Tag Archives: Tommy Lee Jones

No Country for Old Men (2007) Review

Time: 122 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Graphic violence
Cast:
Tommy Lee Jones as Ed Tom Bell
Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh
Josh Brolin as Llewelyn Moss
Woody Harrelson as Carson Wells
Kelly Macdonald as Carla Jean Moss
Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

In rural Texas, welder and hunter Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) discovers the remains of several drug runners who have all killed each other in an exchange gone violently wrong. Rather than report the discovery to the police, Moss decides to simply take the two million dollars present for himself. This puts the psychopathic killer, Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), on his trail to retrieve the money. As Moss desperately attempts to keep one step ahead, the blood from this hunt begins to flow behind him with relentlessly growing intensity as Chigurh closes in. Meanwhile, the laconic Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) blithely oversees the investigation even as he struggles to face the sheer enormity of the crimes he is attempting to thwart.

full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1]

The Coen Brothers are a little hit or miss for me, some of their movies I love, others I don’t like as much as everyone. Out of all of their films however, No Country for Old Men seems to stand out as one of their best, it actually may well be their best. Everything is so well crafted, from its atmosphere and tone, the fantastic performances and of course the Coen Brothers’ excellent writing and direction, all of it come together to deliver a masterpiece.

No Country for Old Men is based off the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name, I haven’t read it so I don’t know how the two versions of the story compare. No Country for Old Men isn’t like some of the other Coen Brothers movies, it doesn’t have quirky characters or quite a lot of dark comedy, this is by far the darkest movie they have made. There are very small bits of comedy (mostly in some bits of dialogue) but for the most part, it is a very dark and grim plot. The film has a realistic dark tone and isn’t filled with a lot of thrills or action. You really need to understand what you’re getting into before watching this movie, it is not by any means a fast paced crime thriller. The pacing is a little slower than you’d think, making the 2 hour runtime feel a little longer than it actually is. This didn’t bother me at all, I loved how the movie took its time, and the pacing only made some of the seemingly standard scenes with not much going on more tense. Actually re-watching it recently, the pacing wasn’t that slow, but it could be for people who think that the movie is a fast paced thriller. Nonetheless, I was actually quite entertained by the movie and from start to finish I was completely invested in what was going on. It helped that the plot as a whole is actually pretty simple and straightforward but at the same time there’s a lot to dissect thematically. Without spoiling anything, some people do have issues with the way certain things end in the third act, even if they like the rest of the movie. This is mostly to do with the way that one character’s storyline is ended and what is shown (or rather, what’s not shown), as well as the somewhat abrupt last scene. The ending is divisive, even to people who like the movie overall. I can understand people finding it to end way too abruptly and being a little disappointed, underwhelmed and most of all unsatisfied with the scene it ends on, but personally it worked for me. The last scene involves a monologue that you have to sort of interpret its meaning for yourself, given all the themes in the movie, and I’ll just say that it made sense plot-wise and thematically. The whole third act goes in a different direction than most movies with this kind of genre has, and that could turn some people off. Thankfully, I’m not one of those people.

There are some really great performances here, and it helps that the characters are simple, yet well realised. Josh Brolin is also really good as Llewyn Moss, the man who finds some money and is pursed by dangerous people. It may well be one of his best performances. Tommy Lee Jones is used sparingly in this movie as Tom Bell, a sheriff hunting down Anton Chigurh but is used well, very subtle and great performance. Bell is coming to terms with overwhelming forces and changes in his life, and that story arc and development by the end of the movie is one of the most essential parts of the film (and that’s where the title of the movie is relevant). However, the performance which gets the most attention is of course from Javier Bardem, who is absolutely fantastic as Anton Chigurh, the hitman hired to go after Moss and retrieve the money. He is just so subtle and such an dangerous force to be reckoned with, he just doesn’t seem human at all. When he’s on screen, you’re not exactly sure what he’s going to do next. There is such a mystery and ambiguity to him and we don’t really know too much about him as a person, however he doesn’t feel one dimensionally evil or flat either. There is much speculation on whether he’s just a sociopathic hitman, an angel of death, Death himself, there are tons of theories on him. Whatever the case, in this movie Chigurh completely embodies evil that can’t be understood, which is why we don’t know much about him, if he’s a human being with an explanation for why he is the way he is, the characters certainly aren’t going to know about it.

