hype, energy, and comedic performance is a gleaming example of how you do voice acting in animation. His performance stands along Tim Allen, Ellen DeGeneres etc. as the best Pixar voice acting collection. I know, Robin Williams is still the champ, yes.

I can imagine the time in the early 2000s during when film goers were blessed with Monsters Inc., then Finding Nemo, and then The Incredibles in such rapid succession. By the time WALL-E was out, people were saying things like "its originality surpasses all the previous eight films produced by the studio yet" which is surprisingly true and untrue the same time. I do feel like WALL-E is the ultimate Pixar work, but it sadly shares the production studio with other perfect films that just because time passes, have to be put aside to let the newer works shine. That's the truth about Pixar. After WALL-E, we got Toy Story 3, which is now the champion cuz it is the final installment of an era. A era just like the DIsney Renaissance. Now it's history, and we are looking back in time to wonder "What the heck happened to us, and our reviews?"

Movie Review: Hugo (2011) | by volcanolam - "The 16 yr old Casual Blogger" [Movie Reviews, Opinions, Essays & More!!]

Hugo (2011)

Rating: 7/10

It might not have the adventure, the scale, or the thrills you want, yet it is still an endearing and warm tale of a young boy named Hugo in a journey to uncover the mysteries of his father's heritance and the true identity behind a shopkeeper of the train station he swelled in. As aberrant as his subsequent work "The Wolf of Wall Street" would soon seem, this family film is an outright anomalous project from the hands of one of the most legendary directors in Hollywood, Martin Scorcese, and even though there didn't contain a single foul word, pop culture references or even PG stuff, trace of Scorcese's masterful visionary can be seen hidden in the core. It is a well-crafted and lovely film, if not matching the expectations I held beforehand.

Hugo (2011) is said to be the dearest picture to the great director's own heart of his filmography. It is true considering that Hugo, the protagonist, actually depicts Scorsese himself in his childhood times. You'll kinda get the feeling that this film is all him doing whatever he want instead of proving the world of his abilities to produce classics and large-scale movies, pretty much like Nolan making what he loves like Inception and Interstellar after rising into power with The Dark Knight. The story is much more simple than I thought of, and the only peril our small protagonist faced was the station inspector who threatened to bring him to the orphanage, but he is actually present for most of the screen time for comic relief, showing silly facial expressions throughout with some occasional slapstick. So while the great director is not dramatizing the plot in this one, he makes up of it with some crucial film elements. Firstly the visuals and the use of colour is exceptional, as the bluish background adorn with scintillating lights of the train station and the city as a whole is enchanting, mysterious and inexplicably warm to the heart, while the score is fantastic. The lead characters, despite being child actors, have delivered laudable performances. These film elements are brilliant decorations, allowing the movie to entertain while it is trying to convey meaningful themes and paying tributes to the birth of cinema and the great filmmakers that once lived.

With this apparently simple-minded movie, Martin Scorsese has once again shown the grandness of his vision. For more sophisticated viewers, the movie is breathtaking and thought-provoking, an epic that doesn't need any language or violence to depict, but instead captures on the innocence of boyhood that were almost wiped out within most older viewers. That's the reason why the movie looks so easy is understand but so hard to fully appreciate.

2016年7月11日 星期一

Movie Review: Cars (2006) | by volcanolam - "The 16 yr old Casual Blogger" [Movie Reviews, Opinions, Essays & More!!]

Cars (2006)

Rating: 6/10

It holds that even the less acclaimed works Pixar can rival the best ones from other production studio. Such can apply to Cars (2006), the "lowest" scoring Pixar animation in RT compared with its six predecessors, but still managed a nice-looking 74%. Yet, I think Cars just barely made it through. Mediocre world-building and theme focusing compiled with averagely developed characters that have high potential pulled back Pixar's efforts to meet its lofty standards, while its climax is one of the most uncomfortable and problem-filled I have seen in animation so far. I still love some parts of the film though.

