2014 Summer Movie Review: Maleficent

Angelina Jolie brings her evil looks as Maleficent

Angelina Jolie brings her evil looks as Maleficent

Well, I guess Disney is remaking their beloved animated classics as live-action fantasies. Starting with Maleficent (the remake of Sleeping Beauty) and Kenneth Branagh’s remake of Cinderella, coming in 2015. As gratuitous as it truly sounds, I had high hopes for these movies. I saw Maleficent with a few of my friends from my Government class, and we had a good time with this movie. Although it’s not a great movie, there are a bit of good qualities to like.

The remake of Sleeping Beauty is told in Maleficent’s point-of-view. Before becoming evil, Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) is a fairy living  in the kingdom of the Moors. She spends most of her time in the trees, testing her wings, and having a crush on Stephan (Sharlto Copley). As Maleficent becomes an adult, an army comes to invade the land. After getting her heart broken by Stephan, it completely drives her nuts. She places a curse on his infant daughter that by her 16th birthday she’ll be in death-like coma.

Angelina Jolie is downright perfect as the title character. With the red lipstick, green eyes, the horns, and the evil laugh, she gets the evil personality of Maleficent right on the money. There is also another side of the character that I surprisingly appreciated. I think Elle Fanning has a good future ahead of her, but he isn’t a good choice for Aurora. It’s not to say she did a horrible job. I find her fake English accent a bit distracting. Sharlto Copley does a solid performance as King Stephan.

Visually, the movie is breathtaking. Most of the time, the CGI works well combining to the actual scenery. There are times in the movie that reminded me of Avatar and The Lord of the Rings in terms of using CGI in real-life settings. There are a few times, however, where the CGI doesn’t work, especially with the three pixies. When the pixies become humans, they get more irritating with their comic relief. The tone can be unfocused, going from dark and serious to light and whimsical. I would have enjoyed the movie without a lot of narration. Nevertheless, Maleficent is a mildly enjoyable remake to the beloved Disney classic. I’m looking forward to see what Kenneth Branagh does with Cinderella.

2.5/4

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2014 Summer Movie Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past

Logan a.k.a. the Wolverine goes back to the past in "X-Men: Days of Future Past"

Logan a.k.a. the Wolverine goes back to the past in “X-Men: Days of Future Past”

Before seeing this movie, the only X-Men movies I’ve seen are X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: First Class and The Wolverine. While X-Men Origins avoided sharing the origins of Wolverine, the latter two prove they can be more than just your typical superhero action films. They are fascinating character studies about how the mutants use their powers, and end up being conflicted. X-Men: Days of Future Past continues with this pattern. The idea of bringing the old characters from the original trilogy and their younger selves from First Class is awesome. This movie contains enough action, character development, and historical evidence to make it the best movie of the summer so far.

Two years after the events from The Wolverine, Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Erik Lehnsherr (Ian McKellen) call upon the mutants when a threat comes to ravish the world. The threat is a group of robots called the Sentinels, where they have the power to adapt with the mutant’s powers. Logan offers he would send his consciousness back to 1973, kudos to Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page). In 1973, he joins the young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and young Hank McCoy (Nicholas Hoult) to save the future by changing the past.

There is no other actor who can play a better Wolverine than Hugh Jackman. Like in The Wolverine, you forget that he is playing the immortal mutant most of the time. Without him, there wouldn’t be any X-Men movies. Jennifer Lawrence steals the show as Mystique, the blue-skinned, orange-haired mutant who can shape-shift into anybody. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender return delivering great performances as the younger versions of the two leaders of the X-Men clan. You could tell how much suffering Xavier deals with after Lehnsherr ended their friendship in First Class. Although they aren’t in the movie a lot, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen had enough screen time as the older Xavier and Lehnsherr.

What I liked about these movies is how it connects to the historical events. It gives an in-depth look of how the characters’ stories became originated. The movies do a good job connecting to the American Civil War, both World Wars, the Cold War, and the Vietnam War. X-Men: Days of Future Past does a great job with handles the time-travel theme so well that it makes it easy to find out what is going on. The movie is really funny at times, including one scene involving Quicksilver that had me in stitches. If you liked the original X-Men movies, you’ll love this movie. If you liked X-Men: First Class, you’ll love this movie. Or, if you are new to the franchise, you’ll love Days of Future Past.

Bring on X-Men: Apocalypse!

4/4

2014 Summer Movie Preview: June

Happy Memorial Day, everybody! I hope you are enjoying your cookouts, or maybe you’re just wondering what I think about some upcoming summer movies. You’re in the right place! The summer movie season is off to a very good start. We’re almost in the month of June. I’m about to graduate from high school, and begin my new road to life. Perhaps, pursue a career as a movie critic. This month has movies that look really good. Here are my thoughts on what the month of June has in store for movies.

June 6

Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow – I’ve been hearing early buzz from critics. Some of them are calling Edge of Tomorrow “the best action movie of the summer.” It does look like it will be really good. However, the concept sounds a lot like a video game. Not to mention the movie’s tagline: “Live. Die. Repeat.” To this day, it boggles my mind how people think Tom Cruise is a horrible actor. I think he’s one of those actors who can do anything he could get his hands on, like doing his own stunts. I’m quite skeptical how this movie will turn out to be.

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars – Based on the #1 New York Times bestseller, here’s a love story that looks sweet but not syrupy (*ahem* Nicholas Sparks). We haven’t had a great mainstream romance movie in years. I’m down for it.