The Coen Brothers’ usually direct their films really well, and No Country for Old Men is no exception. Roger Deakins does the cinematography to this movie, so its no surprise that the film looks great, it is shot with a very gritty and darkly realistic look to it and all around looks beautiful. The violence can come out of nowhere and is portrayed in a shocking way, being rather explosive and graphic. Also adding to the realistic feel is the lack of music, there’s no music played throughout the entirety of the movie (except for one sound effect used in the coin toss scene), in fact the only song you hear is over the end credits. This makes the sound effects even more present, making the atmosphere even more absorbing. Characters could be doing standard, mundane things, but you’re even more drawn to what they are doing. Speaking of which, the sound design is absolutely fantastic, it helps draw us further into the movie.

No Country for Old Men is by far my favourite movie from the Coen Brothers. With their riveting writing and fantastic direction, excellent performances from everyone and the grim and realistic tone throughout, it just really gets everything right. Its slower pacing and the direction of where they took the story made it even better, even though it may turn some people off. I really do think it’s worth checking out for yourself, it’s well deserving of all the acclaim.

Ad Astra (2019) Review

Time: 123 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1]
Cast:
Brad Pitt as Roy McBride
Tommy Lee Jones as H. Clifford McBride
Ruth Negga as Helen Lantos
Liv Tyler as Eve
Donald Sutherland as Colonel Pruitt
Director: James Gray

Thirty years ago, Clifford McBride (Tommy Lee Jones) led a voyage into deep space, but the ship and crew were never heard from again. Now his son (Brad Pitt) — a fearless astronaut — must embark on a daring mission to Neptune to uncover the truth about his missing father and a mysterious power surge that threatens the stability of the universe.

full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1]

Ad Astra was a movie I was looking forward to for a little bit. It sounded interesting from the small amounts of details I heard, I liked the cast involved, and the premise sounded like something I could get on board for. I also heard a lot about writer and director James Gray, although The Lost City of Z was the only movie I had seen from him. Nonetheless I wasn’t exactly sure what to really expect going in. Ad Astra is fantastic and amongst the best science fiction films released in recent years.

Despite being misleading, much of the trailers and marketing are vague about the plot, and I also think it’s for your benefit that you don’t know too much going in, so I’ll avoid some plot details. After hearing about how slow Ad Astra was, it surprised me in how it moved much faster than I thought it was. Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely a slow moving film, and if you’re not invested with the plot it’s going to be a chore for you. The movie was only 2 hours long and it did feel like it was that long, in a good way. As it was, I was personally wrapped up in the story and what was going on. There was always something happening as lead character Roy goes from place to place towards his goal. What the trailers didn’t indicate that was that it’s a very personal intimate movie. Now with it being about a man trying to find his long lost father it can be assumed that it would involve some personal element, but despite how large scale the movie is, it really is an intimate. When people compared Ad Astra to Heart of Darkness/Apocalypse Now, they weren’t entirely off, in regards to the journeys that the lead characters go on. It’s a very haunting movie, whether it be the obstacles and other things that Roy encounters or his own personal journey. I also thought the movie ended perfectly.

Brad Pitt plays the lead character of Roy McBride and he’s fantastic in the role. His character is very cold and quiet, and as the events of the movie progress and he begins to learn certain things, that facade begins to deteriorate. He’s very much affected by his father, and things that happened before affected the way that he acts now. There are times where you hear voiceovers from Pitt about his feelings. It’s a very subtle yet powerful and believable performance, one of Pitt’s best work. The supporting cast is good, with Tommy Lee Jones (as Pitt’s father), Ruth Negga, Liv Tyler and Donald Sutherland providing some good work. However don’t expect to see a ton of them throughout. It’s really Pitt who’s at the center of everything, the story is heavily relying on him, thankfully he delivers.

James Gray has directed this movie immensely well. It is absolutely stunning with some outstanding visual effects, Hoyte Van Hoytema has done some great work here and it’s unsurprising that the visuals here rivals Interstellar’s. I won’t go into too much detail about the locations and scenarios that the movie presents and I’m fully aware that this is science fiction and set in the future, but there were times where it seemed like one of the more realistic portrayals of space on the big screen that I’ve seen in a while. You really felt the weight of everything that was happening. The movie is also very contemplative and allows some space for the movie to breathe, usually having Pitt narrate during these moments. Max Richter always produces some very powerful music, and Ad Astra is no exception, it really added a lot to the movie.

No, Ad Astra isn’t going to work for everyone. It’s slower paced, and the trailers seemed to indicate a slightly more action paced and larger scaled movie than it actually was. However I personally loved the movie. It’s a very character driven and personal storyline that I was invested in, directed wonderfully, and the cast were great (particularly Brad Pitt). It’s one of my favourites of the year thus far.