The major problem of the film is its initial concept. In Toy Story, toys are the main characters and they meld well with the human world. Unlike John Lasseter's previous directorial work, the world of Cars consists of Cars only. Although Pixar's animating prowess still gleams, it's still strange to see cars filling the seats of the stadium and to try do what humans do in reality. Besides, its not the best idea to anthropomorphizcars since they only have eyes and mouth to express their personalities. But what really hinders the potential of making memorable characters like those in Toy Story and Finding Nemo is John Lasseter's inaccurate direction. Often plot elements are too "blatant", lacking the sophistication that flows through the veins of other Pixar animations. For example, the portrayal of McQueen's egotistic, rude character featured him uttering lines that are clearly egotistic and rude, as if the plot and dialogue were tailor made to characterize the protagonist and was doing it in a low-skilled, lazy manner. The climax is especially abominable, in which McQueen took advice he learnt back in Radiator Springs and used them in his race, which at the end turned out to be as successful as he expected, and exactly what the audience expected since there wasn't much runtime left for further drama. The appeal for younger audience is strong, but for vintage Pixar films they also consider materials for a larger range of age groups, satisfying the whole family while excelling in technical apartments like what The Incredibles did. Seemed like John was serving for his own satisfaction and neglecting film elements that are crucial for public acclaim.

But sure, if you neglect the climax, it's an entertaining if not well-made movie. People say Cars lack heart and warmth, but thats what I actually see and love. Amid the film there were a lot of casual sequences where McQueen interacted with the inhabitants of Radiator Springs, and they all summed up with some scenes with beautiful country music accompanied by flashbacks of the glory days in the past. I certainly enjoy watching McQueen's stay in this random, forgotten town and his budding relationship with the town attorney Sally. The plot is decent and it's quite original to the very least, considering the fact that Dinosaur and Madagascar exist in the same world. Criticism only goes with the direction and the blatancy/unsophisticated characterization.

Cars 3 is happening. Even though the Cars franchise scores the least of all entries to Pixar's canon to date. But with the billion dollar success in its merchandising, it is hard to expect Pixar to give it up, disappointing its omnipotent parent company (Disney). So,  brace for impact.

2016年7月10日 星期日

Movie Review: Casino Royale (2006) | by volcanolam - "The 16 yr old Casual Blogger" [Movie Reviews, Opinions, Essays & More!!]

Casino Royale (2016)

Rating: 10/10

Casino Royale is an excellent feat, mixing James Bond thematic elements with modern action shooting in delivery of a very stylish, sumptuous Bond film that sets a high bar for all the spy film that follows. It is so thoroughly complete as a film that I couldn't find reasons why it is not a 10/10, because I very much enjoy the 2 hours of watching and such genre of filmmaking is my cup of tea. (Plot holes shall be blamed on Ian Fleming's original novel)

In particular, I live how the scenes are cliche-free and cool, accentuating the badassery of Daniel Craig's Bond. The dialogues are very good. They appeared to be well-thought and was sometimes humorous. From "Shaken or stirred? Do I look like a give a damn." to "or I'll kill her. Allow me to." Old school humor in the lines also describes the character's situation and attitude in discreet ways are a shining aspect of the Bond film. Besides, how can one also not appreciate the acting chops by Daniel Craig, especially during the torture scene, and Eva Green's effort in portraying Bond's 101th bond girl, which has to be one of the more memorable ones amongst all of them. As for the small, detail aspects, the new Bond is given a personality and incredible build-up with scenes like the bomber murdering scene that showed his ego and Vesper's death scene that exemplified Bond's emotional vulnerability. His character was fully developed at the end and that in such graceful spontaneity.

My favourite moment, which I am often overly elated to tell, is in the app. half an hour poker showdown bet. Le chliffe and James Bond. Before the game Bond told the waitress a bunch of description for his drink, being cool and unorthodox. He soon screwed the thing after an all-in lost in which Le chliffe won all his money, as he was asked choices for his drinks, and it looks like he ain't got no damn to give this time. Spot on.

2016年7月6日 星期三

Movie Review: The Imitation Game (2014) | by volcanolam - "The 16 yr old Casual Blogger" [Movie Reviews, Opinions, Essays & More!!]

The Imitation Game (2014)

Rating: 7/10

There are some portions which aren't convincing, and the story might not be historically accurate. Yet powerful performances and a worthy story still provide something entertaining to watch, with Benedict Cumberpatch delivering all that he has in his sleeves for a thoroughly resonant picture. I still believe the film has the potential for better drama.

