Galaxy Quest (1999): A Guilty Pleasure

Galaxy Quest Movie Poster

 

 

Synopsis:

 

The alumni cast of a space opera television series have to play their roles as the real thing when an alien race needs their help.

 

Guilty Pleasure Qualities:

 

Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, and Tony Shalhoub at the top of their game. Top-notch special effects. Hilarious script. Good pace.

 

Guilty Pleasure Level:

 

Moderate (Revisited once every two years)

 

Director:

 

Dean Parisot

 

Cast:

 

  • Tim Allen (as Jason Nesmith)
  • Sigourney Weaver (as Gwen DeMarco)
  • Alan Rickman (as Alexander Dane)
  • Tony Shalhoub (as Fred Kwan)
  • Sam Rockwell (as Guy Fleegman)
  • Daryl Mitchell (as Tommy Webber)
  • Enrico Colantoni (as Mathesar)

 

Runtime:

 

1 hour and 42 minutes

 

Genres:

 

Action / Adventure / Comedy / Sci-Fi

 

Stills:

 

Galaxy Quest Movie Still 1
Galaxy Quest Movie Still 2
Galaxy Quest Movie Still 3
Galaxy Quest Movie Still 4
Galaxy Quest Movie Still 5

 

 

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Interstellar (2014): A mini-review / بين النجوم (2014): نقد فني مختصر

Interstellar Movie Poster

 

 

Review / نقد فني مختصر

 

 

Ever since The Dark Knight Rises elegantly tied up his landmark Batman trilogy almost three years ago, there was a lot of excitement and intrigue surrounding Christopher Nolan's next project, Interstellar. Well, after watching it a few days ago, it is safe to say that this is yet another winner from one of cinema's modern maestros. With a truly star-studded cast, a complex-yet-gripping screenplay, and simply majestic direction, Interstellar is not only one of 2014's best films, but one of the greatest films ever made.

One of Interstellar's winning factors is its wonderful cast. Lead by Matthew McConaughey, an actor in the midst of a terrific run of roles both on film and television, the motion picture is filled with characters who come to life immediately and connect powerfully with the audience, thanks to the actors. McConaughey's character, Cooper, is a complex man who is growing ever restless with the world, pushing himself to explore the wilderness that is outer space. An urge for exploration that takes him through what can only be described as one of cinema's most thought-provoking and mesmerizing journeys. Other excellent roles in the film that deserve mention include those of Anne Hathaway (Brand); Jessica Chastain (Murph); Michael Caine (Professor Brand); Mackenzie Foy (Young Murph); and one more superb casting decision that I hope will entertain viewers with their well-timed presence as much as they did me.

The film's strongest asset, though, is without question its director Christopher Nolan. Working with a script co-written by his brother Jonathan Nolan, Christopher is able to concoct a science-fiction motion picture that builds on all the classics that came before it. Indeed, Nolan not only builds on them but creates a unique vision that honors those films whilst keeping his directorial style intact. Interstellar is also blessed with multiple well-shot scenes that are awe-inspiring and utterly breathtaking, mainly thanks to Nolan and his cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema.

Ultimately, it is Interstellar's sheer love for adventure and exploration that drives it forward and keeps viewers mesmerized during its nearly three-hour runtime. Director Christopher Nolan once again cements his position as one of cinema's grandest visionaries with a motion picture that is unlike anything we have seen. It does share a lot with previous classics, particularly Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), but is brave enough to go further and give us all the chance to stare into space with all its majesty and wonder about its many mysteries. And because of that, Interstellar will continue to be relevant and cherished by all film lovers for decades to come. A magnificent cinematic triumph.

