Tag Archives: 2010 movies

Movie Review: Ip Man 2

Image result for ip man 2 movie poster free useIp Man 2 takes us to Hong Kong following Ip Man’s escape from China. There, we see Ip Man abandon his reluctance to teach in the hopes of spurring a new generation’s ethics and values as well as passing on the vast amount of knowledge he possesses. Ip Man finds Leung, a loyal student committed to his teachings, who slowly brings more students to Ip Man’s doorstep. Teachers in the area, determined to prevent this newcomer from overtaking their territory, do all they can to make Ip Man’s life difficult, especially Master Hung, the most respected among them.

The original Ip Man carried a tone of a well-respected figure beset by the problems of a vast population, a tone not far-reaching but one that does well to create its own niche. Ip Man 2 is a near replicant of The Karate Kid. Ip Man is entering a foreign land (If you recall, Danny LaRusso moves from New Jersey to California in The Karate Kid) and finds a trusted student, whereas in The Karate Kid, LaRusso finds a noble mentor. In both cases, the dominant school of thought feels threatened and the ensuing conflict is the duo of teacher and student strengthening their bonds as friends, growing as people and beating the bad guys, of course.

In most cases, I am not a fan of repeated story arcs. It’s often lazily attempted and haphazardly executed, and while Ip Man 2 is stealing a few tips from director John Avildsen (who also directed Rocky), it feels foreign (Get it? Because it’s a foreign film?) because of sly if not subtle adjustments by director Wilson Yip. Some creative locations help divert our attention and the focus of the film is not afraid to bounce from character to character, from student to padawan. Ip Man, who admitted to feeling useless at one point in the last chapter of this series, has redefined himself while still carrying that same mantle.

And if that was all we had, this bond between master and pupil, the further adventure that is visiting Ip Man’s character and the inclusion of what is still impressive fight choreography, we’d have a pretty good kung fu movie on our hands. You’ll notice the fight choreography goes at the end because of its importance on the totem pole. It is a dessert, not a main course. Can you eat dessert for dinner? Yes. Should you do it often? No. The same applies to movies who make action first and the rest second. If your dessert/action is really good, exceptionally so, you can pull this off. Otherwise, usually not a recipe for success.

Thus far, none of the Ip Man movies have used this recipe, properly organizing its elements in order of true narrative importance. It’s thematic devices are rather straightforward and ultimately succinct, but never to the point of thoughtlessness or the abandonment of personification, just not to the tier of contemplation one would prefer in a movie reliant on a character of this magnitude.

It stays true to its identity throughout its first half, never backing away from putting its tenacity on a platform and showcasing its performers, but some odd anecdotal choices create fissures in the work. Yip is insistent on keeping recurring characters, two of which are there for the pure sake of recollection.

Where Ip Man 2 really sours for me is when the film divulges itself into a culture war. It had a Karate Kid vibe going, a teacher-student bond, etc and it abandons this for this needless flamboyance of Rocky IV. In what is evidently an epiphany, the teachers decide to stop giving Ip Man a hard time and focus on a boxing match sponsored by the British Empire. This pretty much causes an earthquake in the film’s fabric, disturbing all that has been accomplished and pushing it to the side so we can have a match of Rock’em Sock’em Robots at center stage. It’s a very rough transition that Yip does his best to smooth out but he can’t obscure the splicing of two different stories though and that does hurt this film. Two incomplete movies assembled as one does not make one complete movie.

This embattled eastern culture spinoff isn’t bad, either. It’s a little eccentric and predictable, but probably would have sustained itself over the course of a full run time. We’ll never know though because of this rather sporadic diversion from character story to posturing of Chinese martial arts.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Captain America: Civil WarDeadpoolAvengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe Babadook)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Olympus Has FallenThe Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of Tomorrow)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Ip ManKong: Skull IslandThe InvitationHushGhostbusters (2016))

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Doctor StrangeJohnny MnemonicJason BourneSuicide SquadBatman Forever)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The Great WallRobin HoodUnderworldThe Do-OverX-Men: Apocalypse)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Underworld: EvolutionBatman & RobinBloodsportWar, The Ridiculous 6)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (Most Likely to DieIndependence Day: ResurgenceThe Crow: City of AngelsCenturionPlanet of the Apes)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (Avalanche SharksCatwomanThe GunmanThe VisitThe Fantastic Four)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for Ip Man 2: 72.

