The Butterfly Effect – Movie Review

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A young man blocks out harmful memories of significant events of his life. As he grows up, he finds a way to remember these lost memories and a supernatural way to alter his life.

This is the film that everyone says ‘No, that’s actually really good movie’, but is it really, though?

Yes, yes it is.

Systematically shallow and pointless is what you would call it. However, god is it interesting. You will be dragged into a dark and wonderful place with this film. The time-travel/memory stuff isn’t original, but the twisted memory thing is; and god do I love it. Skipping many narrative beats, often not  a bad thing, the movie feels at the surface actually quite deep, even though its probably not. In essence, the movie is a really good watch story wise and I doubt you will get bored whilst watching it.

Ashton Kutcher is a shining light as far as the adult acting goes here. He is essentially just being Kutcher, which is perfect, because he adds a certain lightness to the role. The rest of the adult cast is pretty dreary and honestly at times quite woeful, although the poor actors are fed some rather forceful lines. The younger cast for me are the highlight, and the moments with them quickly become the most memorable.

The directing is mostly samey, and there isn’t really a presence of excitement, such as a soundtrack, to satisfy aesthetically. And that’s the issue, the interesting premise is ruined by boring cliches. The plot gets far too convoluted for its own good, and drifts into a world where it doesn’t need to be. Its not really tasteless, just very forced to be odd, and it doesn’t succeed in the slightest.

The Butterfly Effect is the sort of movie that is on very late at night, and you can’t help but watch it, because its so god darn interesting… for a bit.

Great foundations for a story and characters, unfortunately ruined by formulaic nonsense. – 3/5

iMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0289879/

Rotten Tomatoes: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/butterfly_effect/

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Elysium – Movie Review

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In the year 2154, the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth. A man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds.

I really really like District 9, and I really really like Neill Blomkamp, So I was excited for this movie, like really really excited. And I gotta say, I was not really really disappointed; just a little bit.

Elysium isn’t really that much like District 9, which I am not sure is a bad or a good thing. It does touch on the social commentary but it’s mostly lost in action thrills. And, the action thrills are actually great, Blomkamp has real style when making an action scene. He does this really cool thing of slowing it down then wrapping the camera around before speeding it up. Brilliant. Although, the action scenes were great, I think they were over used and it lost what was so great about District 9 – the plot.

The plot feels scattered towards the end, and they try to throw so much in towards the end. I also don’t like that suddenly the little story of a guy trying stay alive changed to a huge cliche about an ill child. I was all for the everyday guy, who isn’t that good of a guy, going up to the ‘happy place’ to not die and then maybe end up saving the ‘unhappy place’ but the ill child? Who cares? The writing is kinda hit and miss; there’s a lot of misplaced lines which I think made me dislike some of the acting.

Matt Damon as the protagonist Max is great as he always is and his character was probably my favourite thing about the film. Alice Braga is ok but like I said, her part of the story with her ill daughter just felt like a huge cliche. I didn’t particularly like Jodie Foster as a villain; she was very wooden and didn’t seem to really care about what was going on – she was also the only person that can’t blame the writing. As well as that I didn’t particularly like Sharlto Copley in this movie, but I think it was down to poor writing as his lines just felt completely out of the blue sometimes – he was also part of the ‘throw everything in towards the end’ club. Other people to note are Wagner Moura as ‘rebellion leader’ spider who I thought was very funny at times and William Fichtner had a nice little part.

This isn’t a bad movie, not in the slightest. I really enjoyed it, I thought the surface plot was good and the gang sub plot was cool, Matt Damon was great as Max and Max was very cool as well. Even though, the writing was inconsistent Blomkamp’s actually directing was superb and like I said it had style. It just wasn’t what I was expecting.

Often inconsistently written and acted, Elysium is a good Sci-Fi action movie, but it’s just not District 9 – 3/5

WATCH.

Savages – Movie Review

Pot growers Ben and Chon face off against the Mexican drug cartel who kidnapped their shared girlfriend.

This is one of those films that I just randomly put on out of the blue. It wasn’t carefully handpicked, so lets just say I didn’t have great expectations. Directed by Oliver Stone, you have to give props to him – this film has an actual style! Rarely do we see it and often is it overdone or misused; but in this film I quite liked Stone’s work. His action scenes are still some of the best and honestly I would have liked to see more of them in this picture. However it was pretty obvious from the start that Stone was trying to put across some distorted message, that was pretty much lost until the last 5 minutes of the film. And even though the story was more or less what we’ve seen before, it was different enough to keep you interested.

