Tag Archives: action movie

Hungry’s Movie Reviews: Pacific Rim (2013)

Guillermo del Toro is one of my favorite directors. Blade II, Hellboy, Hellboy II, and Pan’s Labyrinth are four of my favorite movies of all time. They all crack the top 100 list and Pan’s Labyrinth is no doubt in my top 10 for what I consider to be the best movies of all time. Now, I am not a critic with a degree in theatre and cinema or anything along those lines, but I love movies and I have a huge imagination. Everyone is free to enjoy a movie and Guillermo del Toro has provided me with many movies that I enjoy a lot! Pacific Rim might not make it higher on the list then the four movies already mentioned but it was enjoyable. Let’s talk about what made the movie only enjoyable, what could have made it better, and where it faltered.

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The movie was simply too long. Alana and I agreed that it could have achieved the same effect without a few scenes that seemed to add nothing to very little to the movie’s overall feeling. Cut out some of those scenes and the movie would have moved a bit quicker, keeping you engaged. The movie had some character and plot development, but nowhere near as much as some of his other work so I banked on huge fight scenes to make up for that. Unfortunately, there was a lot less robots vs. monsters (jaeger vs kaiju) than I anticipated. I should have known better because Blade and the two Hellboys also had some serious downtime. It just seemed as if the fight scenes in those movies were longer. You might be disappointed by some of the fights because they simply end too quickly, before we get to see what the jaegers or kaiju are truly capable of in combat. On top of that, many of the kaiju are just too similar. One of the monsters had a bunch of abilities, but the other four or five were all the same. That was a bummer.

The movie did have some powerful scenes, mainly involving human lives being taken. They were my favorite scenes because I would not expect a movie like this to have the effect on me so I appreciate what del Toro did there. He did a very good job taking what would seem like a rock-em sock-em Godzilla vs Ultraman and turn it into something with plot twists and complications that kept you on your toes. Many events and outcomes were predictable but I didn’t see everything coming. The actors all did a fair enough job, the special effects were exciting and well done, the editing and cutting were clean enough to make large-scale fights easy to follow. A lot of things were done properly.

I could see room for a potential sequel that takes a completely different path and continues to highlight the world’s reaction to and actions taken in order to deal with the disaster. We appreciated the anti-government, pro-freedom, anti-greed, pro-environmental stances that were taken, no matter how subtle. It’s refreshing but now not uncommon to see directors and writers go in that direction. The movie definitely was not too gory for young audiences despite some mature themes and large-scale deaths.

All in all, it was an enjoyable del Toro movie that might not have taken this genre out of the realm of its specific fan base, but it was successful in captivating multiple audiences and developing some advanced themes. We were in our seats a bit longer than we wanted to as the movie dragged on at times but it still gets a hungry thumbs up! (Fellow Gundam fans, don’t expect this to be anything like the series we all love. The jaegers were nowhere near “badass” enough to achieve Gundam status)

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World War Z (Hungry’s Movie Reviews)

I have seen so many zombie movies that follow the same typical route to a predictable ending. The zombies win. Zombies being the word that will be used for anything undead or mutated or evil that is causing the end of the world. Shaun of the Dead was the most successful zombie movie because of its humor. 28 Days Later was filmed brilliantly and made a lot out of something simple. 28 Weeks Later… not so much. All the Resident Evils have been completely and utterly disappointing and unable to live up to their video game origin. Silent Hill failed to do the same… although that’s not quite zombies but same idea… somewhat. Geroge Romero has been providing us with zombie films for quite some time but most give me the same feeling. The remake of Dawn of the Dead led to an outcome of total defeat for the human race. I could go on forever about zombie movies I did and did not enjoy. And when I add plain old horror or scary movies into the mix the list of bad gets longer and longer. However, World War Z had a different feeling while I was watching it.

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There are some spoilerssorry.

Imagine your typical the-world-is-ending movie like Dawn of the Dead. Then take the out sub-par actors and throw people like Brad Pitt into the mix. Then add a budget that could justify good make-up, sets, and effects. Not ridiculous effects… good effects. Effects that make the movie seem more realistic. Finally throw a dash of National Treasure into the mix. That is what this movie feels like for me. I think it is closer to what the Resident Evil movies should have been because throughout this movie I kept saying to Alana… wow, this would make one awesome video game.

Here is a Leon Kennedy or Chris Redfield like character who got dragged into saving the world to protect his family. He’s trying to find the origin of this outbreak instead of just hiding or trying to fight it head on and it works to a certain degree. The best part is that you really want to find out what it came from but you never do! They come up with a temporary solution but you know that they will still need to find patient zero in order to solve this once and for all. Brad Pitt has already signed on to do the sequel so we will get what we want. We will most likely find out how it started because that is what I found was the most interesting part of the movie. The scavenger hunt that is led by a seemingly normal guy with weaknesses and vulnerabilities, namely his family and ability to be impaled.