While befuddled by some of the decision-making, I still find Ip Man 2 warrants a watch both as a continuation of a series and as a film all its own. Donnie Yen and a compelling score are here to assist you in your travels.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Movie Review: Robin Hood

Image result for robin hood movie poster free useI’m back.

2016 was awful. It’s been a year of loss, as many talented individuals have departed this world and much uninspired, lackluster art has, unfortunately, graced theaters. Disappointment begets depression and disorientation, which is why I have taken a leave of absence this last months. 2016 didn’t promise much and hasn’t given much reason to hope for a bounceback 2017.

But in the mud, rubble, ash and muck, some have come through in 2016, as some always do in times of turmoil. Even Marvel couldn’t keep its streak going (Strange review coming tomorrow), but they more than made up for it with Civil War, a comic book film that shed its skin and delivered a drama that compelled audiences while staying true to itself with some true comedy gold sprinkled over top. Collateral Beauty was also quite a treat but I’ll have to review that another time.

No, we’re gonna start this year with a vigilante, the real OG, Robin Hood himself. Who doesn’t admire Robin Hood? Crossing the line of justice for the right reasons. Add me to the list of people who would love to be in his entourage. A view into the growth and founding of Robin Hood should be quite aspiring, no? You would be wrong, apparently.

No, you would be right. It should be. Ridley Scott just really dropped the ball on this one. Bludgeoned it with a tire iron and threw it in an ashtray. This is a doozy of a film and so uncharacteristic of Sir Ridley. Scott is capable of far greater storytelling. We’ve seen it many a time.

At no point does Robin Hood ever feel like a solid drama or competent novella. It’s so blase, surprisingly generic to the point of surrealism. Surely this isn’t Scott. Surely this is a different Ridley.

It carries no charm, delivers no wit, showers no brilliance and grasps a long-winded plot with open arms. It’s not consequential. It’s barren and irrelevant because we know the story. It’s the precursors to that story that should draw us in but we’re flown right over that like a jetliner flying over its destination. Imagine that disappointment. Robin Hood’s not too far removed from that.

What should be a fun character portrayal is surprisingly dormant. Instead, we’re given a Robin Hood that’s not confident in himself and worse, is still trying to discover his own identity. This is a polar opposite to the Robin Hood that we as kids are taught to idolize: a sometimes rash but always good-meaning rebel.

Russell Crowe might be walking around with a script that reads Robin Longstride but he’s walking away from the character. There are some portions of the original personality that remain but it’s hard for me to appreciate the Mona Lisa when someone cut her eyes out. Puts a little bit of a damper on things.

The spectacles we’re used to seeing from Scott simply aren’t here. Crowe and Blanchett are left in the sun, the side characters in the Robin Hood story are left undeveloped and our villain is an unknown. There’s not visual extremes to be demonstrated here. It’s a blemished work that’s excessively average and I’m left extremely disappointed.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Captain America: Civil WarDeadpoolAvengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe Babadook)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Olympus Has FallenThe Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of Tomorrow)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (The InvitationHushGhostbusters (2016)BatmanFree State of Jones)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Johnny MnemonicJason BourneSuicide SquadBatman ForeverThe Crow)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (UnderworldThe Do-OverX-Men: ApocalypseD-Tox/Eye See YouConstantine)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Underworld: EvolutionBatman & RobinBloodsportWar, The Ridiculous 6)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (Most Likely to DieIndependence Day: ResurgenceThe Crow: City of AngelsCenturionPlanet of the Apes)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (Avalanche SharksCatwomanThe GunmanThe VisitThe Fantastic Four)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for Robin Hood: 51.

This isn’t a good review and that’s okay. Just getting started.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Movie Review: Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

There was a time when films were meant to tell a story and provide visuals that lengthy novels didn’t have the luxury to include. There was a time when films said something about our lives. It was more than a rare occurrence, it was a natural standard. Somewhere in the midst of film’s most prominent eras, a few people started to make comedies. Laughter disentangles us from the complexities of our existence, from the darker depths of our minds, and brings us to the heavenly homes of freedom, where we can be free of responsibility, obligation and society’s behavioral expectations. We can be us. We don’t have to feel fear. We don’t have to contemplate our worth. We can just be. That’s why Robin Williams’ passing has affected so many people, because we all, in some way, could relate to the man that he was and the things he faced. Perhaps we didn’t suffer from the bottle but we all go to comedy for the same treatment: relief. Whether it’s relief from addiction or financial crises or loneliness, it doesn’t matter. It’s all relief. That’s why we watch comedies, because they, like every other genre of film, transport us to another world free from distractions and obscurities.