 

منذ قيام المخرج المبدع كريستوفر نولان بانهاء ثلاثيته الخاصة برجل الوطواط بأسلوب أنيق و ذكي منذ ما يقرب ثلاث سنوات، كان جمهور السينما متشوق لمشاهدة مشروعه الفيلمي التالي “بين النجوم” و الذي حاطته السرية و الغموض التام، كعادة أفلام هذا المخرج. ولكن بعد مُشاهدتي للفيلم، تيقنت ان كريستوفر نولان هو حقاً أحد أهم السينمائيين الذين أنتجتهم هوليوود في الفترة الحديثة. هذا الفيلم الرائع يجمع كوكبة من نجوم السينما، سيناريو غني و سلس، و اخراج مبدع، مما يجعل “بين النجوم” ليس فقط أحد أفضل أفلام 2014، ولكن واحداً من أعظم الأفلام التي شاهدتها على الإطلاق

من العوامل الرئيسية التي جعلت فيلم “بين النجوم” بهذه الجودة العالية هي مجموعة الممثلين المميزين التي شاركت فيه. بقيادة ماثيو ماكونهي، وهو الممثل الذي يعيش أفضل فتراته الفنية من خلال اختياره لأدوار ممتازة سواء في السينما او التلفزيون، يتمكن الفيلم من إظهار شخصيات واقعية عديدة و التي يتفاعل معها الجمهور طوال أحداث الفيلم. يلعب ماكونهي شخصية 'كوبر'، الرجل المعقد الذي يتزايد قلقه من الأحداث التي تجري في العالم مما يدفعه لاستكشاف الفضاء الخارجي المجهول. هذه الرغبة الجارفة لمعرفة ما يخبئه الفضاء تأخذ فضول 'كوبر' الى واحدة من أكثر الرحلات الشيقة و المثيرة للتفكير في تاريخ السينما. الأدوار الأخرى الجديرة بالذكر في فيلم “بين النجوم” هي آن هاثاواي (في دور 'براند')؛ جيسيكا شاستاين (في دور 'مورفي')؛ مايكل كين (في دور 'البروفيسور براند')؛ ماكنزي فوي (في دور 'مورفي' الطفلة)؛ هذا بالإضافة الى دور سري يقوم به ممثل موهوب يظهر من خلاله في وقت مهم من أحداث الفيلم بطريقة ملفتة و مؤثرة للغاية

بكل تأكيد يبقى أهم عنصر في نجاح فيلم “بين النجوم” هو المخرج العبقري كريستوفر نولان. يقوم نولان بنسج فيلم خيال علمي مبتكر يمجد من خلاله الأفلام الكلاسيكية التي سبقته بأسلوب راقي و من خلال سيناريو ذكي و محكم كتبه كريستوفر مع أخيه جوناثان نولان. كريستوفر لا يفعل ذلك فقط و لكنه يخلق رؤية سينمائية فريدة تكرم تلك الأفلام الخالدة مع البقاء على أسلوبه السلس و المبهر. بالإضافة الى ذلك، فإن فيلم “بين النجوم” محظوظ بإمتلاكه مشاهد خلابة عديدة تذهل المشاهدين و تحبس أنفاسهم، بفضل إدارة المخرج نولان مرة اخرى و المصور السينمائي للفيلم، هويت فان هويتيما

في نهاية المطاف، فإن رسالة فيلم “بين النجوم” المحبة للمغامرة والاستكشاف هي التي تبقي على اهتمام المشاهدين طوال مدة عرضه التي تقرب الثلاث ساعات تقريبا و التي تؤكد مرة أخرى براعة مخرجه كريستوفر نولان و حقيقة أنه واحدا من أساتذة السينما الذي صنع هنا فيلم روائي لا مثيل له. هذا الفيلم بلا شك استفاد من الكلاسيكيات السابقة، ولا سيما فيلم ستانلي كوبريك الأسطوري “2001: أوديسا الفضاء” (1968)، ولكنه يذهب أبعد من اي فيلم آخر في إعطائنا الفرصة للانغماس في عالم الفضاء الساحر و المليء بالعديد من الأسرار. وبذلك، سيستمر “بين النجوم” بكونه فيلم جدير بالمشاهدة من قبل جميع محبي السينما لعقود كثيرة قادمة. إنه ببساطة عمل سينمائي الرائع

 

MATM Rating | تقدير مو و الأفلام

 

 

Director | المخرج

 

Christopher Nolan / كريستوفر نولان

 

Trailer | إعلان الفيلم

 

 

Outstanding performances | الأدوار المميزة

 

Matthew McConaughey (Cooper) / ماثيو ماكوناهي في دور كوبر

 

