Insurgent (2015)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Packed, but solid.

Oh No! Not another young-adult dystopian sequel movie with young romance and stereotypically attractive leads! Now that I got that out of my system…get over yourself! It is what it is, and yeah it may have some undoubtedly predictable qualities, but the true reason you actually watch these things are for everything else. The story, the twists and turns that you wouldn’t normally expect. The Divergent Series is actually a little bit of a ballsy one if you ask me, and Insurgent was always my favorite book out of the entire book series – and the same may just apply for the film’s adaptation as well. However, with any movie, it sure does have its flaws and strays away a little from the source material, but other than that…it’s actually pretty entertaining all on its own.

So, Tris is on the run from the power-hungry Erudite faction members, led by the insufferable Jeanine. No matter where she goes, the guilty memories of lost loved ones captivates her living dreams, and she simply will not stand until Jeanine stands for her crimes. So she sets off to find others like her and those willing to fight for what is right. Meanwhile, Jeanine needs a strong Divergent to unlock a mysterious McGuffin box that holds the answers to the universe…or something like that.

Insurgent was always my favorite part of the series, because not only does it match the tone of the first film, but it also introduces a heck of a lot more action. No need for all that character development and lovey-dovey humdrum bologna that the first film insisted on – we can now focus on what makes this series…well…kind of epic. There is a lot of action and there is a lot of twists and turns that no audience member could really predict. However, if you’re going to put all the action of a book into a two-hour film, you’re going to face some serious time constraints which don’t really feel natural.

Our mighty band of heroes definitely kick tail here, but they do it by going from “faction” to “faction”. We see a new angle for pretty much every faction that we haven’t before, but in the end it feels like it’s almost rushed. The book obviously takes its time introducing you to these factions, and the way the book does it is really, really cool. The movie simply didn’t have enough time to show you everything, and so each scene change only lasts a few minutes before it’s onto the next – so it definitely feels rushed.

I can’t say I wasn’t entertained, though. There were a lot of really energetic and fun scenes in this film that seem to be choreographed really well – and it should be noted that the actual story is solid. No matter how rushed it might feel, you’re never confused as to what’s happening. You know what’s going on, you know why, and you have a good idea about what they need to do to accomplish it – but the ride along the way is just too much fun to ignore. The only problem you might have with understanding the movie comes down to how much you remember about the first movie – as the story heavily relies on the first film. It’s definitely not a standalone feature.

The Good:

Insurgent surprisingly does a good job at staying true to the book while introducing its own interpretation as well. The changes made were made well and kept the idea intact. For the most part, it’s more of an entertaining and fun ride watching this action-packed sequel.

The Bad:

It’s hard for me to talk for someone that hasn’t read the book, but I would assume the film felt a little rushed and jagged. It doesn’t take its time when it probably should, and so you’re left thinking that maybe it missed out on some potentially strong and important scenes.

The Cobbler (2015)

Into the Woods (2014)

Dave’s 3-Word Review:
OMG, just stop!

I like to see myself as a musical-appreciator. I do. I’ve seen a good fair share of musicals that I have enjoyed…more so than not. However, there is a guy in the musical industry that I just can’t stand, and his name is Stephen Sondheim. For instance, I hate Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street mostly for the songs that aren’t catchy, but instead repetitive and annoying. Into the Woods, on the other hand, takes all that and kind of brings it one step further by having a workable storyline and then completely destroying it halfway in. It’s hard to explain, so let’s first start with plot.

Alright, so this is the land of fairytales intertwined…sort of like in Shrek or more so like TV’s Once Upon a Time – and of course, it is filled with music. Now, the story is more or less focused on a baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt) as they are dealing with infertility. That is, until a witch comes around, promising them a child if they obtain four objects for her…which they need to get in the woods.

The woods in question is basically an international highway where all the fairytales cross paths. Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk, etc. That part is really cool, and probably the best part of the film – how they were able to mix, mash, and weave all of these stories together was all sort of impressive. That being said, it’s also a flaw. As far as movies go, this was really jumbled storytelling from the get go. There were far too many characters to keep track of, and in my opinion, that distracted from the Baker’s story. He was clearly the main character because he was ultimately the glue that held the rest of the story and characters together…but because of a huge, never-ending cast…he was drowned out a bit. However, out of every flaw this film held, this was the most trivial.