Somewhere in the middle of that dream, a few brain matter-lacking individuals began to put on the cloak of comedy and make films. The films they made weren’t comedies at all, but they shrouded their products with illusions and falsities, luring us in with candy and shutting the door behind us once we crossed the threshold. In making films like these, these imbeciles inadvertently created a new genre of film. The genre’s name is known to few because many still believe them to be comedies. Many have not broken the persuasion of the brainwashing these filmmakers have barraged them with. For your information, the genre is called Stupid and Tucker & Dale vs. Evil belongs in this genre.

To call Tucker & Dale vs. Evil a comedy would be akin to calling a serial killer a toddler. Under no conditions do the phrases “Tucker & Dale vs. Evil” and “comedy” ever come even remotely close to each other. They are in the exact opposite time zone. It is 12 am in comedy, 12 pm in Tucker & Dale vs. Evil. One is black, one is white. Every counterpart duo will work.

There is no acting. There is no laughter. There is no invitation to enter the world of make-believe. There is no relief, only blind rage and empty script pages. There is endless wandering with no direction, interminable dying but no living, incalculable life don’t’s but zero life lessons.

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil is so bad that I didn’t even want to write this review. Subjecting anyone to such garbage is torture and therefore as far as I know, illegal. I certainly wouldn’t want to give you a glimpse at this film. Why would I want to do that? What possible obligation would I be following by doing such a thing? Truthfully, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil‘s only favor was that there was nothing for me to spoil anyway because nothing happened. This film was like a really bad dream you had when you were six. It is branded into your mind forever and you’ll never forget it, but you can’t describe it to anyone else no matter how hard you try. Every time you try it vocalizes as insubstantial fiction and you have to keep qualifying yourself: “So this one day I was walking in the forest…actually scratch that, it was more of a meadow and we were walking through the tress…actually I guess they were tall bushes..”

You’re on an endless conveyor belt and you only get so far before your progress becomes regression. There are no checkpoints, no breaks, no stoppages, no power failures. You keep walking. Every part of you aches, especially your brain as the effects of the trauma you’re experiencing settles in. You’re short of breath and your rib cage is being pressed by what feels like a bulldozer. It’s an agonizing experience.

Rather than calm your nerves and tickle your funny bone, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil stings your nerves like a bothersome bee again and again and again until you flip out yelling at the television. There’s no medication to make this a better experience. There’s no anti-itch creme you can put on to make it a little more comfortable or anything like that. It’s invasive and it stinks all over. There are no pleasantries of any sort. Just don’t watch this, okay?

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Guardians of the GalaxyDawn of the Planet of the ApesTransformers: Age of ExtinctionJack ReacherGodzilla)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Tears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2Young GunsCloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too.(Red Dawn(2012)MaleficentRise of the Planet of the ApesTransporter 2Battle: Los Angeles)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (RubberHansel and Gretel: Witch HuntersAnchorman: The Legend of Ron BurgundyThe TransporterSpeed)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The Expendable 3HomefrontG.I. Joe: RetaliationVantage PointThe Starving Games)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesBilly MadisonA Haunted House300: Rise of an EmpireCowboys and Aliens)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (Planet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice, The Contract)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (X-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark WorldThe Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (SafeWatchmenClash of the TitansA Haunted House 2Open Grave)

My score for Tucker & Dale vs. Evil: 16.

I feel like I’ve said it in the most polite ways I can think of, but if you still want the general synopsis of Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, it fricking sucks. It’s bland and effortless. Truly no cares given in the making of this one, and surprisingly, I have no cares to watch this or show this to another living creature ever again.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Movie Review: Rubber

Rubber is a movie all of its own. I know of no film like it. It is a movie about a tire. Don’t give up on this just yet. You may never see a film precisely like this one again.

The opening sequence is very well-written and expels a message that’s quite convincing and sheds a light on something that can really irritate film critics like myself: when things in movies happen for no reason.

The concept of “no reason” is one of the most irksome things in the American experience. No matter how many times you see it illustrated in film, it still grinds your teeth to nubs and your brain to mush as you try your hardest to figure out what the purpose was. Most of the time it is a lousy work ethic from the crew behind the camera, who in turn receive all of the skepticism and explosive outbursts from critics and fans. However, there are some times, a very minute portion of the pie, but nonetheless, there are times where it’s just there. There isn’t any reason for it to be there because it’s the ideal of “no reason”. As the opening speech states,  “The film you are about to see today is an homage to the ‘no reason’.”

