Review : Hotel Transylvania 2

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“Dracula and his friends try to bring out the monster in his half human, half vampire grandson in order to keep Mavis from leaving the hotel.”

The first Hotel Transylvania was a really pleasant surprise for me, as i liked it really much more than i thought i would, which i guess i should have thought i would since this was a Genndy Tartakovsky property, and i absolutely love everything he does. So i was looking forward to this second one and well, I’m not impressed or disappointed. This movie is very much entertaining and actually very funny, it just doesn’t re-invent the wheel here or anything. In many ways it feels like this could just be a movie by itself, and it doesn’t truly feel like an out and out sequel. That being said, i do think you should watch this movie, it is a good animated movie, it just doesn’t take the franchise to a new or higher level. There is this one joke however, about diabetes, that had me dying for a long time, so pay attention for that one. The voice cast here is solid also, everyone does a great job of fitting their voice to their characters persona, and there is some very good attention to detail in the animation on a whole.

Review Score : 7.5 out of 10

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Review : Black Mass

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“The true story of Whitey Bulger, the brother of a state senator and the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, who became an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf.”

Black Mass is really Scott Cooper’s best attempt at a Scorsese movie, and honestly, he comes really close. Black Mass is a deep, intense, swelling narrative of a true story that has both great visuals and wonderful acting. Johnny Depp is really terrifying as Whitey Bulger. The make up and anything else he has to wear truly just melts away to him embodying this man, and how it must have been to be around him. There is one scene in particular where he is talking to a characters wife, and chills ran down my spine. Some other stand outs in this movie are Joel Edgerton who plays his character to perfection, including the subtle changes of the character over time. It also has to be said Benedict Cumberbatch’s Boston accent, is REALLY well done, like REALLYY well done. I could have done with some more of Dakota Johnson’s character, I found her to be really compelling and interesting, and would have loved to see her character grow and change as much as some of the others. All in all though this movie is a real acting showcase helped a lot by some very well done visuals, definitely worth seeing.

Review Score : 9 out of 10

How Blumhouse Saved the Horror Genre

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Jason Blum is a long time producer, that created his own production house known as Blumhouse Productions. Blumhouses’ bread and butter has been and is however, producing and releasing micro budgeted films. To give you a better idea of this, the most expensive film ever produced under Blumhouse capped out at a massive 10 million (sarcasm in full swing). This gives Blumhouse the ability to almost 100% guarantee any distributor, that they will make money on their investment, seeing as most of these movies only have about 5 million dollars or budget to over come. These monetary constrictions do a few things for these films also. They force the films creators to get a bit more creative with their stories and how they film it, and it even gives the films a lot more leeway in the final quality of said films (even a bad movie, can make 10 million dollars). So how did Blumhouse save the horror genre? Glad you asked. Horror movies are one of those genres that, while they have a very loyal fan base, they lack the ability to pull in the real big bucks at the box office. The sixth sense is thus far the highest grossing horror movie of all time, coming in at about 672 million dollars, with only 2 other movies crossing 500 million, meaning most horrors can really only aspire to making between 50-200 million and be considered very successful. Also, other than the same sixth sense, most of the top grossing horror movies of all time like World War Z for example, have large budgets of over 100 million (190 for World War Z) so there 400+ million earnings aren’t even as great as you might think. All of this to say, most horrors don’t make enough money, to give studios and distributors confidence in making or distributing horror movies. Enter Jason Blum with Paranormal Activity in 2009 that made 193 million dollars, on a budget of…

$15,000.00

Yes guys thats not a typo, 193 million dollars of a budget of fifteen thousand. Since then Blumhouse has been win for win, lets look at some examples

Paranormal Activity 2 – 3mil/ 176mil

Insidious – 1.5mil/ 99.5mil

Paranormal Activity 3 – 5mil/ 207mil

Sinister – 3mil/ 82mil

Paranormal Activity 4 – 5mil/ 143mil

The Purge – 3mil/ 89mil

Insidious 2 – 5mil/ 162mil

Oculus – 5mil/ 44mil

The Purge Anarchy  Р9mil/ 111mil

Ouija – 5mil/ 102mil

Unfriended – 1mil/ 63mil

The Visit – 5mil/ 50mil (so far)

All of these show just how well of a formula Blumhouse has going for it, and how they almost single handedly saved the Horror Genre.