Next comes the music. It’s a musical and music is unavoidable, that I get. However, it’s Sondheim. That means 90% of the film is filled with music, and not even great music at that. If none of the songs are sticking in my head; if I’m not singing or humming them later on throughout the day or week, I don’t think it did its job. In fact, the only feeling I got while listening to these songs was OH MY GOD, JUST STOP! – and I actually enjoy musicals! I can’t even begin to explain how annoyed I was with the music in this film…so you can understand my absolute rage when it overstays its welcome.

This is without the doubt the biggest flaw Into the Woods has: everything the plot sets up in the beginning – through all the characters, elements, and goals – ends exactly at 1 hour 15 minutes. After that, we’re given another hour or so of bad ideas and horrible writing. The events that follow in this film do not add to the plot, but instead subtract! It destroys everything the film had already set up for itself – making us question why we watched it in the first place. Include really annoying music that never ends and you have a film that’s just plain bad. Maybe it works in the Broadway play in which it’s based, but not here. Not here at all.

That’s not to say that people here didn’t do a good job. They did. There were talented singers and actors alike, and beyond that – there are some really nice set designs and overall visual imagery. Plus, somewhere deep down lies a very interesting and smart idea as far as combining beloved fairytale characters together goes. At the same time, I’d much rather just watch an episode of Once Upon a Time, because that’s a TV show – and doesn’t restrict itself to a certain time limit…plus there’s no singing.  This was like taking 10 seasons of that TV show and mashing it up all together – and THEN adding a bunch of music that sounds like it was put together on one drunken and lonely night.

The Good:

The concept.

The Bad:

Everything else. The music was torture, the pacing is jacked, and the writing makes no sense because it singlehandedly destroys what was actually good about the movie (see above). In short, this movie makes me mad.

The Random:

Johnny Depp, no one is going to believe you’re a wolf.

Earth to Echo (2014)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
It’s live action?!

Out of all the found footage movies that exist out there, not a whole lot of them are considered kids movies. At most, maybe Super 8, since most of the cast is children. However, that wasn’t really a kids movie…it worked for everyone. Earth to Echo, on the other hand, is totally a family-friendly and kids-oriented film that implements the found footage template to tell its story. Don’t get me wrong though, some kid films are also entertaining for adult audiences, and I actually think that’s true here as well.

Earth to Echo is ultimately about a group of three friends who are more or less outcasts. They are each others friends, and that’s it. When a freeway is bulldozing its way through their home town, each one of them is forced to move and get separated from one another. During the fiasco, everyone in town’s phone goes haywire, so they begin documenting the strange phenomenon to get to the bottom of everything. That’s when they discover a tiny robotic alien creature in the desert that is attempting to rebuild its spacecraft and needs the boys’ help before it can leave. However, a questionable group of “construction workers” continually try to stop their efforts and keep the alien for themselves.

I’m not even ashamed to admit that this film lured me in. Immediately. You really love these characters, they are pretty funny at times, and you feel bad for them because they are forced to leave each others’ sides, and that becomes a serious theme in the film – abandonment and misunderstandings. It actually has some really good, real world points to make about issues that face kids and sometimes parents just don’t understand or recognize the problems. These issues, of course, were blanketed under the fun adventure plot of following a mysterious map and helping Echo, the cute defenseless little alien – but they are there, nonetheless.

What really shocked me for some reason, was that this film was live action, not CGI. Maybe it’s just the fact that I didn’t watch the trailer, but the movie poster appears to be CGI…like Wall-E or something.  It’s not a big let down or anything, I was just surprised once I began watching it…and it was a pleasant surprise. The film simply gets better and better as it moves on – and its ultimately a really fun movie that I would very much recommend for kids.

How is the acting? With any kids movie, you have to ponder if they’ll get the acting right, and for the most part its touch and go here. Some of the acting is great, some of it feels forced. That can’t be helped, but the nice thing about that is the fact that found-footage usually has the ability to make bad acting just look amateur…which contradicts itself to look real. It’s hard to explain – but if I watched Paranormal Activity or The Blair Witch Project without the element of found footage, I think it would suck.

The Good:

Earth to Echo is a kids movie, okay, it’s not a movie for everyone – but even so, it’s done pretty well all around. The found footage feels fresh, the social issues feel real, and friendships all feel perfect. Above all that, I actually believed these actors were filming everything…which I have trouble feeling nowadays for found footage, so that impressed me.

The Bad:

Like I said, the acting isn’t exactly perfect, because its just kids. It’s also not meant for everyone, so not everyone will enjoy it. It also tries a little too hard to be E.T.