Men in Black 3 (2013) Review

Time: 106 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Will Smith as James Darrell Edwards III/Agent J
Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin as Kevin Brown/Agent K
Jemaine Clement as Boris the Animal
Michael Stuhlbarg as Griffin
Emma Thompson and Alice Eve as Agent O
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld

Even though agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) have been protecting the Earth from alien scum for many years, J still does not know much about his gruff partner. However, J soon gets an unexpected chance to find out what makes K tick when an alien criminal called Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) escapes, goes back to 1969, and kills K. With the fate of the planet at stake, J goes back in time and teams up with K’s younger self (Josh Brolin) to put things right.

full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1]

The idea of Men in Black 3 leading up to its release didn’t look that good. It’s a movie released 11 years after to a sequel that didn’t hold a candle to the original classic, and the plot involves time travel. It’s really the sequel that no one wanted, and on paper sounded like a complete dud. However, Men in Black 3 somehow was actually pretty good, definitely much better than 2 and was quite a bit of fun for what it was.

Men in Black (or at least the 3 movies) heavily relies on the two leads being J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones). The second Men in Black even brought back K (despite being mind-wiped at the end of the first movie). The third movie is about J being paired up with a younger version of K. It’s at least trying something different, with the whole time travel aspect, and so doesn’t fall into falling into familiar territory like the second movie did. With this being a time travel movie, there might be some plot aspects that don’t always work perfectly, but there’s nothing too major that breaks the movie or anything. Generally the movie or plot is nothing special, but is still entertaining, and still feels like a Men in Black movie. They even managed to add a little bit of emotion towards the end, and tied the whole trilogy together quite well.

Whereas the lead roles of the Men in Black movies are split over two characters, Will Smith is the clear cut lead here and is just as good he was in the previous movies. Tommy Lee Jones only gets a little bit of screentime, it feels like he’s mainly here to contrast with his present day version, but the use of him was fitting. More screentime is given to the younger version of K, played by Josh Brolin, who is perfect at a younger, less grumpy and generally happier version of him. It definitely makes the dynamic between the two very fresh, especially as J is constantly surprised how different and similar the younger K is to the older version. Its really uncanny how well Brolin does his impression, and was definitely one of the highlights of the movie. Jermaine Clement is the villain of the movie, and works well enough for the movie, has a pretty good opening scene. Nothing too memorable but he hams it up appropriately without going way too goofy like the villain in Men in Black 2.

Barry Sonnenfeld returns to direct, and once again it still feels like a Men in Black movie. It’s 11 years later and the effects don’t look that much better than those in the original Men in Black movie (however a lot better than the second movie). With that said the action scenes are a lot better than those in the previous movies.

Men in Black 3 was quite the surprise, not yet on the level of the first movie but still an entertaining watch nonetheless. Even if you don’t like the second movie, if you liked the first movie, MIB 3 is definitely worth giving a chance. While it didn’t seem to announce itself as such, it does work as the end of the trilogy. Now we’ll just have to see if the Men in Black spinoffs actually work without the pairing of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.

Men in Black 2 (2002) Review

Time: 88 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Tommy Lee Jones as Kevin Brown/Agent K
Will Smith as James Darrell Edwards III/Agent J
Rip Torn as Chief Zed
Lara Flynn Boyle as Serleena
Johnny Knoxville as Scrad/Charlie
Rosario Dawson as Laura Vasquez
Tony Shalhoub as Jack Jeebs
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld

Kay (Tommy Lee Jones) and Jay (Will Smith) reunite to provide our best line of defense against a seductress who levels the toughest challenge yet to the MIBs mission statement: protecting the earth from the scum of the universe. While investigating a routine crime, Jay uncovers a plot masterminded by Serleena (Boyle), a Kylothian monster who disguises herself as a lingerie model. When Serleena takes the MIB building hostage, there is only one person Jay can turn to — his former MIB partner.

full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1]

Men in Black was such a hit when it came out back in 1997, inevitably it would be getting a sequel. However, Men in Black 2 just didn’t live up to the first movie and really pales in comparison. It’s not terrible by any means, and it’s still rather entertaining. After watching the first two movies in one night though, you can clearly see the downgrade.

With the (spoiler alert) ending of the previous movie with Kay (Tommy Lee Jones) having his memory erased, the sequel really needed to bring him back, it really does undo a bit of the impact from the ending of the first movie. However, it was kind of inevitable, the paring of Kay and Jay (Will Smith) is what made the first movie especially good and stand out. The plot is about Kay having to remember certain things, even after regaining his memory of himself. The plot in the first movie wasn’t fantastic by any means but the plot in this movie just feels rather underwhelming in comparison, like they’re just backtracking and isn’t really that exciting. Much of Men in Black 2 recycles many of the stuff from the first movie and doesn’t do anything too special. While there was still quite a bit of humour that I liked, some of it didn’t feel as fresh. Not that it’s a massive downgrade, it’s just a cut below how funny the first movie was. The previous movie is just under an hour and 40 minutes long, surprisingly Men in Black 2 is less than 90 minutes long, and it really feels like it. While it doesn’t even need to be like 2 hours long, it could’ve had more happening in it, because as it is, it felt a little empty.