The Imitation Game was once included in The Black List, with its adapted screenplay lauded by many. I personally think its okay, since tge plot it features actually derives from real events, with some little extra bits added for drama which I think are sometimes odd and forced, probably serving the purpose of giving its actors more chances to display their skills. To name a few of these elements, the move of portrating Alan Turing as a anti-social, nerdy recluse and giving him a team of normal people that are meant to dislike and then like him, is not faithful to history while not being special as a plot element, weakening the plot. At one point after the team 'rekt' Enigma and proceeded with the fact that their success should not be disclosed, the script goes to say that one of the members realized the convoy his family was located world soon be raided, as he started begging for the others to disclose their work so as to save his loved ones. I know all these elements did allow the film's cast to shine, but they certainly didn't contribute plot-wisely.

But it all boils down to the fabulous acting of Benedict Cumberpatch and Keira Knightley at the end. Some critics said that Benedict Cumberpatch is the best actors of his generation. His skills are very much portrayed in a character with so much complexity and emotions. His thought often conflicted and abstruse, peerless in terms of academic prowess yet vulnerable as a person. Cumberpatch combined the benefits of his character to engender a memorable performance. Besides, the film also did a great job in publicizing Turing's homosexuality, a firm and glistering call out for LBGT rights. Such fact has been praised by lots of authorities, and I do think it's a good thing, though I do believe people shouldn't take such things seriously in movies. Lead actress's acceptance that her partner was gay is nice.

I'd opine that the movie could be made better if the film emulates Schindler's List, that is to put more emphasis on the greatness and legacy of Alan Turing's work instead of just a few closing captions on the screen. The film could also cut off a few of those minor scenes like the tussle between Turing and his colleagues, and also reminiscences between Turing and Christopher which I think is trivial and unconvincing, so the pace can be faster while leaving more run time for the depiction of war just like what Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan did(but yea I know Steven Spielberg is unique), a more realistic and accurate depiction of the real event that took place in WWII. And so the film's not the best, and the max. rating's gonna be 7. I'll keep it as that.

2016年7月4日 星期一

Free Download Adobe CS6 Products FULL Versions in 5 Steps GENUINE! | Crack with amtlib.dll file (by volcanolam) [Movie Reviews, Opinions, Essays & More!!]

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(Trials are available for both x32 and x64 bit Windows except Adobe Premiere CS6 and Adobe After Effects CS6; if you run x32 + wish to download these programs, download Adobes x32 support package here: http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=5291)

Step 2: Download amtlib.dll crack files here: https://www.sendspace.com/file/hwueuk

Extract the files inside, you will probably see a bunch of folders for different programs like this

Step 3: Click on the .exe file you downloaded. The support files will be extracted. Proceed by clicking on "Set-up" in the support files.

Step 4: Proceed with the Setup. Select Trial. Login or Signup for an Adobe account, and accept its Terms&Conditions.

Step 5: DO NOT RUN THE PROGRAM! After downloading, copy the corresponding amtlib.dll file from your folder to the program's folder in OS(C:). Click replace.

Done!! You can run your program and enjoy unlimited free usage of you Adobe CS6 product.

Movie Review: Argo (2012) | by volcanolam - "The 16 yr old Casual Blogger" [Movie Reviews, Opinions, Essays & More!!]

Argo (2012)

Rating: 6.5/10

Entertaining and captivating while keeping the tensions high throughout, Argo does justice to the true event it is based on and manages some tight moment to make this a good film and a worthy Best Picture winner.

Based on the "Canadian Caper" that took place during the Iran Hostage Crisis around 1980, the ridicule of the plot/concept make us audience criticize, then drop jaws in disbelief to find out that it is not fiction. Yes indeed 6 ambassadors escaped the raid and torture of Iranians in 1979, only to realize that their sole hope to escape is to follow US exhilaration specialist Tony Mendez's instructions to act as a Canadian filming crew visiting Iran to find appropriate film locations for a fake sci-fi movie called "Argo", which is in the style of Star Wars lol. As ludicrous the plan sounds, as serious  people during the time treated this operation. They set up fake production company offices and namecards, fake movie boards and posters, phony production meeting and even phony advertisements on magazines and newspaper so to publicize this made-up film. The wikipedia page of Canadian Caper contains detailed story of the event while not dramatising it, for the real event itself wasn't really that dramatic and wouldn't make a good movie. However in Argo (2012), Ben Affleck did a good job in retelling the event as a thriller and providing a climax of serious tensions that is a true testament to the abilities of cinema in recounting history and publicizing it.