I want to mention that the movie is loosely based off of the book by Max Brooks, the SON of comedic legend Mel Brooks. I do not like comedy movies in general. It is one of my least favorite genres and stand-up comedians do not make me laugh. However I was raised on Mel Brooks’ work and I appreciate that the talent has stayed in the family. With that being said, this movie gets away with being more than a zombie film. It has some innovations and the star power necessary to be more than a money-making film. It has mixed reviews online and it is hard to keep track with what is going on if you aren’t paying attention, but if you have that attention to detail like I think I do, then you will appreciate this film.

Hungry was happy with the double feature we pulled off this Sunday morning and World War Z gets a thumbs up. HOWEVER, I will note that we saw it in 3D and there was NO 3D. I am not kidding… it was supposed to be immersive and it must have either been the best 3D ever or the worst.

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Fast & Furious 6 (Hungry’s Movie Reviews)

I will try to make this a review for all, although it will be difficult to do so since I am a huge fan of the series and have seen all of the previous 5 installments, most if not all in the theaters when they were released. Initially, I have really good feelings toward this picture, although if you haven’t seen any of the prequels then the story will not mean as much to you. Justin Lin returned to direct his fourth straight film while Chris Morgan wrote his fifth story for the franchise. This duo has done a tremendous job tying one movie into another and creating a true series, not just a run of sequels. Even though the franchise continues to grow in revenue, budget and Hollywood flair (big booms) it is still true to the originals that focus on street car racing and a love for cars and family.

A majority of the cast returns to reprise their roles and the series stands out in my mind by never replacing characters with new actors or actresses. Even minor roles like the one played my Eva Mendes in the second film is renewed with a cameo in the end of the fifth. I am obsessed with attention to detail in series such as these, so bringing characters back wins points in my book. Also, this movie has everything I need. A fitting but ridiculous soundtrack, a true villain, a set of heroes, ideals to explain and follow, romance, adventure, and more. It also has the Rock, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. I love action movies and these guys have been there for me since I was a teenager struggling to find myself. I am not saying that I necessarily use their characters as role models but I definitely pay great attention to them. The supporting cast is tremendous as well and my positive feelings towards the characters that have developed throughout the series brings constant laughs and smiles to my face throughout the movie.

SPOILERS FOLLOW

The standout moment of this movie came towards the end when they continued to advance this series. They finally brought the third film, Tokyo Drift, into the timeline seven years after its release. Tokyo Drift was truly an outcast but now it is right there, as a buffer in between the sixth and upcoming seventh film. Jason Statham looks to be the new villain, playing the brother of the villain in this sixth film. He seems to be out for revenge against Dom Toretto and he instigates a conflict by killing a member of Dom’s family. We all knew Han died in Tokyo Drift but now we know why and how. It is somewhat of a fitting death after the death of his girlfriend in the end of this film. That was definitely one of the sadder moments in the franchise but I’m sure it will be touched on in potential Han flashbacks in the next film. Unfortunately, Universal was greedy and wanted to film immediately so Lin and the Rock definitely won’t be returning.

Diesel, Walker, and Statham are the only confirmed stars for the next film and Morgan will be writing the story, thankfully. I cannot wait until July of 2014 to see where they go. In the end of Tokyo Drift, Dom returns to Tokyo and this is likely where the story will pick up. Killing a member of his family was a mistake that Ian Shaw (Statham) will regret making by the end of the next film. The theme of the series is strength in family and cars are merely a medium they use to explain that bond. Dom always does whatever it takes to maintain the bond within his family, especially take revenge.

All in all, it was a complex and fun film for fans but might have been nothing more than explosions and vroom vroom sounds for non-fans. Fit had only seen the previous prequel and gotten an in-depth explanation of the story from myself. She seemed to enjoy it since it was a fun and humorous adventure. She thought of it as Ocean’s Eleven in fast cars. I absolutely recommend seeing the previous movies (not Tokyo Drift… watch it after, I wish I knew what they were planning so I could have) before this one. I wouldn’t say it’s a must see in theaters although the effects are not bad. Definitely gets a thumbs up from Hungry due to my love for the series.

Drive safely in order to live hungry and fit!

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Hungry’s Movie Reviews: Man of Steel (Spoilers)

Let’s start by setting the scene. As you all know by now, I consider myself a nerd. Does that mean I have read every piece of canon work to all of the DC and Marvel comic characters and I am familiar with everything? Absolutely not. But I have developed a sense of the fictional characters that have been my heroes throughout my life as a child raised on cartoons, comic books, movies, and video games. Therefore, as a disclaimer, this movie review is done by me and not an objective or professional movie reviewer.