Runtime | مدة الفيلم

 

2 hours and 49 minutes / ساعتين و تسعة و أربعون دقيقة

 

Rating | تصنيف الفيلم

 

PG-13 / ليس لمن دون سن الثالثة عشر

 

Genres | نوعية الفيلم

 

Adventure / Science-Fiction | مغامرة / خيال علمي

 

Stills | لقطات الفيلم

 

Interstellar Movie Still 1
Interstellar Movie Still 2
Interstellar Movie Still 3
Interstellar Movie Still 4
Interstellar Movie Still 5
Interstellar Movie Still 6

 

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014): A mini-review | حراس المجرة (2014): نقد فني مختصر

 

Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Poster

 

 

Review | نقد فني

 

This must have been quite the big risk. Marvel Studios, who successfully launched a whole host of their iconic comic-book superheroes – Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America, to name just a few – onto the silver screen over the past few years, take a substantial gamble by kicking-off a new franchise full of unknown characters, actors, and story-lines. It could have been a multi-million dollar disaster but, thankfully, their gamble has paid off wonderfully, making Guardians of the Galaxy one of 2014’s most entertaining and exuberant cinematic experiences so far.

Under the supervision of director James Gunn, a relative unknown himself with no major acclaimed film to his name, Guardians of the Galaxy is able to capture viewers’ attention from the very first frame. Bolstered by an impressive and catchy 1980s-inspired soundtrack, the film instantly gives off an air of fun and enjoyment that it miraculously manages to sustain throughout. Gunn truly does a masterful job in introducing the main characters of the film – Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) – allowing each of them enough space to connect and resonate with the audience. It is simply a fantastic effort from a director who will surely look to keep the spotlight on him in coming years.

Special effects in Guardians of the Galaxy naturally take center stage, especially since two of the film’s main characters – Rocket and Groot – are entirely computer-generated imaginations. How James Gunn’s technical team has been able to give incredible life and spirit to both of these characters remains a wonder to me, and certainly to many viewers as well. They have done a superlative job in making sure film-goers are unable to keep their eyes away from two characters who are soon to join the ranks of cinema’s most charismatic and memorable characters ever. Brilliant work all-around.

Launching a brand new franchise was always going to be a daunting task. However, director James Gunn makes it all seem too easy and passes with flying colors. He has delivered a motion picture that is not only for comic book fans, but one that any lover of cinema will surely enjoy. Guardians of the Galaxy deftly mixes drama, comedy, science-fiction, and action, resulting in a non-stop, two-hour roller-coaster ride that comes highly recommended for any film lover. An astonishing achievement, indeed.

 

بعد إطلاق استوديوهات مارفل لسلسلة أفلامها الأبطال الخارقين ‘الرجل الحديدي’، ‘ثور’، و ‘كابتن أمريكا’ – و اللاتي جميعها لاقت نجاحاً باهراً سواء من قبل النقاد او الجمهور – فإنها هنا تقوم بمخاطرة كبيرة بالفعل بإطلاق سلسلة افلام جديدة مليئة بشخصيات مغمورة يقوم بأدائها ممثلين شباب من خلال قصص غير مألوفة. كان من الممكن أن تكون هذه المغامرة كارثة فادحة تؤدي الى خسارة الاستوديو ملايين الدولارات، ولكن، لحسن الحظ، إنها كانت مغامرة محسوبة حيث أن فيلم “حراس المجرة” رائع بالفعل و يعد بلا شك من أفضل و أكثر التجارب السينمائية تسلية و متعة في 2014 حتى الآن

مخرج الفيلم جيمس غن – الذي بدوره غير معروف حيث انه لم يخرج اي فيلم سابق لاقى اهتماماً يذكر – و قد نجح من خلال فيلم “حراس المجرة” في جذب انتباه المشاهدين بشكل لافت، الأمر الذي عززته موسيقى الفيلم المستوحاة من أغاني عقد الثمانينات المؤثرة و الحيوية. استطاع الفيلم من بث جو مليء بالمرح والمتعة طوال عرضه مما يثير الإعجاب حقاً. يقدم المخرج عملاً بارعاً في تقديم الشخصيات الرئيسية في الفيلم – ‘بيتر كويل’ (كريس برات)، ‘جامورا’ (زوي سالدانا)، ‘روكيت’ (صوت برادلي كوبر)، و ‘غروت’ (صوت فين ديزل) – و قد تمكن من منح كل شخصية المساحة الكافية للتواصل مع الجمهور و التأثير فيه. جهد رائع من مخرج ننتظر منه الكثير بالتأكيد في السنوات المقبلة