The cast is decent. In the end credits photographs showing ID cards of the  6 US ambassadors involved in the real Canadian Caper were displayed alongside images of their respective actors of this film, and I was marvelling at how close they resemble each other. Ben Affleck is average. He didn't do much to catch my attention or steal the show, and sometimes there was just that dull face occupying the screen. There could be better acting choices but still, thumbs up to him for doing the directorial and production work.

In some ways Argo is drawn back by its real life adaption, for the first hour was all about background building and setting up for the climax and having little drama and plot. Still the atmosphere is tense and as the climax happened - as the ambassadors followed Mendez through the airport security, Iranians shot glances and the process was interrupted, that was when the filming skills kick off and it made me clutching the edge of the seat. Despite this isn't the movies that shall interest me and others of my age, the thrills and intrigue were real and I felt it, and at the end of the day it was not bad - a easy to understand plot faithful to real life happenings and with big time theme like national responsibility and cross regional conflicts.

2016年7月3日 星期日

Movie Review: Spotlight (2015) | by volcanolam - "The 16 yrs old Casual Blogger" [Movie Reviews, Opinions, Essays & More!!]

Spotlight (2015)

Rating: 8/10

Winner of the Best Picture 2015, Spotlight is a meaningful and well-crafted movie centered on the work of four reporters in uncovering one of the biggest scandals of the 21st century - child abuse of more than 100 priests over the last few decades, under challenges brought by the Church and the world's shifted attention due to the 911 attacks. Based on a true story about the Boston Globe's Spotlight team, the film manages to place real-life events as first priority and supports the narration with an incredible cast and well-timed score. It manages to balance all the aspects and delivers the desired effect - arousing the audience's admiration to the endeavors of reporters and public media.

People talked about Spotlight as a very well casted movie, and you would sure acknowledge that fact when you watch it. Mark Ruffalo and Richard McAdams are the ones I love the most. They showed that they know the role and has all it takes to act. But more importantly the director did not take their acting prowess for granted, as he refuses to put all of the lead characters in front of the narration. Besides, at the end of the movie its all about ordinary people shocked by the headlines on Boston Globe and phone calls coming in successively in the Boston Globe's headquaters, while all the "heroes" are all just standing there musing at the scene, deeply affected by the fruition of their hard work. Even though the characters are progressively developing throughout the film, it is left for the viewers themselves to give applause to the Spotlight team, rather than having onscreen characters to clap for them. The control of the film is laudable, as it focuses on the right things so to not mess up the tone and feel, and that is what I believe to be its key to critical success.

I might not be a huge fan for these types of movies, but I do felt a lot upon viewing this Best Picture winner. Some films are made to procure the audience with a indepth understanding of our society, and here in Spotlight, we learn that sometimes the law is vulnerable to greater forces that are not often noticed by the common people yet can do whatever unjust things they want, and that is when the media as to intervene. We honor the Spotlight team for their work in 2002 and all the other reporters that might not shine as brightly as they did, but are still furtively doing their job in maintaining a fair, transparent society. This movie is a clear Oscar-bait, and at the end of the day it is truly a meaningful cinematic experience to stick with during sleepless nights.

2016年7月1日 星期五

Movie Review: Interstellar (2014) | by volcanolam - "The 16 yrs old Casual Blogger" [Movie Reviews, Opinions, Essays & More!!]

Interstellar (2014)

Rating: 7/10

Interstellar (2014) delivers what I love about Nolan, all the intellectual stuff and the emotion and practical effects etc. The contrast between farmers and astronauts. The conflict between own preferences and humanity's fate. The exploration into science in space and all its possibilities, so as the meditation on our own self, humans, the NASA, selfish individuals ruining the civilization. Generally, the scope is huge as it sometimes addresses humanity as a whole, thought provoking and resonant. If everyone on earth is dead yet embryos are retained and brought to another planet light years away to live, are they still homo sapiens? Is it really a continuation of species, after all the civilization is gone? Is that really necessary to do so?

Inception is better. The intellectual concept about dreaming is much more palpable for audiences, and its cast is star-studded. Still, Interstellar is a scintillating showcase of one of the most complex brains in the film industry. As long as Nolan keeps on making films,  keeps on delivering the thrills, there will always be that group of audience in the theaters who believe that blockbuster sare not always dumb.