Chappie (2015)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
District 9: Robots

Say what you will about Neil Blomkamp, but I’ve always really enjoyed his material. They might not be perfect in every which way, but they were always entertaining on one level, and infinitely important on a much deeper level – and the way he went about presenting these problems was usually really visually stunning and brilliantly laid out. Chappie finishes a spiritual trilogy in overall tones and concepts. Even though Blomkamp has said this is the only one without political undertones, it does have equally important, if not subtle morals strewn about.

Chappie stars, once again, Sharlto Copley in the lead – the first artificial intelligent robot in a futurist world filled with a robotic police force. Dev Patel plays Deon Wilson – the “creator” of artificial intelligence – and once Chappie is introduced to the new world, he acts like a child. Everything he learns is taught to him. When a group of thugs get a hold of him, they want to use him for their own criminal agenda, but Deon continually attempts to keep Chappie innocent and staying away from crime.

Interestingly enough, this film has a lot of comedic elements to it, mostly because it’s hilarious to see a robot act so much like a human while every other robot in the movie is just that – a robot. More than that though, there is a lot of elements in the film that are important when it comes to child neglect, abandonment, and abuse. If you ignore all the comedic parts and the thug storylines, you have Chappie, who is in essence, a mere child. The things they put him through would shock anyone if the character was a human boy – and things like that do happen.

It does have a pretty colossal flaw though, and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why this was…but the villains in this movie are stupid. I mean it. The entire foundation of the plot has to do with the thugs wanting to kidnap Deon because they want a universal remote control that can turn of the police robots. Yeah. A remote control. Then, for random reasons, Hugh Jackman is in the mix doing questionable things as well because he wants the robot he created to be taken seriously. I get that, but I still couldn’t buy his character – maybe it was the short shorts.

All in all, I can easily say that I did enjoy the movie. I don’t know if it’s up to par with the other two movies, but it does have interesting elements that still make it feel unique and perfect for Blomkamp’s world. EVEN THOUGH it does take place in Johannesburg again.

The Good:

Chappie is a pretty interesting movie that displays certain thoughts towards mistreatment of children, but keeps everything light-hearted as well – as it has some pretty funny parts.

The Bad:

The villains. Every last villain in this movie is just dumb…like henchmen in Disney cartoons.

Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
‘Plagued’ with disappointment.

I’m no stranger to religion-themed films. Most the time, they bug the crap out of me, but there are a select few that I do typically enjoy. Specifically, I like when films have a secular take on a biblical story. Noah, for example, was done really well and took a lot of smart creative liberties at the same time. I say it all the time, the books in the Bible are actually good stories with great morals, but are constantly butchered by preachy filmmakers who focus more on converting you than they do the actual story – so they never have the guts to, let’s be honest here, be realistic. I was looking forward to Exodus: Gods and Kings for the same reason that I enjoyed Noah. Ridley Scott has come out saying he believes he is a better storyteller for being agnostic, because he has to convince himself that the story makes sense first. Does it? Sure, why not, but does it tell the story of Moses the way it should? I’m not entirely sure.

I’m not going to sit here and pretend that you’ve never heard the story of Moses. It’s been told and retold seemingly a thousand times over, and it has once more been repeated…but a few creative liberties were taken in Ridley Scott’s portrayal. When it comes down to brass tax, he focused on a more realistic variation of the story that feels unique, changes things up, and still somewhat fits in with the story in the Bible. The main problem with that comes down to how they dealt with God…which like in Noah, came down to visions that may or may not be real. The problem with that, is Moses always worked hand-in-hand with God himself…and that’s not true here.

To give you an idea, instead of Moses carrying the staff of god, and carrying out all of the events in the story (the plagues, splitting of the sea, etc), God basically tells Moses to stand in the sidelines and watch it all unfold…which understandably makes Moses upset in general, because he hasn’t yet let go of his Egyptian lifestyle. I’m completely fine with creative liberties because technically speaking, it was always God that made these things happen in the Bible as well, not Moses…I mostly just had a problem with Moses being sidelined. It was like Katniss in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. While they both played important roles in the films, they more or less did…nothing. For a 2.5 hour long film, you can’t just do nothing.

Other than that, I can completely understand people’s insistence on blaming the film on changing everything. The story of Moses is an epic one all by itself, and you could almost see him as a Superhero with powers while reading it as a kid. For Christian Bale to play Moses, sit in the sidelines, and complain for two hours…it’s kind of disappointing to say the least. Now, it’s a very pretty movie, and the way they dealt with the plagues was awfully interesting and unique, but…you know…it was a little boring.