Phantom Menace 3D glasses what up

Phantom Menace 3D glasses what up

With that being said, I am actually somewhat picky when it comes to “recent” superhero moviesespecially the blockbusters. I did not like any of the five recent X-Men movies except First Class. All 3 Spiderman movies were trash. I enjoyed but wasn’t thrilled with Nolan’s Batman series. Superman Returns was far from great. The Incredible Hulk’s were incredibly lacking. Punisher was solid but its sequel wasn’t appealing enough for me to watch it. Iron Man‘s star made the movies enjoyable although I had a lot of issues with all three, especially the second one. Ghost Rider was awful but entertaining, the sequel never even got a chance. Green Lantern was similar. And I actually really enjoyed Captain America, Thor, and The Avengers. Did I forget any? I’m neglecting the older Batman movies, Superman movies, Supergirl, actually… now that I think about I could list a hundred superhero movies so this paragraph ends now and might find itself continued in a new post. (Because Blade, Spawn, and Hellboy will not be ignored)

Essentially, I have not been thrilled with many adaptations. And a lot of it is just a feeling… while a lot is me nitpicking these characters and story lines I know so well. I tried not to do that in Man of Steel and I tried so hard to not enjoy it because the reviews have been so on the fence after I was so ridiculously pumped for it for months and months. They made such a tremendous trailer and it seemed that they dropped the ball on the main project. However, I don’t completely agree after seeing it.

I think that Henry Cavill has the ability of being the Superman we need and deserve. It wasn’t completely evident in this film as Snyder and Nolan applied their darkness that cast over the Dark Knight and Watchmen. I feel that darkness doesn’t belong with Superman compared to the others but I’m being open to their effort. Amy Adams did an admirable job as well. I think the casting and acting all in all was good. All four of Clark’s/Kal’s parents really stole the show in my book, and I was questionable about Kevin Costner ahead of time. Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack, which removed John Williams’ iconic Superman March for the first time in decades, was spectacular and fit the movie perfectly. The sets and CGI for Krypton and Earth were stunning visuals. However, the movie, as a movie and as an interpretation of Superman was a steady downhill in my book.

Let me say that I did enjoy this movie tremendously. It might be my favorite Superman movie yet, even if the original movies are an overall better package. I would hope they make this a trilogy in order to fix some issues that I have, otherwise, this movie will lose points over the years. Clark Kent and Lois Lane first met in 1933 when Action Comics #1 was written. It was released in 1938. For 75 years their romance has been the most prominent in comic books and arguably in popular culture. This movie was seriously lacking that romantic spark and chemistry and it will be up to the team that led this project to develop that further in the sequels. While I don’t mind changing Clark’s background that much (All-American football star vs. the kid that was always bullied, etc.), I do mind the fact that they changed who Superman is so early on in a potential series.

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WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS INCOMING

Superman does not kill. He said it himself when he killed the only person he has ever killed in 75 years. At that point, Lois comforted him and he reacted with that iconic line. In this movie, when a similar event occurred, they moved on quickly like it never happened. This is a monumental change in who Superman is. He would not ignore a city being completely destroyed and millions dying in order to continue a punching contest with one person. He does this only to snap his neck in the end? All of Superman’s powers and he simply breaks a neck with a headlock instead of trying to not kill. I hope they aren’t recreating the character completely and are rather plotting a series where it will take many trials and tribulations for Superman to develop his array of powers. I hope they touch back on this point and how it will haunt him forever to some degree. Killing is not okay and if any superhero embodies that… it’s Superman.

But this happens at the end of the movie! In the beginning, Russell Crowe and a beautiful Krypton provide us (or at least me) with a tear-jerking early origin story. The flashbacks that compliment his current endeavors are not accurate to the story completely but they continue to build the man who is Superman. It gives a look into his origin on Earth with the Kents in Smallville, by having memories in his thirty year old form triggered by things that he sees. As the movie progresses, however, it gets worse in every way. The action picks up but mostly to the degree of lots of punching and loud noises. This culminates with Superman yelling a lot as he flies around the world and runs through machines and aliens with his fists. Back to the Zod point I made earlier.

Nevertheless, the beginning was so tremendous that my overall feeling for this movie was positive. Perry White’s antics, Jor-El in the escape scene and Superman’s crash landing provide comic relief. Clark’s moments with his mother provide joy and warmth. And his scenes with Lois have small hints of romance and chemistry. Thus, that feeling could become more positive if they develop their romance, his life at the Daily Planet, the development of his powers, introduce exciting new villains (there are many) and show that Superman thinks that killing is not okay.

This could be a great jumping off point for a trilogy. And while Henry Cavill may never be the Superman that Christopher Reeves was, he could still be the one this reboot deserves. Hungry gives this a double thumbs up, with potential for more (or less) depending on sequels or deleted scenes. (A date with Lois or a grieving scene of his murdering of Zod would make this movie VERY amazingly good for me.) I do very much so want a sequel. Sorry, this was not organized and was just me speaking my mind.

Try to watch movies but make sure to stay hungry and fit if you do!

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