المؤثرات البصرية في “حراس المجرة” تستحوذ بالطبع على الاهتمام الأكبر و هي عامل رئيسي في نجاح الفيلم، خاصة و أن اثنين من الشخصيات الرئيسية في الفيلم – ‘روكيت’ و ‘غروت’ – مصمما بالكامل بفضل أحدث تكنولوجيا المؤثرات البصرية. تمكن الفريق الفني للمخرج جيمس غن من إعطاء الحياة و الروح لكلتا الشخصيتين بطريقة مذهلة تثير الإعجاب حقاً. أتوقع انضمام ‘روكيت’ و ‘غروت’ الى مصاف الشخصيات السينمائية الخالدة ذو الكاريزما العالية

إطلاق سلسلة سينمائية جديدة و غير معروفة دائما ما تكون مهمة شاقة. ومع ذلك، فإن المخرج جيمس غن يجعل كل المصاعب و التحديات تبدو سهلة جداً و ينجح في تجاوزها جميعاً. فيلم “حراس المجرة” ليس فقط لعشاق افلام الشخصيات الخارقة، ولكنه فيلم ممتاز قادر على إمتاع كل محبي عالم السينما. هذا الفيلم المميز يمزج ببراعة الدراما والكوميديا ​​والخيال العلمي والحركة و لا تتوقف أحداثه الشيقة طوال ساعتين كاملتين. إنه إنجاز مذهل بالفعل

 

MATM Rating | تقدير مو و الأفلام

 

 

Director | المخرج

 

James Gunn / جايمس جان

 

Trailer | إعلان الفيلم

 

 

Outstanding performances | الأدوار المميزة

 

Chris Pratt (Peter Quill) / كريس برات في دور بيتر كويل

Zoe Saldana (Gamora) / زوي سالدانا في دور جامورا

Bradley Cooper (as the voice of Rocket) / برادلي كوبر كصوت روكيت

Vin Diesel (as the voice of Groot) / فين ديزل كصوت جروت

 

Runtime | مدة الفيلم

 

2 hours and 1 minute / ساعتين و دقيقة

 

Rating | تصنيف الفيلم

 

PG-13 / ليس لمن دون سن الثالثة عشر

 

Genres | نوعية الفيلم

 

Action / Adventure / Science-Fiction | حركة / مغامرة / خيال علمي

 

Stills | لقطات الفيلم

 

Guardians of the Galaxy Still 1

 

 

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014): A mini-review

 

Synopsis:

 

The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.

 

Review:

 

This is quite the big risk. Marvel Studios, who successfully launched a whole host of their iconic superheroes – Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America, to name just a few – over the past few years, take a substantial risk by kicking-off a new franchise full of unknown characters, stars, and story-lines. It could have been a multi-million dollar disaster but, thankfully, their gamble has paid off and easily delivered one of 2014's most entertaining and exuberant cinematic experiences so far.

Under the supervision of director James Gunn, a relative unknown with no major acclaimed film, Gaurdians of the Galaxy is able to capture viewers' attention from the very first frame. Bolstered by an impressive and catchy soundtrack, the film instantly gives off an air of fun and enjoyment. Gunn does a masterful job in introducing the main characters of the film – Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Rocket Racoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) – allowing each of them enough space to connect and resonate with the audience. A fantastic effort by a director who will surely look to keep the spotlight on him in coming years.

Special effects in Guardians of the Galaxy naturally takes center stage, especially since two of the film's main characters – Rocket Racoon and Groot – are entirely computer-generated imaginations. How James Gunn's technical team has been able to give incredible life and spirit to both of these characters remains a wonder to me. They have done a superlative job in making sure viewers are unable to keep their eyes away from two of cinema's most charismatic and fascinating characters ever. Brilliant work.