Good Things to Note: The last 30 minutes is so complex, moving, powerful it transcends the complicity of Inception, Batman trilogy. Throughout the film, I kept on wondering what Nolan was trying to conjure in Interstellar, with 70% RT rating. You just shouldn't be dubious of Christopher Nolan's visions in how the cinema can extend beyond the scope of entertainment and to produce meaning to humanity as a whole, and his aptitude in spawning meaningful originals.

The sheer volume of the 30min, the scale, it made me feel small. I am too ordinary, too inconspicuous in this world, a teenager of nothing special suffering from school work and begging for college admissions. I don't fit in the world Interstellar implied. That's why I can barely process all the messages this movie has just conveyed. MIND BLOWN.

Movie Review: Boyhood (2014) | by volcanolam - "The 16 yrs old Casual Blogger" [Movie Reviews, Opinions, Essays & More!!]

Boyhood (2014)

Rating: 8/10

Scoring 100/100 in Metacritic (50 reviews) and 9.2/10 in RT. Hailed "extraordinary" by Christopher Nolan and "an incredible gift"  by Alejandro González Iñárritu, the person who beat Boyhood to the Best Picture crown in a "thank you" email. Boyhood (2014) is the highest rated movie in the 2010s, and it was accomplished by 12 years of hard work and a mere budget of 4 million. What does this independent film have to tell?

Over its 150 min runtime, Boyhood doesn't feel like a movie. Its apparently a documentary of a boy growing up in the American society and custom. From beginning to end, every scene is shot natural and genuine, with transitions and plot elements so truthful to how a person's life would be. It makes easier for the audience to relate and feel with the characters so to have a grasp of the main themes Boyhood tries to convey. There is almost zero drama, zero climax. And that is to depict life, a journey without drama, without climax, but still challenging and epic as life continues.

All the realism is further substantiated by tremendous acting. The protagonist is acting so well regardless of the age he was in. His expression is natural while being enigmatic and innocent at the same time so to provide the film a central character with a personality and attitude. His parents acted incredibly - his mum and dad are true to their roles . Even the minor characters are being natural and vivid under the film's free-style direction.

The only thing with Boyhood concerns what would matter when shown in front of a wider audience. As typical Americans shall relate and cry for the film's characters, for other people it is a process of understanding and wondering American customs'. For instance, I felt more like I was musing over the differences of how a child grow up to be a young adult in America comparing to one that is growing up in Hong Kong. Here's a difference in perspective of watching a film due to custom difference between countries and races.

However, at the end. We are all marveling at how accurately is Boyhood depicting the process of growing up and the process of living. It's film structure, having no lucid direction and telling a story by crumbling chunks of sequences about a boy in his different stages of life - childhood, adolescence, adulthood, with no foreshadowing and complexity, merely coherent and intentionally throwing in unnecessary plot points, somehow created a meaningful, realistic picture of the randomness, emptiness, goalless of life, its fleeting nature and those ephemeral moments to shine and scintillate being the elements that cause us to feel lost and to feel hope spasmodically. All in all it is one meaningful movie that thoroughly proves the power of an indie film, and the fact that sometimes the making of a good film doesn't need much money and effort. You just need time, 12 years of incessant filming using the same actors/actresses, and reap what you sow in one particular fateful year.

Movie Review: X-Men Apocalypse (2016) | by volcanolam - "The 16 yrs old Casual Blogger" [Movie Reviews, Opinions, Essays & More!!]

Rating: 4/10

As good as an Xmen movie Days of Future Past is, as mediocre as Xmen: Apocalypse could get. Without the exceptional story/plotting of DOFP, Apocalypse sleeps through a lackluster opening 40 minutes, a lack of narration and poor score. The direction were out of place and the action sequence, take away the last 30min are only okay. Painful to watch Bryan Singer apparently sleepwalking his way through a precious Xmen film which is supported by the marvelous original Xmen cast.