Everyone in the cast was fine, despite me still not feeling Aaron Taylor Johnson (Ben) as an actual actor, and Salma Hayek was a pretty ordinary villain. Thank god, this is counter-parted by a simply evil and wonderful performance from Benicio Del Toro who was the true bad-guy in the movie and by far the stand out performer. Oh, and one of the highlights in the movie for me was John Travolta and his character as the dodgy DEA officer – he was hilarious at the best of times and had somewhat of an emotional backing.

The ending to this movie will definitely unease you like it did me, though I feel I enjoyed where the story finally ended up. And the middle bore and basic acting can be forgiven with some nice cinematography and writing. However this film at the face of it is very shallow and often too odd for its own good.

This movie is entertaining enough to keep you listening to the message Stone is trying to put across – 3/5

WATCH.

Kick Ass 2 – Film Review

The costumed high-school hero Kick-Ass joins with a group of normal citizens who have been inspired to fight crime in costume. Meanwhile, the Red Mist plots an act of revenge that will affect everyone Kick-Ass knows. 

Let me first off say that I loved Kick Ass, really loved it. So, I was pretty excited when I heard there was a sequel on it’s way. And I can’t really say that I was disappointed by Kick Ass 2, but I can say that it’s certainly not as good as the first one.

The film takes a whole new plot line, keeping the same characters, but on a different road. I like this, it means that Kick Ass wasn’t just an origin story and Kick Ass 2 wasn’t just a tougher battle for our unlikely heroes. However, I feel like the story took some routes that didn’t seem to make any sense or be that interesting. For starters, even though Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) was bloody hilarious and had some great lines, his story didn’t really have any gravity to it. He wasn’t really evil enough and his little crew of super-villains  didn’t perform on the size or level it apparently cracked up to be. I don’t want to spoil anything but they obviously toned it down from the comics, just check out the wiki page. It’s not like it was bad, it just felt empty. Maybe the film could have had an extra 25 minutes? Another thing that bugged me was the high school Mindy (Chloë Grace Moretz) plot line. As hot as that blonde girl was, I wasn’t interested in the annoying popular girls thing. Also, the climax to that plot line was just bizarre and really not that funny.

Despite what I’ve just droned on about, I mostly did like the story. It was fairly original and intriguing. I thought the fact that Hitgirl wasn’t invisible was cool and Kick Ass’s transformation into a not-so-shit superhero was good fun to watch. I also laughed a ton.  The writing was mostly sound but some of the iconic swearing wasn’t really put to use in this film.

The directing was good in this movie and the film really looked like it had style like the first one. With a new director coming in though, the film almost lost what was great in the first one, and that’s iconic action scenes. I mean, the flashing lights scene in Kick Ass 1 was absolutely mesmerizing. The film does have iconic scenes in it, maybe not to the level of the first film, but some definite memorable ones. Such as the Poker game bust and especially the attack on the funeral, which was bloody awesome. One of the things I adored from the first film was the music, and it was just as good as the first one; apart from maybe one or two dodgy pop tunes. The soundtrack once again worked really well with action scenes, and made everything that bit more exciting.

Most of the cast from the first movie were really good and believable. Aaron Taylor-Johnson was still awkward and he has this great ability to make other people funny, this could be also due to the writing, but I’d like to think it was him. Apart from some lame parts in the middle, Chloë Grace Moretz was really fun and really emotionally believable in the more dramatic parts. Like I said earlier Christopher Mintz-Plasse was hilarious and honestly looked like he was having fun being a cunt. The one guy that I thought was brilliant was Jim Carrey. He get’s lost in this role and has a great presence in the film, however he could have been in it a tad bit longer, we didn’t get enough Carrey magic. The Only disappointing thing about the acting was that we lost Evan Peters as Todd, and his replacement was, well, awful.

3/5 – I feel bad marking down on a film for plot lines that I didn’t like as if it was in the comics, it will be in the movie for the most part; otherwise this would be maybe a 2. If I went through the film bit by bit, I could pick out loads of things that I didn’t like, however this movie was far from bad. It looked nice, had great acting, and was genuinely really funny and obviously not the end of the story. Making me even more excited for the next Kick Ass movie.

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