What you won’t see me complaining about, however, is this stupid argument on an all-white cast. Could they have done a better job with appropriate actors? Maybe, maybe not, all I know is that the cast we have did a fine job as far as acting goes. They were given a script and they pulled it off. Let’s stop shaming them on it, because out of all of the flaws this film has, that has to be the least important.

The Good:

Exodus: Gods and Kings has a pretty good idea going for it, and offers its audience a brand new and unique take on the story of Moses – which all in all, isn’t as bad as people put it out to be.

The Bad:

The biggest problem I had with this film was that Moses was sidelined for most of the film because God wanted to take over and get things done…which is when Moses just starts complaining all the time. If you thought this film was boring – that’s probably why. Another reason is because the film tried to be very realistic and the things you expected to see happen…don’t…or at least not in the way you were expecting (to be fair, that could be a good or bad thing).

Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (2006)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Loses cinematic appeal.

When I was going through the entire Superman anthology a while back, I reviewed them based on what the general masses have seen, which was more or less the theatrical versions. Those have the most copies sold, and henceforth, millions of people base their knowledge of Christopher Reeve in blue tights off of those films, so I skipped the Donner Cut of Superman II. I did mention it though, saying from my recollection – it was better than the theatrical version. Giving it a second viewing however…has me really questioning where I got that. It’s definitely interesting and awesome to watch in comparison, but is it really worth watching as a movie movie? I think that’s a really good question.

Plotwise, it’s very similar to the theatrical…just done in an…alternate way if you will. Superman must defeat the three Kryptonian foes including General Zod and his buddies as well as touch base with Lois Lane in a very intimate way – because she discovers his secret, you see. So basically, it is a very character oriented film that asks the question…who is superman really? What does it mean to be him, what power struggles does he face within himself? Then, of course, there is Zod.

I was shocked at how much this film really just resembles the theatrical film. Yeah, there are new, never-before seen stuff (especially with Jor-El), but for the most part it’s the same story…just the way Richard Donner would have preferred it seen. To give you a little background, Richard Donner filmed a lot of Superman II, but the project was handed over to another director for dramatic reasons. They reshot a lot of footage, and the original footage was tossed away in some lost-and-found film factory (I’m assuming), and was then discovered when they were making Superman Returns, so here we are.

Here’s what you should know about this version: you have to take it with a grain of salt. You can’t take it seriously as a film on its own, because it’s an alternate version…kind of like the Anchorman alternate movies. They don’t feel like complete film and instead feel like a collection of unfinished footage…and so does Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut. I actually didn’t remember it being so obvious, but there were shots here and there that just flat out looked wrong and had major continuity problems – including a scene that was simply just the actors’ screen tests where Clark’s hair and glasses change dramatically several times. No one will miss that.

That being said, there are some scenes that ultimately work better in this version than the theatrical. The most notable scene is towards the end, where [spoiler] Clark sucks Lois’s memories out with some kind of super-kiss. That was in the theatrical version and makes no logical sense…we know he’s super, but he doesn’t do that. In the Richard Donner cut, they take a play out of the first film…but at least it makes more sense. Also, even though it was a little more repetitive in the Richard Donner cut, Lois’s investigation skills feels more natural as she slowly discovers Clark’s secret…instead of it being a little forced. I did like the theatrical reveal scene though. 

It’s so hard to pick a favorite between the two, but if I had to pick, it would be the theatrical version just because that movie feels more like a film than a collection of interesting shots put together. I think it was more nostalgic to release a Christopher Reeve Superman movie in 2006 than anything else. It’s a nice film to check out once in a while, but it shouldn’t take precedence over the other – it’s just put together a little choppily.

The Good:

Seeing Christopher Reeve in newly found footage after so many years is definitely nostalgic, and the preparation of these scenes work a lot better than the theatrical version in many cases.

The Bad:

You can tell it’s just a special movie created to showcase brand new stuff.You can’t just toss in screen tests into an actual movie and expect people to not notice. Filmmakers shoot and reshoot scenes hundreds of times for a reason.

Penguins of Madagascar (2014)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Waste of time.

I can’t really say I’ve ever really been a huge fan of the Madagascar animated series, but I usually saw the appeal, but one thing I wouldn’t really consider neccessary is a standalone movie centered on the Penguins. Same with the Minions in Despicable Me. They are cute characters meant solely for comedic relief, by making them the main attraction, you lose a little bit of your dignity…at least I would think so. You see, if it weren’t bad enough, The Penguins of Madagascar already have a television cartoon series on Nickelodeon…why on earth did they need a movie? I’m not really sure, but let’s take a look at Penguins of Madagascar.