DOFP is enticing already in its opening sequence, so much unknown and so tense the ambience. Maybe it's because of the difference in concept an Xmen film that features a main villain is nowhere near achieving that. The film handles Apocalypse unwell, just making him show the audience how powerful he is while everyone already knows he's the most powerful mutant and that's not quite of a concern. Sometimes the score would go wild and deprived Apocalypse of his evilness. Magneto is also kinda ruined in this film. I know he is not just a powerful mutant but is a well-crafted character, and he has his own backstory and notions of some sort. But here his character, his complicity is undermined in the first hour as we watch his family die and Apocalypse recruiting him, he is no longer the controller and is being controlled, which is pretty sad.

At mark 71 minutes, it felt like the movie is so OVER LONG, like the over long monologues Apocalypse give on world cleansing and the diabolical human civilization. Indeed, there isn't much to be told in Xmen: Apocalypse, which possesses a direct and cliched script. Elongating it to a feature length movie, one that features a 2.5 hour runtime, will certainly contains scenes like Magneto's conversation with his daughter who will very soon be killed off. Even the Quicksilver scene, awesome when it stands alone, isn't spontaneously brought up and felt a bit odd when viewed with the rest of the movie.

GOOD THINGS TO NOTE: Film gets a little better after the 2 hour mark, and the finale is awesome, though old school stuff. The mix of humor in all scenes with Quicksilver is a great call, and his increased screen time is something we'd cheer for. 

BEST MOMENT: Apocalypse, seeing his imminent death, muttered, "All is revealed." Hands down brilliant reference to Xmen: Last Stand, where Jean Grey's Phoenix Force went rogue, killing all our favorite mutants and almost finishing the world. This line is a great premonition of the tragedy that will happen in the future, making us cherish the scene where everyone is well and young.

Movie Review: X-Men Days of Future Past (2014) | by volcanolam - "The 16 yrs old Casual Blogger" [Movie Reviews, Opinions, Essays & More!!]

Rating: 9/10

Features a superbly high quality script and very powerful acting. This X-men is breathtaking from start to end while boosting complexity in its story telling. Direction and style is spot on as they concoct a thrilling, gritty, epic ambiance that is exactly what X Men is about. Such an entry sums up the magic of the series' universe, so for new viewers like me, it is a mesmerizing cinematic experience after all.

But at the end it is the script that played off. Talking about a plot that good there's no way it could be translated onto the big screen as a flop. It is one of the films which makes you sitting on the edge of the seat as things went bleaker and bleaker, and during the course you can't help but ask yourself,"How is it gonna play off? How can the ending be satisfying while being realistic?" It did a fantastic job in stirring such a thought in the audience's minds. Besides, Quicksilver's Time in a Bottle scene is cinematic gold. What a highlight!

Hey and who can forget magnificent acting of James McAvory and Michael Fassbender? Fassbender is very good as Magneto, but it was Xavier's acting that I love the most. So great in facial expressions and strong in conveying emotions. Along with all the amazing ensemble cast alongside the two, X men might have amassed one of the strongest actors/actress ever for a movie franchise.

10/10? Well there was a problem there. Why so few scenes with Quicksilver?? Those scenes with him on it are so cool, yet his screen time occupied just a small chunk in the first half. Besides there were several mutants Raven rescued during the earlier parts of the film. All of these characters suddenly showed up in the climax and it seemed to remind me of some bit of an imbalance of structure, as if there was still a lot of potential yet to be developed. Since it has no intentions to answer it, and neither will X Men Apocalypse, this remains a barrier between Days Of Future Past and perfection.

I'd love to see more films that displays the same script quality as in X Men DOFP

Movie Review: The Angry Birds Movie (2016) | by volcanolam - "The 16 yrs old Casual Blogger" [Movie Reviews, Opinions, Essays & More!!]

Rating: 5/10

Incredibly funny, yet the producers just didn't seem to have an effort to build up a satisfying plot that can do justice to all the beloved characters.

First let me do an overview. We all know the years when Angry Birds is the world's greatest attraction, as mobile games saw its rise. Its 2016 and the hype has plummeted. I am a nostalgic person and Im so pleased that this movie actually defeated CA: Civil War on its second weekend and topped the box office, gleaming with ephemeral signs of its glory days.