Launching a brand new franchise was always going to be a daunting task. However, director James Gunn has passed with flying colors. He has delivered a motion picture that is not only for comic book fans, but one that any lover of cinema will surely enjoy. It deftly mixes drama, comedy, science-fiction, and action, resulting in a non-stop, two-hour roller-coaster ride that comes highly recommended for any film lover. An astonishing achievement.

 

MATM Rating:

 

 

Director:

 

James Gunn

 

Trailer:

 

 

Outstanding performances:

 

  • Chris Pratt (Peter Quill)
  • Zoe Saldana (Gamora)
  • Bradley Cooper (as the voice of Rocket Racoon)
  • Vin Diesel (as the voice of Groot)

 

Runtime:

 

2 hours and 1 minute

 

Rating:

 

PG-13

 

Genres:

 

Action / Adventure / Science-Fiction

 

Stills:

 

 

Godzilla (2014): A mini-review

Godzilla 2014 Movie Poster

Synopsis:

 

The world’s most famous monster is pitted against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.

 

Review:

 

Ever since Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim first premiered last year, the ‘monster movie’ sub-genre has seen quite the revival boasted by encouraging responses from critics and audiences alike. This year’s monster movie of choice, Gareth Edwards’s Godzilla remake, looks to continue that surprising run as it too succeeds in delivering a superbly entertaining action film.

After the miserable failure of the 1998 reboot, many expected this latest Godzilla remake to flop and not live up to expectations but it does so, in spades. Edwards’s direction is top notch as his camera does an admirable job in bringing the massive action set-pieces to life and in a highly realistic manner, allowing his audience to be engaged and lose themselves to his intense and adrenaline-inducing film. There are also many actors who stood out for me in Godzilla: Bryan Cranston (Joe Brody) as the deranged man who goes to incredible lengths to uncover the ‘truth’; Ken Watanabe (Dr. Ishiro Serizawa) who depicts the caring scientist looking for a deeper meaning in all the chaos that has inflicted the world; Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Ford Brody) depicting Joe’s son who has long been scarred by his father’s psychotic episodes and looks to focus solely on the well-being of his young son and wife, the latter played very well by Elizabeth Olsen (Elle Brody).

Though the human characters still left some room for development, it is the special effects of the monsters that takes center stage here, and rightfully so. The visual effects team working with Edwards are able to give us viscerally-real and frightening monsters that strike the right amounts of fear and fascination with viewers; basically, the action scenes in Godzilla are nothing short of jaw-dropping. A lot of respect needs to be given to Edwards for the fact that he opts to build the tension with the audience and only revealing the monsters at the right moments, making all that wait and anticipation pay off in the best and most effective of ways. Simply put, Godzilla is a highly-entertaining summer blockbuster that is much more than just a continuous explosion of special effects. It is a really good movie.

 

MATM Rating:

 

 

Director:

 

Gareth Edwards

 

Trailer:

 

 

Outstanding performances:

 

  • Bryan Cranston (as Joe Brody)
  • Aaron Taylor-Johnson (as Ford Brody)
  • Ken Watanabe (as Dr. Ishiro Serizawa)
  • Elizabeth Olsen (as Elle Brody)

 

Runtime:

 

2 hours and 3 minutes

 

Rating:

 

PG-13

 

Genres:

 

Action / Adventure / Science-Fiction

 

Stills:

 

Godzilla 2014 cinematography
Godzilla 2014 cinematography still 2
Godzilla 2014 Bryan Cranston Aaron Taylor-Johnson Joe Ford Brody
Godzilla 2014 Ken Watanabe
Godzilla 2014 cinematography still 3
Godzilla 2014 cinematography still 4

 

Transcendence (2014): A mini-review

Transcendence Movie Poster


Synopsis:

 

As Dr. Will Caster works toward his goal of creating an omniscient, sentient machine, a radical anti-technology organization fights to prevent him from establishing a world where computers can transcend the abilities of the human brain.

