Tag Archives: Morgan Freeman

Oblivion is a mixed bag

22 Sep

OBLIVION-FILM

Oblivion is a mixed bag that is going to receive a mixed review from FastForwardFilmReviews.com. On the one hand, Adam found the film to be unoriginal and disappointing on many levels. His major criticism is the story and its predictable twists, as well as the under utilized characters, Malcolm Beach (Morgan Freeman) and Julia Rusakova (Olga Kurylenko). Anytime a film has to rely on flashbacks it is in trouble and Oblivion finds itself pressing rewind in many places. On the other hand, Chuck did not mind the story and doesn’t think it clones other films. Joseph Kosinski’s riffing on common sci-fi subjects is not a big deal. Oblivion is noticeably slow-moving and Chuck agrees with Adam about the supporting cast. However, he did not see the twist coming, which has him liking the film much more than Adam, although Chuck was disappointed with the final product. Both agree the visual effects are amazing and Claudio Miranda’s cinematography is gorgeous.

WORD COUNT: 160

Adam’s Grade: C+

Chuck’s Grade: B

The Dark Knight Rises, but only so high

30 Aug

THE-DARK-KNIGHT-RISES
Everything comes to an end in Christopher Nolan’s ambitious conclusion to his Batman Trilogy. Set eight years after The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has become a guilt-ridden recluse content with his tarnished reputation. A powerful, new villain, Bane (Tom Hardy) has a complex plan to destroy Gotham.

The Dark Knight Rises is a good film, but not a great film. Nolan tries to do too much with Bane. A “revolution” of convicts running around didn’t work well in the first film and it doesn’t work in this one either. Anne Hathaway as Catwoman was brilliantly played, but she became one of Nolan’s unnecessary moving parts, although she contribute in the end; she serves as Batman’s deus ex machina rather than something she can stick her claws in.  The expectations were unreasonably high for the third film, but it cannot be used as an excuse for some basic story problems. The Dark Knight Rises, but only so high.

WORD COUNT: 159

Adam’s Grade: B+

Chuck’s Grade for IMAX: B+
Chuck’s Grade for Standard Screen: B-

The Dark Knight is a diabolical masterpiece

29 Aug

THE-DARK-KNIGHT

Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight raises the bar and turns the sequel to Batman Begins into one of the most memorable action films of all time. It exceeded most audience’s expectations because of its complexity, rich story, exhilarating action, and Heath Ledger’s legendary performance as The Joker. No one should ever put on the white make-up again after Ledger’s diabolical performance. Gotham will never be the same and Batman (Christian Bale) had to use everything at his disposal to combat his arch-nemesis.

Even at a running time of over two and a half hours the story and characters have no problem holding audiences’ attention. The visual effects combined with adept sound design/editing elevate the film and become an integral part of the unforgettable masterpiece. The Dark Knight is not only the best superhero film, but one of the most entertaining and satisfying films of all time.

WORD COUNT: 146

Adam’s Grade: A

Chuck’s Grade: A+

Batman Begins an amazing franchise of films

28 Aug

BATMAN-BEGINS

Christopher Nolan’s interpretation of the Batman character has replaced most audiences’ perception of the caped crusader. Thank goodness because I am tired of campy television references and Tim Burton’s expressionist take on the masked vigilante. Nolan’s first installment provides the origin of Batman and Bruce Wayne’s reluctant journey back to Gotham City. Christian Bale is ideal for the part and the film’s antagonists Cillian Murphy (Scarecrow) and Liam Neeson (Henri Ducard) are equally up to the task. The Scarecrow scares audiences with his ghoulish demeanor while Ducard’s cold-blooded crusade are formidable tactics that keep the film from falling into a one-note action flick. Batman is known for his utility belt and Batmobile. Lucious Fox (Morgan Freeman) provides the eye-catching vehicles and gadgets that raise the level of action to new heights for a comic-book film. Nolan creates a realistic superhero with human flaws and weaknesses that audiences can’t get enough of. Batman Begins an amazing franchise of films.

WORD COUNT: 158

Chuck’s Grade: A

Adam’s Grade: A-

RED was not on my radar

19 Jul

RED-FILM

I had no expectations when I saw this film in 2010. It was not on my radar. I had never heard of the comic and I had already seen Morgan Freeman work with Bruce Willis in Lucky Number Slevin. I wasn’t that impressed with that film, but I was willing to give RED a chance because it adds Helen Mirren and John Malkovich to the ensemble of Retired, Extremely Dangerous operatives. I must admit the film was funny and the action sequences were entertaining. Action-comedies are Willis’s bread and butter, but watching the other three film icons participate was difficult to accept at first, but once I was able to let go of my prejudices I must admit the film was very funny and the action sequences were entertaining. However, I would not watch choose to watch it again, unless it was on cable late at night. With that said, I will wait for RED2 to hit REDbox.

WORD COUNT: 157

Chuck’s Grade: B

Adam’s Grade: C

Se7en is so good it could be a sin

18 Oct

David Fincher’s Se7en is one of the most visceral and visually captivating films I’ve ever seen. Darius Khondji (Director of Photography) and Fincher collaborate to create an urban environment that is almost unlivable. William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) is a detective preparing for retirement and his replacement, Det. David Mills (Brad Pitt) is a hot-head transfer that doesn’t understand Somerset’s city. The detectives become involved in a sadistic serial killer case known as John Doe, whose murders methods correspond to the seven deadly sins.

Andrew Kevin Walker’s brilliant script uses some standard crime-thriller fare, but overall writes a unique screenplay that focuses on the aftermath of the murders. His genius is keeping the killer a mystery, until the final thirty minutes, not to mention devising one of the greatest endings of all time. Fincher and Walker have created a dark and unforgettable masterpiece that seduce people into repeated viewings. Se7en is so good it could be a deadly sin.

WORD COUNT: 158

Adam’s Grade: A

Chuck’s Grade: A+

Gone Baby Gone delivers mystery

9 Oct

When I heard that Ben Affleck co-wrote and directed Gone Baby Gone, an adaptation of Denni’ Lehane’s novel, I have to be honest, I was expecting mediocrity. I was relieved and surprised to find a superbly well-written and directed drama about Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck), a frail looking private investigator with a tenacious interior. He and his partner Angela Gennaro (Michelle Monaghan) search for a recently abducted 4-year-old girl.

The movie is tense and presents itself as a puzzle. But it is also able to carry a dramatic weight on its shoulders and deliver a powerful message with “what is right, and what is wrong?” Affleck is able to keep this film engaging like he had been directing for years. Gone Baby Gone does have some minor flaws but as a whole, it is able to be more than just your typical detective movie. It is an intriguing mystery.

Word Count: 149

Adam’s Grade: A-

Chuck’s Grade: A-