Good things: Very funny. Of course they aren't high quality jokes, but they are like a step ahead of Minions. Gags are INCESSANT and sometimes I can't stop but laugh stupid scenes, so the film is enjoyable in its own right. (Ps. Quicksilver reference. I spotted that ;))

But it seems like humour has occupied some of the rightful screentime reserved for plot development. The whole story is predictable: bad guys come, bad guys go. I even felt the plot is a bit imbalanced, like their was too much screentime for the pigs entry and the friendly times, but too little for their unfriendly times as they reveal their motives. Moreover the start of the climax looks odd, as the birds started their assault by flinging themselves to villages and castle with a slingshot, it feels like the movie was trying to recreated the Angry Birds gameplay by cinematic techniques, which might not be the most effective since you know, not all animation filmmakers are Pixar or Disney's men.

Its 90 minutes long. Pixar films are usually 100 minutes long and has to pull off a feat of folding a brilliant script into a small piece every time they work on an animation. This one however felt relaxed, allocating so much time for awesome gags despite the fact that run time is shorter. At the end, the result is that their isn't enough sophistication in the story.  If you are to justify my opinion, take a look at The Lego Movie. Thats the paragon of a similar concept did outstandingly.

Movie Review: Batman v Superman (2016) | by volcanolam - "The 16 yrs old Casual Blogger" [Movie Reviews, Opinions, Essays & More!!]

Rating: 4/10

Zack Snyder wasn't trying to ruin BvS. He employed his own way to make it good, and his effort is so in vain. You remember The Dark Knight and all its grittiness and "dark"ness? Well, Zack was trying IN VAIN to do it but he just wasn't Nolan. Instead, there're loads of scenes where you couldn't stop saying, "Don't do that. Its weird." An example is those slow motion scenes so odd as they seemed. Set pieces are also say, incoherent. One scene jumps over to another leaving the audience unclear whats happenin'. Background characters are cold and uninteresting, and along with the very weird direction "style" was created, yet is largely unfitting in most times.

One word to describe this style - overdramatic. If I am to elaborate, the fight between B and S. It was NOT cool. S was fighting because of his mom, which wasn't a good motive at the first place. And then all those grunts from both men, it was painful to watch. The ending was terrible. It left nothing behind that resembles of the dream fight i thought I was about to see.

With the titular fight so bad, its hard to fathom anything else from the next 40 minutes. The whole movie was dull and there's not much fun to watch, as all were stolen by Snyder's "ambitious" direction. It is hard to say if anything can save this movie when major errors are over the place. They might have to rewrite the whole script.

Lex is poorly portrayed, and his lines were horrible. Just listen to what he said during scenes when he confronted S after kidnapping his mom, and the one where he spawned Doomsday. Very poor lines. Cavill and Affleck were okay. Cavill was acting below par during his fight against B, as he struggled with facial expressions.

I really tried to defy critics this time and say BvS is a good film. But as time elapsed the rating in my mind dropped and dropped. I just want to say that there really ARE problems in this film plotwise and technically and the critics weren't too cynical with their reviews. Maybe next time Zack. I am still confident with the Justic League, you know, gonna have to speak against the critics to make things less bleak.

Movie Review: Mad Max Fury Road (2015) | by volcanolam - "The 16 yrs old Casual Blogger" [Movie Reviews, Opinions, Essays & More!!]

Rating: 10/10!!

One of the best action movies of the decade. Seldom do I give a 10 star rating since even good movies have flaws. But this one has so few of them, and for now such does not even matter.

Outstanding sound effects and use of colours. Visually popping are those explosions and even the sky & sand looks amazing, while the score is moving and spot on. Combine the two and we get the famous Australian dystopian world of Mad Max, so mesmerizing, enchanting.

Everything is a marvel to behold. George's direction is exceptional. He creates new cinematic techniques of conveying action sequence without much reliance of cliche shots. The end product is very fast-paced, effectively creating the sense chaos that comes with good action sequences. Ambitious is one word to sum this up.

As the background characters yell weird monologues, while others swing to and fro over the War Rig commencing more and more crazy, feral action, the films keeps on delivering the thrills under such a unique ambience, and I can't help but be captivated by every one of its key moments. Marvel, X men, DC dominate the box office nowadays, but those action scenes are just for fun. Airport scene from CA: Civil War for instance, the one scene everyone extols, is admittedly for fan indulgence and fun. Fury Road is alone, but it is much more. It is of higher quality, and instead of delivering sheer fun it thrills. 

Hope that there are people like George who realizes how important these films are and continue to make more of them in the near future.