 

Mini-Review:

 

Going into a new Johnny Depp-led film has been a gamble in recent years, one must admit. The once-venerable actor, whose last memorable and noteworthy role was 2007's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, is now on an unenviable streak of poor performances that have done their share in diminishing his remarkable career. Alas, his work in Wally Pfister's Transcendence is just the latest addition in what has become an unfortunate series of film roles.

Pfister, who has collaborated as cinematographer with the outstanding Christopher Nolan on many of his classics, starts off his directorial career with a high-concept science-fiction motion picture that asks some very big questions but never really makes an effort in giving any sort of answers to his audience, not even slightly. Though he possesses a talented cast comprising of Depp, Morgan Freeman, Rebecca Hall, Cillian Murphy, Paul Bettany, and Kate Mara, Pfister fails to let them shine and ends up making them all seem distant and unable to connect with viewers. However, it is the film's script that proves to be most problematic. The plot has some merits to it but progresses in a rather unnecessarily complex way that makes the whole experience seem like an ego-driven trip by its director, rather than with the goal to entertain and intellectually-stimulate viewers. The film straddles a tightrope the whole way through and always seems to be on the verge of collapsing, even with its gorgeous, and often mesmerizing, cinematography, curiously not by Pfister.

Sought as the movie's saving grace, Johnny Depp, too, is a shadow of his vibrant and energetic self, giving us, instead, a cold, odd, and boring performance that makes me wonder why he even took up the role in the first place. So, despite my hopes of it being a return-to-form for Depp, Transcendence is a disappointing and forgettable motion picture.

 

MATM Rating:

 

 

Director:

 

Wally Pfister

 

Trailer:

 

 

Runtime:

 

1 hour and 59 minutes

 

Rating:

 

PG-13

 

Genres:

 

Drama / Mystery / Sci-Fi

 

Stills:

 

Johnny Depp Transcendence
Johnny Depp Transcendence Rebecca Hall Paul Bettany
Paul Bettany Rebecca Hall Transcendence
Johnny Depp Transcendence Cillian Murphy Morgan Freeman Rebecca Hall
Johnny Depp Transcendence Still 2

 

RoboCop (1987): A Guilty Pleasure

Robocop 1987 Movie Poster

 

Synopsis:

 

In a dystopic and crime-ridden Detroit, a terminally wounded cop returns to the force as a powerful cyborg haunted by submerged memories.

 

Guilty Pleasure Qualities:

 

Creative visual effects. Cheesy and cringe-worthy dialogue. Peter Weller as RoboCop. The soundtrack. The campy atmosphere.

 

Guilty Pleasure Level:

 

Moderate (Revisited once every two years)

 

Director:

 

Paul Verhoeven

 

Cast:

 

  • Peter Weller (as Officer Alex J. Murphy / RoboCop)
  • Nancy Allen (as Officer Anne Lewis)

 

Runtime:

 

1 hour and 42 minutes

 

Genres:

Action / Crime / Sci-Fi

 

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014): A mini-review

 
Captain America The Winter Soldier Movie Poster


Synopsis:

 

Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and battles a new threat from old history: the Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier.

 

Review:

 

I have to admit that I was not overly impressed with Captain America: The First Avenger, which premiered back in 2011. It might have had an interesting lead in Chris Evans as the titular character but I found the film to be a conventional, tired, and unsurprising affair, one I hoped not to experience again with its sequel. Gladly, not only is Captain America: The Winter Soldier a much better film, but I would already rank it amongst the best superhero films I have seen in recent years.

The characters, namely the heroic Captain America (Evans), intelligent Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), witty Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), and sinister Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) are fully fleshed-out that they provide viewers with a far more engrossing movie experience than the original ever did. The story, too, is a political thriller wrapped around a superhero universe that has expanded impressively well since the instant-classic The Avengers (2012). Captain America: The Winter Soldier's narrative progresses steadily without losing a single beat and drives the plot towards an explosive, twist-filled finale that has left me smiling and nearly breathless. Directing duo, and brothers, Anthony and Joe Russo deserve a round of applause for being able to let the film flow as smoothly and briskly as it does. They not only gave their actors the required space to flourish, but also made every scene count, with plenty of well-choreographed fights and exciting action set-pieces ensuring audiences are kept gripped to the screen.