You’ve seen the Madagascar films, right? Those are the ones with the escaped Zoo animals that go on ridiculous adventures and end up having ridiculous musical numbers. Anyways, among the animals are the Penguins of Madagascar, a group of four sarcastic and pun-heavy penguins that are always up to no good, self-serving purposes. It’s really no different here, except there is no inclusion of the famous characters from the other films. This is strictly PENGUINS ONLY territory…or is it? When penguins from all over the world are getting kidnapped, its up to our favorite penguins to save them from the evil octopus Dave.

Before we get in too deep with how this is a standalone Penguins film, let’s not forget that in all honesty…it’s really not. This film introduced us to another group of animals that are more or less spies – which included Benedict Cumberbatch as the wolf in charge, and only real reason why I watched it. The more it moved along, the more I noticed how the Madagascar gang was simply traded in for these spy dudes…so I’m kind of confused why it’s technically called Penguins of Madagascar when the other players were just as important. That being said, the spies aren’t as memorable as the Zoo folk, so it felt more like a generic rip-off animated flick than it did a spin-off.

I had a generally bad feeling in my gut before watching it. As I mentioned above, the Penguins were a comedic relief source for a reason, and they should have never been taken advantage of for the film corporation’s evil greedy pockets. They don’t work as their own thing. I’ve always believed that comedic relief character(s) are only effective in limited doses. Which means if you have too much of that, you overdose on silly puns to the point of exhaustion. Word to the wise, kids, too much of a good thing is a bad thing. There may have been good things about this film, and the concept of turning it into a spy thing was kind of fun as well, but you’re good after a half hour. The rest is just drags on…and on…and on.

I was bored, plain and drain. It starts out okay, but the reason to continue watching it escapes you and you realize the rest of the movie is really just made for the kiddies, and the small ones at that. There is humor here and there that only adults will cue in on, which means that adults won’t be utterly annoyed taking their kids to the movies, but it really wasn’t enough of that either. My official recommendation is just to stick with the Nickelodeon show if you want to keep your kids distracted.

The Good:

To be honest, Penguins of Madagascar starts out on a good, no, a great note. There was a lot of action that never let up, and some pretty interesting choices in direction and some solid jokes that feel fresh and are smoothly presented.

The Bad:

Everything that’s good about this movie is only in the first half hour, in my opinion. The jokes may be the same, as may be the action – but you can only take so much of it before you’re ready to move on. A good hour of this thing will have you tapping your feet out of a mixture of both annoyance and boredom.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
A cluttered mess.

Once, long ago, I attempted to review The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. You see, back in its day, the book everything is based upon was actually pretty popular, and apparently different than your typical young-adult franchise (others’ words, not mine). So I tried, but for whatever reason, I stoped the film because I couldn’t get into it for whatever reason. Recently, I decided instead to read the book (book review), and found some interesting concepts and direction…so I decided to give the film another go ahead. I found the same problems, but now I can actually talk in depth about them.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones stars Lily Collins in the lead as Clary, a young woman over head, as she comes face-to-face with the world of make-believe…or in more seriousness, the world of the paranormal. Witches, werewolves, vampires – you name it. You’ve heard the stories, and their all true. When her mother is kidnapped by one of the biggest, baddest villains of all time, Valentine, Clary and a number of other shadowhunters must work together to find and save her. All the while, they must protect the mortal cup, the very tool that created shadowhunters to begin with.

Alright, so I want to give them the benefit of the doubt first. Before I start bashing its brains in, it’s important to know what they did right. First and foremost, the casting was actually really well done. As I read the books, these were more or less the characters that I saw, the locations I imagined, and the overall feeling I felt while reading. Somehow, they got a lot of that surprisingly spot on, which leads me to believe the film had quite a bit of potential epicness here, but its major downfall comes down to pacing and transitions.

It’s technical and easily avoidable, but because it had such bad pacing, no one watching has any idea what’s going on. When I first saw the film, I stopped it because each scene was nothing but explanation after explanation, reveal after reveal, action scene after action scene…and it became quite overwhelming. This is because – if you have ever seen the actual physical book, it’s very thick. The same things happen in it, but it takes the reader on a really long journey just to get there – like Peter Jackson long. The book takes its time, the movie doesn’t. To make things even more complicated, the transitions were badly timed. You’ll be watching them at the institute one second, and all of a sudden, they’ll be in a cemetery the next and there is absolutely no lead-up. They might explain the scene in the first second of the next scene, but the jump is out of the blue and very – very confusing. The only way you know what’s actually going on and why is if you read the book.