That speech relates to the remainder of the film. You will see things that make no sense. Speechless will become the best adjective to describe you. You’ll have emotions because it’s not indifferent material and depending on who you are, dare I say, you might have fun watching this.

Originality is one of Rubber‘s top fortes because the premise of a movie about a tire, while absurd, questionable, and of seemingly senseless stupidity, is still an attention-grabbing film that will draw you in. The spectacle is too bewildering to ignore.

The visual quality and cinematography isn’t anything special and might even be at a college level at points but that didn’t bother me that much because this movie isn’t about that. It’s about the “no reason”. Everything that happens in this movie is because of no reason. Surprisingly, that manages to entertain for a majority of the film’s running time. It only drags for about the last ten minutes and considering this is a movie focused on a tire, that’s pretty good.

A simple yet complicated screenplay by Quentin Dupieux is the engine of this film. The acting is decent but anyone could work in these roles. It’s the lines of the characters and the actions of the tire that really form the inner workings here. The spectators act like people who are watching this film, executing the personalities and attitudes. Rubber thrives on the creative concepts of the screenplay so well that the average acting and substandard pacing can be forgiven. Character development isn’t a priority for this film so that is an obstacle to this reaching a higher score, but this is also a film that wasn’t meant for that. Sometimes I think we get so used to things  that when someone decides to change it up, we’re too quick to fault them as wrong before giving them a chance and I’m afraid that’s what many will do with this flick.

The tire’s given some emotions, like being drowsy and uncoordinated in the morning, and identifies with a person. With that said, the emotional roller coaster is like the land of the Sahara: flat and deserted. There’s no emotional platform here. There are a plethora of laughs that conceal that, but it’s the character development and emotional roller coaster that can make a movie something more than it is. Perhaps that’s not what Rubber is trying to be and if that’s the case, that’s fine, but I like to look for some deeper meaning to my movies when I can. There are some movies that it doesn’t matter what the overall takeaway is, they’re still a laugh-out-loud time and I think that’s just the case with Rubber.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog,  I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Guardians of the GalaxyDawn of the Planet of the ApesTransformers: Age of ExtinctionJack ReacherGodzilla)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Tears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2Young GunsCloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too.(Red Dawn(2012)MaleficentRise of the Planet of the ApesTransporter 2Battle: Los Angeles)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Hansel and Gretel: Witch HuntersAnchorman: The Legend of Ron BurgundyThe TransporterSpeedGodzilla(1998))

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The Expendable 3HomefrontG.I. Joe: RetaliationVantage PointThe Starving Games)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesBilly MadisonA Haunted House300: Rise of an EmpireCowboys and Aliens)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (Planet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice, The Contract)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (X-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark WorldThe Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (SafeWatchmenClash of the TitansA Haunted House 2Open Grave)

My score for Rubber62.

Rubber‘s individuality alone makes it worth a watch, although many people will debate its value afterwards. If you enjoy the witty, dry humor take, Rubber will probably be for you.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,
CCY's Movie Reviews

Movies Worth Sharing!

Days Gone

Meeting the insanity that is reality

epileptic moondancer

Imperfection is Perfection.

vinnieh

Movie reviews and anything else that comes to mind

emmakwall (explains it all)

Film & soundtrack reviews, good humour and lists

pickoftheflix

EMPIRE'S 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME REVIEWED - to watch or not to watch?

Shit Jon Gruden Says

"Spider 2 Y Banana Shake?"

kylerehm005

I will show the world( or whoever reads this) my passion for movies, sports, life and Jesus

ramblingsofsam

A place for sharing, fleshing out, and fine-tuning thoughts and ideas

Mr. Movie's Film Blog

Film and Anime Reviews, new and older releases!

Thomas J

My Journey Through Film

Snap Crackle Watch!

A blog dedicated to television and movies

The Cinema Monster

unparalleled film reviews, news, and top 10s

Silver Screen Serenade

Praising the high notes and lamenting the low notes of all things film and television

Cinema Parrot Disco

Musings on Mainly Movies from a Table 9 Mutant

wordsofwistim

For those searching for wistim regarding life, sports, movies and more