The best part about this movie unsurprisingly is Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. Their chemistry is still just as good as in the first movie and they worked well, especially with the dynamic between them. Rosario Dawson is a great actress but despite her having a somewhat important role in the movie, really doesn’t get to do much unfortunately. She’s not bad at all but is just sort of a plot device and nothing more. The villains of Men in Black are a little weird but mostly work, that is to say that 2/3 of them work, and the missing third is from Men in Black 2. Lara Flynn Boyle plays some shapeshifting alien seductress with tentacles, who takes the appearance of a lingerie model. It’s just painful watching her on screen, Boyle really doesn’t have anything to do here except act threatening and sexy, really among my least favourite parts of the movie. Also, Johnny Knoxville is here for some reason and I really would’ve preferred that he wasn’t. Oh and also Michael Jackson shows up at one point for some reason.

Barry Sonnefeld returns to direct and one of the things going for the movie is that it still feels like a Men in Black movie, even if many of the other aspects are weaker than the first movie. The visual effects in the first movie were a little dated but even the weaker effects were at least entertaining in a campy way. With the sequel, somehow the effects have aged much worse, embarrassingly so. I guess they wanted to go bigger, and certain action scenes are bigger and involve larger things happening, but as you can probably already tell the effects on them don’t look particularly good. I’ve seen worse for sure though, and after a while you can get over it.

Men in Black 2 wasn’t that good, while it doesn’t do anything particularly terrible (outside of the effects), it feels like a rehash of the previous movie, only not done quite as well. I probably do like it more than most people who’ve seen it though. Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith are still good and there are some entertaining bits to it. If you’re a fan of the first movie you might like the second one, worth giving it a shot at the very least.

Men in Black (1997) Review

Time: 98 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence and offensive language
Cast:
Tommy Lee Jones as Kevin Brown/Agent K
Will Smith as James Darrell Edwards III/Agent J
Linda Fiorentino as Dr. Laurel Weaver/Agent L
Vincent D’Onofrio as a giant alien insect
Rip Torn as Chief Zed
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld

They are the best-kept secret in the universe. Working for a highly funded yet unofficial government agency, Kay (Tommy Lee Jones) and Jay (Will Smith) are the Men in Black, providers of immigration services and regulators of all things alien on Earth. While investigating a series of unregistered close encounters, the MIB agents uncover the deadly plot of an intergalactic terrorist who is on a mission to assassinate two ambassadors from opposing galaxies currently in residence in New York City.

full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1]

With Men in Black International coming soon, I wanted to check out the original trilogy at the very least. I know for sure that I watched the trilogy at least once, but it was many years ago, and so I wanted to see how I felt about it nowadays. I’m surprised at how good it still is, it was pretty entertaining and you can definitely see why it was such a surprise hit when it came out.

You can even tell in some aspects of the writing that Men in Black is a little dated but nonetheless is still quite fun. It’s under an hour and 40 minutes which is really the perfect length for the movie. Not only that, but they keep the movie moving at a pretty good pace, never allowing for a dull moment. Some of the movie sounds insane and weird on paper but they managed to pull it off well. The plot itself isn’t anything special despite this, with it being about aliens trying to take over the world and a secret organisation trying to prevent this. However, you can consider that in the late 90s, this was such an strange yet original idea, and plenty of other films would proceed to take inspiration from and copy it.

Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones lead the movie and they do it well. As decent as the rest of the movie is, it wouldn’t have worked as well without the two of them, undeniably the highlight of the movie. Probably the biggest surprise was how good Tommy Lee Jones was here. It’s very rare to see him in a comedy but he plays the role very well and his deadpan delivery works perfectly. Will Smith is in his prime in this movie and as you can expect is just great, stealing the show. Both of them played off each other really well and their dynamic is really the driving force of the movie. As great as the cast of Men in Black International is, I can already tell that it’s going to be missing that very entertaining duo. Vincent D’Onofrio is the villain and it certainly isn’t a performance you’ve seen him give outside of this role. He does really well at playing an alien loosely wearing human skin and trying to pass off as a human (which he is). It’s a bizarre performance for sure, but it somehow works amongst the movie’s occasionally strange tone. Not much to say about the rest of the cast, they play their roles fine but don’t particularly stand out.