Here’s the kicker. Because I read the book, I know when they take their time and savor the flavor…so to speak. The film actually took those same scenes that should have been slower, and insisted on making them action-packed like everything else – not allowing us to take a breather and digest everything that’s going on. I like creative freedom in film, but I stopped watching the movie on its own the first time I saw it because it was so absolutely complicated that its impossible not to think that even the filmmakers were confused during production. It’s that cluttered.

The Good:

The visionary behind what the film looked and felt like clearly had his mind at the right place. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones had the right casting, the right setting, and ultimately the same feel as the book.

The Bad:

The same trap that The Da Vinci Code fell for during the movie struck The Mortal Instruments as well. The books are full to the brim with really complicated details that only a book can properly present – when thrown into a film, it becomes really cluttered and honestly just a mess that doesn’t make much sense. These are projects that either need to stay in a book, or be made into a television series that allows for more details to naturally surface, rather than being forced.

Jupiter Ascending (2015)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
The Wachowski’s indeed.

When it comes to the Wachowski Brothers Siblings, you never know what they’re going to throw your way next. However, you’d usually be pretty safe assuming that it’ll be strange and hard to comprehend at first, and usually something that’ll lag in your mind long after the movie finishes. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is up to the viewer, but I can’t help but appreciate this directing/writing duo and their brains. It’s usually at least something impressive on some scale or another, and Jupiter Ascending ascended my expectations, believe it or not.

It’s very difficult to put the plot of this film into words, but I’ll try. Mila Kunis plays our title character, Jupiter Jones, who is more or less the “Neo” of this film. She seems like a normal human being, but in actuality – is very special and ultimately holds the secret to the Earth’s survival. In outer space, there are four groups of individuals that want her for various means. I’ve deemed them: The Hunters, The Entitled, The Un-Entitled, and the Bad Guys. I’d say half of these groups are good and the other half are bad, wanting her dead. I don’t want to get too deep into the story, just know that her living status poses a threat to their destructive plan.

Well I can say one thing is for certain, this is without a doubt a product of the Wachowskis. Not only does it have that neverending mysteriously weird vibe going for it, but it also seems to be a mash-up of all of their past films put together. The character of Jupiter and her importance seems somewhat reminiscent to Mr. Anderson himself in The Matrix, the colorful action sequences with mixed CGI and live action may remind you of Speed Racer, and the sci-fi/reincarnation aspect of it will definitely remind you of their most recent film prior to this – Cloud Atlas. It feels like their type of movie, and I commend them on that – however, you may notice that it doesn’t have the best ratings around.

In my opinion, it was a lot better than Cloud Atlas when it comes to clarity and overall entertainment value. However, it does have a lot of things going against it at the same time. People will mostly have a difficult time understand the vast arrangement of space lingo and trying to piece the history of the narrative together. Even I am still trying to figure everything out – so that’s fair. At the same time, isn’t it always a Wachowski thing to force their audience to re-watch the movie just to gain more clarity? I truly think most bad reviews are judged too harshly based on first impressions. Critics don’t often like to think too much on a film if they don’t have to. If they did, however, it’s not that difficult of a story to really comprehend, because I really found myself enjoying this movie. Sue me.

Watch it in 3D if you can. There’s just something about watching Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis skate/glide/fly through the city of Chicago during very wide angle shots that looked immaculate – even real. The action scenes in this film, and most of the rest of the scenes in the movie were shot and pieced together so incredibly well that I could have watched them over and over again. Even if I was totally lost during those segments, it was a blast and a half just to watch everything. Love it or hate it, this movie is impressive, you have to give it  that.

The Good:

Truthfully, I really enjoyed Jupiter Ascending. It may be confusing at times, but that is what the Wachowskis are all about. It was pieced together really well, is just clear enough to follow – but adds a lot of mystery to gain knowledge of in multiple viewings – the action sequences were kind of insane…I just had a lot of fun with this.

The Bad:

It’s confusing. Even after explaining most parts, you may have difficulty after watching the movie figuring everything out exactly right. Even if you are right, you might have doubts because of the jumbled nature of the film. Take that as you will.

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Film reviewer of new releases and older titles alike.


Random Observations of life


Short Movie Reviews


Film Reviews with a Bite

Films and Coke

On film and TV with footnotes and cold beverages.


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