I am quite surprised by how much I ended up liking this movie but I think it has done more than enough to warrant such high praise. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is surely not to be missed by any film-goer and is already one of 2014's earliest contenders for action film of the year.

 

MATM Rating:

 

 

Directors:

 

Anthony Russo and Joe Russo

 

Trailer:

 

 

Outstanding performances:

 

  • Chris Evans (as Steve Rogers / Captain America)
  • Scarlett Johansson (as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow)
  • Samuel L. Jackson (as Nick Fury)
  • Robert Redford (as Alexander Pierce)

 

Runtime:

 

2 hours and 16 minutes

 

Rating:

 

PG-13

 

Genres:

 

Action / Adventure / Sci-Fi / Superhero

 

Stills:

 

Captain America The Winter Soldier Still 7 Chris Evans
Captain America The Winter Soldier Still 6 Chris Evan Scarlett Johansson
Captain America The Winter Soldier Still 5 Chris Evans Samuel L Jackson
Captain America The Winter Soldier Still 4 Chris Evans Robert Redford
Captain America The Winter Soldier Still 3
Captain America The Winter Soldier Still 2 Robert Redford Samuel L Jackson
Captain America The Winter Soldier Still 1
 

 

Men in Black (1997): A Guilty Pleasure

Men in Black Movie Poster

 

 

Synopsis:

 

A streetwise NYPD detective joins a secret organization that polices extraterrestrial affairs on Earth.

 

Guilty Pleasure Qualities:

 

Tommy Lee Jones’s witty lines. Will Smith’s wacky and infectious performance. The creative and vibrant special effects. The “Memory Eraser”. The iconic theme song.

 

Guilty Pleasure Level:

 

High (Revisited once a year)

 

Director:

 

Barry Sonnenfeld

 

Cast:

 

  • Tommy Lee Jones (as Kay)
  • Will Smith (as Jay)

 

Runtime:

 

1 hour and 38 minutes

 

Genres:

 

Comedy / Sci-Fi

 

 

Divergent (2014): a mini-review

 
Divergent Movie Poster


Synopsis:

 

In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she's Divergent and won't fit in. When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, Tris and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it's too late.

 

Review:

 

After the recent phenomenal success of The Hunger Games (2012) and its sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013), it was really only a matter of time before other books of a similar nature would be adapted and brought to the silver screen. Unfortunately, the latest such film, Divergent, based on the book with the same name by author Veronica Roth, is quite the disappointment. The film takes place in a dystopian society set in Chicago where its inhabitants have been broken up into five distinctive factions, each focused on a specific set of human traits. The lead heroine, Triss, is played by Shailene Woodley, who impressed me in her film debut via Alexander Payne's The Descendants (2011), is such a poorly-drawn character that I had a hard time connecting with her ordeal. There really is nothing that Triss does in the film that makes me fear for her safety or rise to support her, that is a shame seeing as Woodley is a young and talented actress with a bright future ahead. She is joined by Theo James, of Downton Abbey (2010-present) fame, who plays Four, the lead mentor of the athletic Dauntless faction. James, too, suffers from sub-par character development which he tries to overcome through his charisma but ultimately fails. Other than the acting, the production design, music, and cinematography are decent, but nothing special. Divergent just gives me this overwhelming feeling of being a badly-executed The Hunger Games rip-off that does nothing to build excitement and energy with its audience. That is a true shame as the few and rare redeeming moments in the movie hinted at the potential director Neil Burger could have explored. Instead, what viewers end up with is a below-average motion picture that will be soon forgotten.

 

MATM Rating:

 

 

Director:

 

Neil Burger

 

Trailer:

 

 

Runtime:

 

2 hours and 19 minutes

 

Rating:

 

PG-13

 

Genres:

 

Action / Adventure / Sci-Fi

 

Stills:

 

Shailene Woodley Theo James Still 1
Shailene Woodley Theo James Still 2
Shailene Woodley Theo James Still 3
Shailene Woodley Theo James Still 4
Shailene Woodley Zoë Kravitz