I’m not too familiar with director Barry Sonnenfeld’s work, I’ve seen Get Shorty and the other two Men in Black movies but that’s it. His work on this first Men in Black movie was good though. Some of the effects still work today, some of the other effects really haven’t held up well but even those work in a 90s blockbuster way. You can tell that even some of the worse effects were probably impressive in the late 90s. The practical effects and makeup was good and the alien designs were very creative and great overall.

Men in Black is by no means one of the best sci-fi films, not even when it comes to just those released in the 90s. However, I had a lot of fun with it, even the dated aspects have some enjoyment to them, and Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are great. If you haven’t checked it out, I do recommend giving it a go, it’s definitely worth a watch.

Jason Bourne (2016) Review

JasonBourne4[1]

Jason Bourne

Time: 123 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence and Offensive Language
Cast:
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne
Tommy Lee Jones as Robert Dewey
Alicia Vikander as Heather Lee
Vincent Cassel as The Asset
Julia Stiles as Nicolette “Nicky” Parsons
Riz Ahmed as Aaron Kalloor
Director: Paul Grengrass

It’s been 10 years since Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) walked away from the agency that trained him to become a deadly weapon. Hoping to draw him out of the shadows, CIA director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones) assigns hacker and counterinsurgency expert Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander) to find him. Lee suspects that former operative Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) is also looking for him. As she begins tracking the duo, Bourne finds himself back in action battling a sinister network that utilizes terror and technology to maintain unchecked power.

full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1]

The Bourne trilogy is one of the best action franchises ever created. For this reason, I was looking forward to the 5th instalment to the franchise, named Jason Bourne, with director Paul Greengrass and main star Matt Damon returning, with a talented cast filled with actors like Alicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones and Vincent Cassel. While some people are feeling mixed about the latest instalment, I think that Jason Bourne is yet another great addition to the franchise. It’s quite similar to the other films, it’s entertaining, interesting, it’s not perfect but it’s very enjoyable.

Matt%20Damon%20i%20Jason%20Bourne[1]

Jason Bourne definitely has a similar formula to the other Bourne movies but there’s nothing wrong with that. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Bourne is on the run, trying to find out what’s going on, pretty much every Bourne film ever made. Plotwise don’t have many problems with the movie. One fault I will say though is that the film does at times focus on a subplot involving government oversight and security with Riz Ahmed’s character which really was unnecessary. It wasn’t bad but it felt a little out of place and there was already a good enough plot with Bourne hunting down the CIA. The film would’ve benefited a lot more without this subplot. In parts I’ll also say the film did drag a little, particularly the first act. Those are really my only problems though.

jason_bourne_screenshot_20160727192550_5_original[1]

Matt Damon is effortlessly great as Jason Bourne, this is his 5th time that he played the character and he’s just as believable and great in the role as he was decades ago in The Bourne Identity. The supporting cast was also great. Riz Ahmed was really good, even though I didn’t like his subplot in the story he did play his scenes very well. Alicia Vikander is a great actress and in this movie I thought she was decent, nothing spectacular but nothing bad either. The main opposing forces against Bourne were also great, that being Tommy Lee Jones who was really effective as the head of the CIA and Vincent Cassel, who was a standout for me as a ruthless assassin sent after Jason Bourne.

jason-bourne-2016-movie-vincent-cassel[1]

If you don’t like the action in the previous Bourne films, you definitely won’t like the action here. It’s very similar to the previous films, handheld and shaky but once again like in the previous movies, it’s not used to hide bad stuntwork, you really believe what is going on. I liked all the action scenes in the film but a stand out scene for me was a car chase in Las Vegas in the third act, that was for me the best action scene in the film. I can’t really think of an action scene which didn’t work for me.

Jason-Bourne-2016-Movie-Wallpaper-07[2]

I’m not exactly sure why this movie seemed to receive a mixed reception. I will admit that this movie isn’t really necessary, The Bourne Ultimatum tied up all the loose ends and so Jason Bourne didn’t need to exist. But with that said, it was a good film nonetheless. If you liked the other Bourne films, you will probably like this film as well at the very least. I actually do hope that they continue with more films, Paul Greengrass has given us 3 great Bourne films, I want to see more from him.

