Brad has Reviewed a Film: John Wick


John Wick (2014)

John Wick

John Wick as a film about a recently retired “wet work” man who is pushed just a little too far and forced to come out of retirement to set things right.  This is an action film for adults.  What I mean by that is similar to the very first Taken, this is a shoot first then ask ques… NOPE SHOOT AGAIN!  I really had fun with this film.  Well shot and looked great and had a great soundtrack to boot.  It was the prefect type of role for Keanu Reeves and am hoping they can bring the character back in a similar sequel.  Unfortunately, once movies like this get a bit of following, Hollywood tries to get involved and then you start to have broad appealing PG-13 installments that move further and further away from the original.

My Movie Rating:
★★★★★★★★☆☆

Brad has Reviewed a Film: Ouija (2014)

Movie My Way: Ouija (2014)

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Ouija is a film about a board “game”.  Hasbro is even a producer on this film.  Since when did we think that we could start making films based on board games? This isn’t even a game.  There is no objective other than to “reach the other side”.  Even if you believe in that nonsense, how is it a game?  I’m not surprised though.  If there is money to be had, I guess they’ll try to make a movie about anything.  The largest problem I have with this film is that this seems to be what Hollywood thinks is horror.  This is what they are training young writers and directors make on a very consistent basis.  Simple concepts with even more simple formulas.  Darkly lit scenes with jump and false scares all over the place.  Minimal investment with maximum returns.  Nothing about it is horror but more can we get teenagers on their first dates to giggle and laugh out of nervousness.  This movie is the epitome of everything I hate about “new horror” these days.  Minimal investment, maximum returns and the profits are king.  Ignore the genre and your fans.  At least some films last year actually made some great films.

My Movie Rating:
★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

Brad has Reviewed a Film: Dracula Untold (2014)

Movie My Way:  Dracula Untold (2014)

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Being a fan of horror, I can’t ignore one of the classic horror staples like Dracula.  The story has been told many times over in many different ways and this is probably one of the first times that I have seen the story attempted to be told from a geographical and historical perspective.  So I liked the creativity there and in some add way, was almost believable.  Overall, it was a pretty good looking film with a decent story.  My only concern is that they will attempt to make a sequel out of this set in modern times.  With all the glittery vampires out there today, I think the entire brand would suffer with a sequel.

My Movie Rating:
★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

Brad Has Reviewed A Film: Animal (2014)

Movie My Way: Animal(2014)

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Animal is a Drew Barrymore produced low budget monster movie set in the woods.  That is about it.  Being an experienced horror fan, I have no problem suspending disbelief and taking 90 minutes off to actually “believe” that a monster lives out in the woods.  What I can’t swallow is when the players on our stage are some of the dumbest people to be walking around in such a place.  Why are these kids in the woods?  No idea.  Why are we staying put? No idea. Why aren’t we trying to go on the offensive? No idea.  Why is this one guy being such a jerk?  No idea.  Why are we just standing around watching this Animal eat our friend?  No idea.  You get the no idea.  I didn’t even remotely care about any of the characters in this movie.  It’s unfortunate too since the creature design isn’t half bad.  I have a feeling that is where they spent most of their budget.  If you are looking for a fun and over the top monster movie, give Feast a watch.  Just noticed that the creature from these two films look pretty similar.

My Movie Rating:
★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

Brad has Reviewed a Film: What We Do In the Shadows

Movie My Way: What We Do In the Shadows

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What We Do In the Shadows is a hilarious comedy that is about a group of vampires that share a house together and a documentary crew films their daily routine.  I hadn’t heard of this movie before but boy am I glad I watched this and I highly recommend you seek this film out since it only had a limited theatrical release in New Zealand.  The filmmakers are even attempting raise money to get it properly released in the US through kickstarter.  I thoroughly enjoyed this film and laughed out loud more than once.  I honestly don’t think I have laughed that hard since This Is The End.  It has some really great moments that are well executed in a very fertile concept area.  If you enjoy horror style comedy like Shaun of the Dead, this will be right up your alley.  If your speed is more Scary Movie, then you should just stop watching movies.

