The Hunger Games is a film adaptation of the book with the same name. I'll let you know up front that it will probably be better for you to read the book before viewing the film as not everything is explained well upfront. Luckily for me I went with someone who had read it and they explained things as the movie progressed. The plot synopsis that follows is based on this secondhand knowledge that I assume to be correct.
In the not too distant future some "event" has occurred and the world as we know it is radically different. There exists a rich Capitol that is surrounded by twelve districts. At one time the twelve districts unsuccessfully rose up against the Capitol. As sort of a recurring punishment and reminder the Hunger Games were born. From each district one male and one female between the ages of 12 and 18 are chosen to take part in this free for all in which only one victor will emerge. We experience this harsh reality with Katniss a 16 year old girl who through a dramatic turn of events volunteers as "tribute" to take the place of her younger sister. The rest of the film follows her path from her district (#12) to the Hunger Games.
The Hunger Games is one of the best films of the year so far. It is exciting and most importantly it shows the full spectrum of the thing we all know as the human condition. The story that is told is intriguing and gripping. Acting on all parts were very good and the overall art direction of the film was fantastic.
For the most part the CGI was good and is what is expected from such a big budget film.
Overall, The Hunger Games is very enjoyable and I can't wait for the inevitable second movie. Hopefully I will have read the series by then. If you think you can survive it you should definitely......
Project X is probably one of the best party movies that I have seen in a long time. The cast is made up of relatively unknown actors, but for the most part they do fine. I can only say how I felt but I was actually tired after seeing this film, it was almost like I was there (almost).
Go into Silent House with no prior foreknowledge. Know that it is a horror film and it might have been filmed as one long take. It has a twist but you may can figure out the twist before the end. I realize i'm being cryptic but the less you know the better. I was pleasantly surprised by the film and I hope you are too.
21 Jump Street
21 Jump Street is the best comedy of the year so far. The Hollywood re-imagining of the 80's television show doesn't take itself seriously, at all. The entire cast does well and makes the best scenes seem effortless. If you are still on the fence it has a very special cameo. You should definitely....
And now to bring you up to speed with.... The Hunger Games
Chronicle is the type of innovation in the found footage genre that I was talking about. It introduced a new scenario for found footage. The characters were genuine and overall the movie felt like it really happened.
Woman In Black
Woman In Black is a horror movie that is firmly grounded in classic old school horror films. There is no blood and gore, just good suspense and a few jump scares peppered in for extra flavor. While it might not give you nightmares it is good entertainment.
Safe House is probably one of the better spy fiction movies in recent memory. It has plenty of twists and turns, but overall the story stays strong. The action is what is expected from such a film today and audiences will be pleased with the overall experience.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
The next entry in the Ghost Rider franchise is an utter let down. The art direction of the film is what makes it almost unbearable. It doesn't help that Nicholas Cage's portrayal of the main character got progressively worse between the two films. The overall story would have been fine if it was presented in a different way. To the duo that directed this film, (and the Crank movies and unfortunately Gamer) the frenetic disjoint style that you continue to use worked for that one film and that film only. STOP IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! STAND OUTSIDE YOUR LOCAL THEATER AND WARN PEOPLE
Hello everyone! After a long hiatus (which was extended by my extreme laziness) The AJ Movie Review is back. Although my time as of late has been focused on other things, this will still be purely a movie review blog (this may change in the future). With that said reviews might not be in high supply. I will try my best to cover the major films, specifically the ones coming out this summer. Other films will probably be covered in catch-up reviews such as this one. To kick things off I will start with the films I viewed in January. I won't really go into details about the plot of the movies, rather I will give you my opinions of said movie. This is by no means a comprehensive list of what I have seen over the past three months (I'm going by the ticket stubs I could find on my desk).
The Devil Inside
The found footage genre is getting to the point that it needs innovation or it will die soon. Unfortunately, The Devil Inside is not the innovation that is needed. The Exorcist part 46 is predictable and is seldom scary, some of the jump scares were okay though. To make a bad situation worst it ends abruptly (at a point where the film could have gone on to be good) and directs the audience to visit a website for more information. In my opinion it felt like they didn't know how to end the film and just stopped it. Overall, there are better exorcism movies out there.