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) Review

1417862732-o[1]

Captain America

Time: 124 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence
Cast:
Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America
Tommy Lee Jones as Colonel Chester Phillips
Hugo Weaving as Johann Schmidt/Red Skull
Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter
Sebastian Stan as Sergeant James “Bucky” Barnes
Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark
Neal McDonough as Timothy “Dum Dum” Dugan
Derek Luke as Gabe Jones
Stanley Tucci as Dr. Abraham Erskine
Director: Joe Johnston

It is 1941 and the world is in the throes of war. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) wants to do his part and join America’s armed forces, but the military rejects him because of his small stature. Finally, Steve gets his chance when he is accepted into an experimental program that turns him into a supersoldier called Captain America. Joining forces with Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), Captain America leads the fight against the Nazi-backed HYDRA organization.

full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1]

Although making a Captain America movie isn’t as big of a risk as making a Thor movie, it is still pretty hard creating a Captain America movie that takes him seriously. The 1990 film didn’t help this movie’s chances. However like Thor, Captain America is a surprisingly good entry in the Marvel universe. It’s not one of the best, but it is enjoyable, well-made and it does have an engaging story and establishes one of The Avengers’ key members.

Catfa30[1]

One of the best parts about this movie is of course the fact that it actually manages to take Captain America seriously. There are actually stages of Steve Rodgers becoming Captain America, as well as explanations for all the things that happen, for example there’s a reason Captain America decided to use a shield over other weapons. It’s not like the 1990 film where he becomes Captain America and suddenly has this design. I also thought it was a strong decision to have Captain America’s first appearance be in a World War 2 setting. It would be so easy to just have Captain America created and then rush his appearance into Modern day (again like the 1990 film) but it was a great idea to have him in this setting. A lot of the supporting characters end up playing roles in later movies so these characters aren’t just wasted being in the 1940s.

bds_captain-america_64[1]

Chris Evans is really believable as Captain America. It is so easy just to have Steve Rodgers be this generic good guy character but Evans makes this character feel believable. The supporting cast is also good, consisting of Stanley Tucci, Tommy Lee Jones, Sebastian Stan, Dominic Cooper and Hayley Atwell (the latter of which did a particularly good job). Hugo Weaving plays the main villain Red Skull and although he is good (and better than most of the other Marvel villains) he does seem like a standard villain. I don’t know much about Red Skull but I know that he’s basically Captain America’s biggest enemy so it’s unfortunate that he’s not very interesting here.

The-Red-Skull-Captain-America-2[1]

The action scenes of course are well filmed, I especially liked how they incorporated Captain America’s shield. I also liked the look of Captain America’s suit, it feels like a war suit than a goofy looking outfit, something that the first Avengers didn’t get right. The only thing production wise that could’ve been improved was Red Skull’s head. It looked a little goofy and even the 1990 film version looked better. An effect that’s worth mentioning is that at the beginning of the movie, Steve Rodgers looks really skinny before he goes through the experiment and I thought that the effects used to show his change was really impressive.

Chris-Evans-star-as-Steve-Rogers-in-Paramount-Pictures-Captain-America-The-First-Avenger-16[1]

Captain America: The First Avenger was a really good movie. Its sequel, The Winter Soldier, was the movie that really advanced the Marvel series but this first film did do what it set out to do: make audiences take Captain America seriously. Not only that, it had a pretty engaging and interesting story, with good acting and good action. The film could’ve been better if they improved Red Skull but for the most part Captain America: The First Avenger achieves what it set out to do.

Batman Forever (1995) Review

maxresdefault[1]

Batman Forever

Time: 121 Minutes
Age Rating: 120px-OFLCN_-_PG.svg[1] Violence
Cast:
Val Kilmer as Bruce Wayne/Batman
Tommy Lee Jones as Harvey Dent/Two-Face
Jim Carrey as Edward Nygma/The Riddler
Nicole Kidman as Dr. Chase Meridian
Chris O’Donnell as Dick Grayson/Robin
Michael Gough as Alfred Pennyworth
Pat Hingle as James Gordon
Director Joel Schumacher

Batman (Val Kilmer) is back. This time he faces several challenges. Harvey Dent (Tommy Lee Jones) who had acid thrown on his face, Edward Nygma (Jim Carrey) who has invented a device that manipulates human brainwaves and transfers them into his own head, Dr. Chase Maridian (Nicole Kidman), who has a major crush on him and Dick Grayson (Chris O’Dowd), who lost his family at the hands of Two-Face and is taken in by Wayne. Batman now must train Dick Grayson and confront both Two-Face and The Riddler to save Gotham City.

full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1]

Batman Returns wasn’t loved by everyone, mostly due to its even darker tone, as a result, Warner Bros decided to replace Tim Burton with Joel Schumacher in order to have a lighter tone, and they certainly got what they wanted. Batman Forever however isn’t a good film, it’s not without its entertaining moments but it’s not a good movie overall and its style just doesn’t fit Batman.