Movie Review: Alex Through the Looking Glass (2016) | by volcanolam - "The 16 yrs old Casual Blogger" [Movie Reviews, Opinions, Essays & More!!]

Rating: 3/10

Take a meaningful, timeless classic and adapt it into a big-budget children's movie. There are a lot of possibilities to this. You may end up with Jungle Book 2016, or you may give birth to Alice in Wonderland (2010). Sadly, this new Disney live action film finds itself treading the same grounds and mistakes as did its predecessor.

The pacing is very inconsistent, and set pieces are scrambled as sequences jump right over one another before they even feels like ending. Tailor made for children, I know it, but the script is so lacking the depth that its adapted novel possesses it feels disappointing. The cast's performances are over the top. Apart from the of of-course-good special effects there isn't much that stays after the film. Not a trace of the well beloved classic we all know.

I didn't watch it in the cinema. I found its torrent on a website and started playback while doing some academic revision. Maybe this ruins the experience, but as the film did nothing to bring me the hype so to defy my expectations beforehand, I will just as well keep it low for the rest of the movie.

Movie Review: The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) | by volcanolam - "The 16 yrs old Casual Blogger" [Movie Reviews, Opinions, Essays & More!!]

Rating: 7/10

Discouraged by the first film, i skipped the second to watch the third. It was very good, actually great indeed. 

Set pieces throughout the film are spectacles and much more brilliantly made. Watching legendary Matt Damon jumping through windows was awesome and that follow up fistfight kept on the edge of my seat, worrying if any of the two protagonists would fall. It was just what I was expecting from this franchise. The plot/story has improved as well. We learnt more abt Bourne in the finale and there was stuff that's interesting to watch.

Just a little scene I wanna talk abt. Remember the very end of the film where Bourne was abt jump over the roof when an agent pointed his gun at him point blank. Instead of shooting instantly he asked Bourne why didn't he shoot him earlier that day. Bourne followed up with some meaningful monologue. That was very brilliant. It should be made longer to bring a film into another lvl, like adding a memorable quote will do. Also I find it odd for Bourne to consider murdering a random agent who was injured and harmless after a car crash. I know it is meant to built up for the scene I am talking about but, it shouldn't have worked this way right? Anyways.

Great Jason Bourne stuff here

Movie Review: The Bourne Identity (2002) | by volcanolam - "The 16 yrs old Casual Blogger" [Movie Reviews, Opinions, Essays & More!!]

Rating: 3/10

Over 80% RT rating? I seldom watch films critics panned, so I watched the first film of Jason Bourne.See the good aspect in the movie is those kick-ass bits of Jason Bourne duels. They are giving me the chills and the thrills. But don't you think the characters are too cold? Villains have no sophistication they all just wanna kill bourne. Bourne and Maria are not dynamic and well done, even though their screen time is overlong. Most importantly, the plot is surprisingly shallow. When the whole thing ended I was shocked that it did. I recalled the plot points and i don't find the story captivating, failing to live up to the film's beginning that kept me curious of Bourbes identity

I don't agree with the critics this time. I think this film bored me instead of living to my expectations. Meanwhile, the third film - Ultimatum, is actually great.

Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) | by volcanolam - "The 16 yrs old Casual Blogger" [Movie Reviews, Opinions, Essays & More!!]

Rating: 8/10

Excellent space opera. The special effects are so good in its work on world-building, and characterization is very well done. All the characters are so greatly introduced and developed its like the modern day Star Wars (1977). It manages to deliver the great action scenes and thrills, and humor is consistent through the movie. They combine to deliver an original that is fresh and captivating.

There are a few plot holes and problems though. What is the deal with Thanos? The film is goin to end and I was waiting for a scene which he woupd appear but there wasn't one. Quill's father? The film used it to explain why Quill can touch the Infinity stone unharmed, but apart from explaining the plot it looked rushed, so maybe the sequel will settle on that. The climax was a good one, but the scale fell a bit short comparing to the epic first one and a half hour. Don't know what I am saying? Watch the climax of The Little Mermaid. You will see the difference.

But no error can overshadow the characterization. Really it needs a lot of creativity and script-work to make good characters for an original space adventure, but they absolutely pulled it off. Along with the silly but effective humor (opening sequence is cliche-free and matches the quirkiness of the movie), this is one cinematic experience that compels me to long for a sequelnto happen.