Review : Maze Runner- The Scorch Trials

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“After having escaped the Maze, the Gladers now face a new set of challenges on the open roads of a desolate landscape filled with unimaginable obstacles.”

I think this movie might get some more hate than it deserves, and that’s going to be unfortunate if true. The sequel to last years The Maze Runner, takes us to sequel town in just about every way it can. Bigger budget, bigger sets, bigger stakes, all of it gets bigger for this movie. It does still hold a lot of cards to its chest, by just leaking drips and drops of the real story line between the very well done action set pieces, which have also been ramped up. This movie picks up right where the last one let off, and it does have a similar ending, in the way it sort of makes sure you know there is going to be a sequel coming. This time at least however, i could see it coming, and the movie doesn’t just cut to black, before i think it will. Dylan O’Brien really does a good job here also of leading this series. His Thomas character is very charismatic and relatable, while also really seeming like a natural leader to the others. The REAL MVP here is still Ki Hong Lee’s Minho though, like i seriously don’t know what they would do without him. So all in all i really do think this is fun and enjoyable movie, that has been the closest anyone has been able to get to the Hunger Games series. It is on an upward trend, if ever so slightly.

Review Score : 7.5 out of 10

Top 10 favs! No. 1!

Yes we have finally reached the top of my list, of my personal favourite movies of all time, and we end this list with the big daddy.

GLADIATOR!

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“What we do in life, echoes in eternity”

“My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions and loyal servant to the TRUE emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”

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From that first quote, to the last and everything in between, Ridley Scott’s 2000 Masterpiece of a film, Gladiator is truly one of the masterpieces of our time, to me at least. A star studded cast of amazing actors in Russel Crowe, Joaquin Pheonix, Djimon Hounsou, Oliver Reed, Richard Harris and more. Also undoubtedly one of Ridley’s greatest’s works if not his best.

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Gladiator takes us on an amazing journey visually, narratively, and ever way a movie can take you in and hold on to you. It’s a sweeping epic that takes us from beautiful fields in the country side, to deserts, to the heights of the Roman empire. We see the rise, fall, and rising again of an amazing character in Maximus Decimus Meridius played so expertly by Russel Crowe.

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Truly my favourite movie ever made thus far, and well worth my top number 1 stop.

Review : The Transporter – Refueled

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“In the south of France, former special-ops mercenary Frank Martin enters into a game of chess with a femme-fatale and her three sidekicks who are looking for revenge against a sinister Russian kingpin.”

The Transporter Refueled is the none Jason Statham reboot of the transporter franchise. This version stars Ed Skrein who you may know as the guy who played Daario in game of thrones, and then forced the role to be recast as he left to pursue a bigger acting career. This movie however is not a very good start to that. He is in the up coming Deadpool movie, and that’s great for him, because this movie is horrible. Like seriously not good. His actions scenes are fine i guess, but they lack the real flair and brutality of the franchises previous entries. Also for some reason everyone in this movie speaks in like aggressive whispers, which is really hard to explain, and even harder to understand in the actual movie. The characters on a whole are one dimensional and flat as paper. They constantly make horrible choices with no real kind of reasoning, and this even goes for characters who are meant to be much better than that. The overall plot is pretty stupid and generic, and worst of all really, the directing here is absolutely terrible, and that is something that really makes sitting through this entire movie a bit difficult. If you want to see something laughably bad, sure, check this out.

Review Score : 2 out of 10

Review : No Escape

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“In their new overseas home, an American family soon finds themselves caught in the middle of a coup, and they frantically look for a safe escape in an environment where foreigners are being immediately executed.”

No Escape is one of those movies that when i first saw the trailer, i was like hmmm, this looks like it could be interesting to see Owen Wilson take on a role like this. However there are some problems here. For one, the tone shifts back and forth and can be distracting, and distracting is a great way to describe the over use of slow motion in this movie in an attempt to build some kind of tension when in actuality it breaks up any tension being built. The story also tries to shoe horn in a lot of side plots to build and add to the character development, which is fine really, but not when its so by the way that you don’t care by the end of it. Owen Wilson and Lake Bell are very good in this movie, they have good chemistry and you can really believe them as a family, and the movie does well enough to make you feel like they are a real family in this situation. They don’t magically all know how to fight or shoot or any of the usual tropes like that which is refreshing to see. On the positive side, this movie really doesn’t take long to ramp up the action and keep it pretty much going till the almost end.

Review Score : 5 out of 10