Batman-forever-movie-screencaps.com-7049[1]

As I said previously, the tone in this movie is much more light-hearted than Burton’s films. First of all there are some pretty cheesy lines in this movie (“Chicks dig the car”). I’ll admit that some of them are enjoyable in a guilty pleasure sort of way but a lot of the time it can get ridiculous. There are also some over the top stuff, for example in order to stop Batman and Robin from coming to their hideout, Two Face and The Riddler play a game of Battleship. I didn’t really buy Edward Nygma’s transformation into The Riddler, as he seems to become The Riddler in his first scene, which doesn’t lead to him being developed at all. I will say that the film surprisingly handled Robin’s story okay, it wasn’t great but it worked for the movie. Overall if you are planning to watch this movie, don’t go in for the story, it’s not a very good one and you can have more fun with how stupid it is.

kilmer2_galeria_23082013_0[1]

Val Kilmer makes for a decent Bruce Wayne, I could buy him as this character but he was a pretty forgettable but okay Batman. Chris O’Donnell was okay, as Robin but he wasn’t very memorable. I really don’t understand why Nicole Kidman was in this movie and something about her performance actually annoyed me a little. Maybe it’s because the ‘romance’ between her and Batman is not plausible in the slightest. The villains are very over the top that’s the problem with Schumacher’s Batman villains. They are all crazy and nothing else. Jim Carrey is playing Jim Carrey in this movie but I can at least give him credit that The Riddler is meant to be kind of nuts, even if this isn’t a good portrayal. The same can’t be said for Tommy Lee Jones, who is so incredibly over the top as Two Face, I’m convinced that he thinks he’s playing the Joker with half his face burnt.

B4n7nphCYAATBBx[1]

As the tone changed with Schumacher’s direction, so did the style, you can see if everywhere from the countless neon lights in this movie to the annoying amounts of Dutch angle shots. The costumes are pretty bad too, and I’m not just talking about the Batman nipples, for example The Riddler looks like he’s wearing Riddler pyjamas, something that a Riddler fan would wear, not the Riddler himself. I guess the only suit that looks okay is the Robin suit, probably because they actually made it look not laughable. The soundtrack is nice but it’s not really the most suitable soundtrack for Batman.

batman-forever-still-2[1]

Batman Forever isn’t the worst batman movie but it’s not a good one either. The villain performances were over the top and the style wasn’t really the best for Batman. But still there are some enjoyable scenes, and a lot of the movie can be considered guilty pleasure material. It is by no means however a good movie, it was still better than Batman and Robin though.

Natural Born Killers (1994)

natural%20born%20killers[1]

Natural Born Killers

Time: 118 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1] Graphic violence
Cast:
Woody Harrelson as Mickey Knox
Juliette Lewis as Mallory Knox
Tom Sizemore as Jack Scagnetti
Robert Downey Jr. as Wayne Gale
Tommy Lee Jones as Dwight McClusky
Director: Oliver Stone

Delivery boy Mickey Knox (Woody Harrelson) falls in love with customer Mallory Wilson (Juliette Lewis). He helps her kill her parents and began their journey down Route 666. Every few miles, they attack everyone within their sight, sparing one person to tell the tale. They are made famous by reporter Wayne Gale (Robert Downey Jr.), while being pursued by the equally sadistic Jack Scagnetti.

full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1]

Oliver Stone is known for controversy in his films and Natural Born Killers is no exception. This film is quite polarizing; I don’t think everyone who watches this movie will like it. For me, it is a great showcase of acting, writing from Oliver Stone and satire. The style may be distracting but Natural Born Killers does have some elements that are great that are worth noting.

natural-born-killers-2[1]

This film is a satire of the media, public opinion, and the modern attitude toward violence (you really need to know that before watching it) and I think Oliver Stone did a pretty good job at delivering in that aspect. One of the elements of the satire is the fact that these serial killers are killing a lot of people and are being made famous by the media, so famous in fact, that they seem to be celebrities among some people. These two main characters are Bonnie and Clyde of the 90s if they were serial killers. This film also has an unconventional plot, along with it being about two serial killers; the plot mostly just follows them, whether that is the past or present. The first act of this movie was pretty good; it established these two characters and their relationship well. In the second act though my interest started decreasing, that point was when I started to find the style quite distracting as well, the film also slowed down quite a bit. The third act however picks up greatly, I won’t spoil what happens but it’s quite exciting and is even better than the first act. Another thing to mention is the fact that a lot of the characters aren’t that likable. Along with Mickey and Mallory (obviously) a lot of other characters are often quite despicable. Sometimes even some of the people that Mickey and Mallory aren’t that likable, with an exception to a few people. This isn’t a flaw with the movie; it’s just worth mentioning it.

natural-born-killers[1]

The acting is superb from everyone. Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis are really believable as these two serial killers who are in love and they really shine in their scenes. Robert Downey Jr. isn’t in the movie a lot but when he’s on screen is absolutely fantastic in his role. Tommy Lee Jones is also seen for a small part near the end of the movie and like Downey Jr., he really makes use of every second of screen time that he has.