STAND OUTSIDE YOUR LOCAL THEATER AND WARN PEOPLE
Contraband isn't really your standard heist movie, as most of the film takes place on a cargo ship. There probably is a movie that has done this before, but I haven't seen it. Contraband had a mostly all-star cast and was a refreshing start to my movie year (the above movie doesn't count). Overall, it was a really good movie.
Red Tails is an exciting retelling of the story of the Tuskegee Airmen. While this movie isn't completely accurate in the historical department, it is very entertaining and gripping. The fact that the project was steered by George Lucas only adds to the entertainment value of it all.
Underworld Awakening is in my mind the least of the four current films. The series in one take spiraled into loud long action scenes strung together with a weak plot. In my opinion the story and the world that the previous films wove together was one of its strongest attributes. I also have some gripes about the look and design of the lycans this time through. They are shadows of their former selves and although this may be loosely explained in the movie it was just sad. Let's hope the fifth time around is better.
I honestly don't know how to write the introduction for this review. If you are fuzzy about what the movie is about I would suggest that you watch the trailer a couple of times. To be honest though, that still doesn't give you a complete idea of what this movie is. I can tell you that it is a a mystery movie, well part of it is at least. Having not read the book I didn't know what exactly to expect, but the trailer did pull me in.
This is possibly the best movie of the year. It's high up on my list with Drive. All of the actors performed wonderfully and you felt emotionally invested in the main characters. What I liked most about it is how for the first hour the two main characters are on different, but converging paths. This isn't the first time this has been done before, but the way that it was accomplished here impressed me. I will say a word of warning this movie is rated R for a reason. Some scenes even had me flinching and wanting to turn away.
Overall, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a really good movie. You should definitely ..............GO NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!
The fourth entry in the Mission Impossible film franchise has hit theaters recently. In this film Ethan Hunt and his team of agents are accused of blowing up the Moscow Kremlin. As in the first film the team is disavowed and they are solely responsible for clearing their names and saving the world, all at the same time. Can they do it in time or is this mission truly impossible.... Ghost Protocol is your standard Mission Impossible movie and that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The plot is basically the same as the first movie except it is on a larger world stage. The acting was good on all parts and the CGI effects are what you would expect from a big budget movie like this.
There's nothing negative that I have to say about Ghost Protocol. The fact that it feels like standard spy fiction does make it blend in with all of the other hundreds of movies like it.
If you're an avid MI fan like me you should ...... GO NOW!!!!! If you're not you should probably RENT IT.
As stated in the description of our blog we provide movie reviews for the "common" man. Have you ever been reading a movie review that simply wouldn't tell you whether or not the movie was good? Have you ever read a movie review in which the person reviewing the movie seemed like they expected way too much from the movie? Have you ever read a movie review and thought that the person reviewing the movie acts as if they could have made a WAY better movie? Well, we have. To tell you the truth, we're tired of reading pompous reviews by people not even remotely interested in the subject matter. With that in mind we created the AJ movie review, a movie review blog without the attitude, arrogance, and ignorance.
In today's world who has an extra $9.50 to pay to watch a movie. Certainly not us and you probably don't either, unless you are a millionaire (In which case if you have a couple of hundred dollar bills laying around and you're not using them we would be glad to take them, to fund our endeavor of course). Getting back to the main point though, one should always matinee a movie. It helps you to save money, even if it is only two dollars. Also going to matinee showings almost ensures that no one will be there, unless its a weekend matinee. Bottom lineattend the matinee showing of a movie at all cost.......
Our Rating System
We have a simple way to rate movies. Sure we'll put our two cents in on what we thought of the movie, but at the end of the day we give movies one of the following four ratings.
Go Now- This is given for movies that we believe would be well worth your hard earned money to see. A very good example of this would be The Hunger Games.
Rent It - This is given for a movie that was not worth seeing in theaters, but is still decent enough to rent. An example of this would be Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.
FX/TBS It - This is given for a movie that is not even worth renting, but would be fun to kill a Saturday morning with. A good example of this would be the recent movie Underworld Awakening(For Sci-Fi/Horror the SciFi channel or Chiller will do).
Stand outside your local theater and warn people - This is given for a movie that is so bad that it's not worth your time or ours (although we can't get our money back :-( ). It is very hard to make it to this category. A very good example of this would be Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.