Take a look at the trailer:

 

My Movie Rating:
★★★★★★★★★☆

Brad has Reviewed a New Film: Frozen Ground

Movie My Way: Frozen Ground

frozenThis is one of those movies that Nicholas Cage makes but doesn’t tell anyone.  My wife and I have been enjoying the real life drama series ‘Cold Justice‘ where a real live CSI agent and ex-attorney work together to work cold cases to see if they can’t get some justice in some very unsettling unsolved murders.  This film is based on a true story where young women start disappearing in Alaska and an almost retired cop decides he needs to see this one through to the end.  In that sense, this film does ring a bit true.  It is scary to know that this story is based on true events and that there are people out there that have gotten away with often times brutal murder.  Frozen Ground is a pretty good film that shows that you can’t always be smarter than the law that is chasing you.  One thing of note is that how does a film like this with fairly recognizable characters get made and then simply go straight to a DVD release?  Nick Cage, John Cusack and Vanessa Hudgens make for at least ‘B’ list movie yet I hadn’t even heard of it it until it was being released on DVD.

My Movie Rating:
★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

 

Brad Has Reviewed a Film: Q – The Winged Serpent(1982)

Movie My Way: Q – The Winged Serpent (1982)

Q

I love watching horror films set in the 80’s.  They are probably my favorite genre.  Now as an adult, I get to watch all the films of movies that I saw sitting on the shelves of the video store but could not rent.  I remember this film being reviewed on ‘At the Movies with Siskel and Ebert’.

Q is a strange throwback to early days of the monster movies of yesteryear set in early 80’s New York.  Michael Moriarty of Law and Order fame, plays an ex-con who is trying to find his way be into earning money by legitimate or not-so-legitimate ways.  When things don’t really go his way, he stumbles upon a nest containing winged serpent that begins terrorizing the city.  So I am not going to assume this film is anything more than it is.  As a monster movie, it isn’t half bad.  The story is pretty weak and the plot has no real focus but the one thing that makes this film fun is the sympathetic lead played by Mr. Moriarty.  He plays the perfect, dumb yet likable patsy for the film.  So watch this film if you are fan of stop motion animation or classic monster movies.  Not great but fun.

My Movie Rating:
★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

Let’s try this one more time…

So now that I have found an reliable and affordable WordPress host, I am going to give this one more try.  Hopefully things are a little more streamlined.  Sorry for all the drama.

Her

Her

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Heard so many good things about this film.  Glad to say I wasn’t disappointed when I finally got to watch it.  Easily one of the more unique films to get a wide release and certainly deserved its nomination for Best Original Screenplay.  Maybe because I have been in the technology industry for close to 20 years now, but something about this film is very intriguing.  With our smartphones getting smarter with the likes of Siri and Cortana, how far off is a concept about an Operating System and that can understand and interpret human speech and actually learn about the person using them.  Sure, I think reality is a long way off but with advancements in technology it is a concept that isn’t too hard to believe.  Will our culture and society ever get to a point where having a relationship with a “simulated” person is commonplace or even acceptable?  Some pretty deep philosophical questions that I didn’t fully expect for a film like this.  Very enjoyable and Joaquin Phoenix is still a pretty amazing actor.

My Movie Rating:
★★★★★★★★½☆

American Hustle

American Hustle

american-hustle-posterAmerican Hustle is a film set in the 70’s about fast talking con-artists who are able to convince people to part with their money with the promise of more money.  It deals with all the complicated personal relationships and drapes it all in the horrific color palate of the 70’s.  A good looking film that was well acted by everyone you see in the poster above.  For me. the problem lies with the length of this film.  It seems that when you are trying to make a film that the Academy will pay attention to, you need to clock in at over 2 hours.  Didn’t need to be nearly that long.  Has a great soundtrack that puts you in that 70’s frame of mind.  We tend to forget how ugly things looked back then because even though the film accurately depicted the look, it is hard to believe that our entire culture at the time though this was a good look.   So be prepared for a long, well acted but “ugly” film.

My Movie Rating:
★★★★★★★☆☆☆

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