Natural-Born-Killers-natural-born-killers-19454737-900-506[1]

The style is very interesting to say the least. Sometimes the camera filters are a different colour, sometimes it is shot on an angle, and sometimes it cuts to some surreal images; it feels like you are on an acid trip. For the first half of the movie I accepted it and I was okay with it as it seemed to fit with the movie. But at the half way point, this style started to be quite distracting to me. I know that a lot of people loved the style: I thought it was good but for me, it got a little tiring after a while, you really need to prepare yourself for this type of movie.

0000430705[1]

Natural Born Killers isn’t a movie that everyone will enjoy. Its style may be distracting, the fact that it’s following characters that aren’t likable (even some of the side characters aren’t that good either) or it might be the violence might repel some people. If you feel like you may like this movie, check it out but be ready for what you are going to see. You’ll either love it or hate it.

JFK (1991)

JFK[1]

JFK

Time: 189 Minutes
Age Rating: 120px-OFLCN_-_PG.svg[1] Offensive Language
Cast:
Kevin Costner as Jim Garrison
Kevin Bacon as Willie O’Keefe
Tommy Lee Jones as Clay Shaw
Joe Pesci as David Ferrie
Laurie Metcalf as Susie Cox
Gary Oldman as Lee Harvey Oswald
Michael Rooker as Bill Broussard
Jay O. Sanders as Lou Ivon
Sissy Spacek as Liz Garrison
Director: Oliver Stone

New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner) investigates the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22 1963 in Dallas, Texas. After looking deep enough, he suspects that there may be more to the story than the public is being told.

full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] full_star[1] Black-Star-Photographic-Agency[1]

The assassination of John F. Kennedy is one of the biggest events in history and one of the most debated topics, especially when it came to conspiracy theories. I honestly didn’t know that much about the assassination before watching this film but after watching this movie it made me want to learn more about it. One of the things that makes JFK even better is the fact that these ‘characters’ are actually real people investigating what happened. The film isn’t just a documentary about possible scenarios of the president’s assassination; it follows Jim Garrison’s investigation. Whatever your thoughts on what happened with the assassination of John F. Kennedy are, this film is still worth a watch.

JFK-movie-costner[1]

It was fascinating watching these real life people investigate the mystery as they try to piece everything together. If there is one thing you should know about JFK before watching it, it’s that it gets more interesting over time. It first builds up the events before the investigation and during those moments, viewers may feel a bit bored, however it is well worth the wait. This movie is also long – at about 3 hours and 10 minutes. The film also has a lot of details; there may be too much information to process at once; so viewers should keep that in mind before viewing it. People will definitely remember some facts more than others. My favourite part of the movie is the final act; it summarises every theory and discovery Garrison has found over the course of his investigation. I won’t spoil any of the scenes that happen in this movie because if you are like me – someone who didn’t know that much about the assassination, you will find all the scenes to be a great surprise.

jfk-1991-movie-screenshot[1]

The acting is top notch from everyone. The cast ranges from Kevin Costner to Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Oldman. All the actors in this movie are playing real life people and they definitely manage to feel like them. It may be easy to miss the acting while paying attention to the investigation but it still is really good and they should be applauded for their performances.

JFK-1[1]

One of the most distinctive and defining things about this movie is the cinematography and the editing. When people make predictions or discover something that happened, it flashes back to the past and is cut in such a way that makes it feel like a documentary. Also, the film sometimes blends archive footage with new scenes with a 60s older look. A good example of great use of it again, is at the end. In the end, the film blends the real life moments recorded on camera in the 60s (such as Kennedy’s assassination) with the possible unseen (filmed for the movie). The soundtrack by John Williams is also great, as all his compositions usually are.

jfk03[1]

This movie should be seen, even just for learning about Jim Garrison’s search for the truth. I won’t mention what the scenario of the assassination is true; those are left up to the viewer. JFK can really get people talking about what they thought really happened, and can give people a different perspective on certain events in history. As someone who isn’t usually that interested or into conspiracy theories, I loved this movie and I recommend it to everyone. It is one of Oliver Stone’s best films.