June 13

22 Jump Street

22 Jump Street – The sequel to one of the biggest surprises of 2012, 21 Jump Street, might have the exact same concept. We reintroduce Jenko and Schmidt going undercover again. This time, as college students. I think this will contain as much laughs, as much chemistry from Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, and as much fun that made the first movie great.

How to Train Your Dragon 2

How to Train Your Dragon 2 – Another sequel coming out on the same weekend as 22 Jump Street…hell yes! I think How to Train Your Dragon is the best animated film that DreamWorks has ever done since Shrek. It was funny, touching, and visually breathtaking. The sequel looks FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC! Hurry up, June 13th!

June 20

Jersey Boys

Jersey Boys – Clint Eastwood directing a musical? How strange. Or, maybe strange in a good way?

Think Like a Man Too

Think Like a Man Too – I’m not into black humor. I’ve only seen a few episodes of Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, and I stopped watching it. This movie is no exception on how I feel. Kevin Hart is one good reason why I’m going to save my valuable time and money on this tripe.

June 27

Transformers - Age of Extinction

Transformers: Age of Extinction – Do we need another Transformers movie? The first one was good, no matter how stupid or overblown it can get. The second one sucked big time, and I wouldn’t see that obscene image of two wrecking balls clinging each other the same way ever again. How excruciating! The third one made up for what made its predecessor a big downer, but it was still not very good.

Mark Wahlberg is a likeable actor, but I don’t think he belongs in a bloody Transformers movie. Director Michael Bay might look back at some of the problems from the previous films, and perhaps make a good movie for once. Or, maybe he’ll focus on blowing s*** up rather than developing the human characters. We all know how bad of a director Bay is. Do we need to know what purpose he’s going bring into this movie? I guess it’s time to bring the Advil and water, because you will need a lot of it.

Recap:

Most Anticipated: How to Train Your Dragon 2 and 22 Jump Street

Least Anticipated: Transformers: Age of Extinction and Think Like a Man Too

I hope you enjoyed reading on what my thoughts are on the upcoming movies for the month of June. Tell me in the comments on what are your most anticipated movies for the month of June. Now I have to go study for my final exams. Stay tuned for a movie preview for the month of July on the last Monday of June. Take care.

Worst Movies of 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013

Since I had done lists for the best films of the first four years of this decade, I might as well share my picks for the worst movies. These are the movies that I wasted approximately two hours of my life, and I will never get them back. Thankfully, I haven’t seen a lot of bad movies this decade thus far. I hope I would stay far away from every bad movie as I possibly can during the next five years. Like with the best movies, I’ll post a list of the worst movies of the 2010s in 2019.

2010

The Bounty Hunter *worst movie of the year
Due Date
Grown Ups
Shrek Forever After
Stone
Valentine’s Day

2011

Apollo 18
Battle: Los Angeles
Cars 2
Colombiana
The Dilemma
The Green Hornet
Green Lantern
The Hangover: Part II
Jack and Jill *
Just Go With It
One Day
The Rite
Sucker Punch
Transformers: Dark of the Moon

2012

The Campaign
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance *
Joyful Noise
Mirror Mirror
Safe House
This is 40

2013

After Earth
Gangster Squad
G.I. Joe: Retaliation
The Hangover: Part III
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
Kick-Ass 2
The Lone Ranger
Movie 43 *
This Is the End
World War Z

Top 10 Best Movies of 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013

Here are my lists of my top ten favorite films of 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, as of today. I’m also including some really good movies that barely made it into the top ten, but I think they are worth mentioning. These lists are based on my own opinion. If you don’t agree with my picks, that’s fine. I know I missed out on some movies that looked fantastic, but I have five more years to watch them so I could put them on top 100 list in 2019.

2010

"The Social Network"

“The Social Network”

1. The Social Network
2. Toy Story 3
3. Inception
4. The King’s Speech
5. How to Train Your Dragon
6. True Grit
7. Shutter Island
8. The Town
9. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I

Honorable Mentions (alphabetical order): Easy A, Kick-Ass, Tangled

2011

"The Artist"

“The Artist”

1. Hugo/The Artist (tie)
2. Super 8
3. Moneyball
4. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
5.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
6
. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II
7. Source Code
8. War Horse
9. The Help
10. X-Men: First Class

Honorable Mentions (alphabetical order): The Adjustment Bureau, The Adventures of Tintin, Captain America: The First Avenger, Crazy, Stupid, Love, Hanna, The Muppets, Rango, The Tree of Life, Thor

2012

"Lincoln"

“Lincoln”

1. Lincoln
2. Moonrise Kingdom
3
. Skyfall
4
. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
5. The Avengers
6. The Dark Knight Rises
7. Argo
8. Life of Pi
9. Flight
10. Wreck-it Ralph

Honorable Mentions (alphabetical order): 21 Jump Street, The Amazing Spider-Man, Chronicle, The Hunger Games, Les Misérables, Looper, ParaNorman, Zero Dark Thirty

2013

"Gravity"

“Gravity”

1. Gravity
2. Captain Phillips
3.
12 Years a Slave
4.
The Wolf of Wall Street
5.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
6.
Blue Jasmine
7.
Philomena
8.
Prisoners
9
. Rush
10. Star Trek into Darkness

Honorable Mentions (alphabetical order): American Hustle, The Conjuring, Frozen, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Pacific Rim, Saving Mr. Banks, Side Effects, Warm Bodies, The Way Way Back

Top 52 Worst Movies of the 2000s

While the 2000s decade had a lot of great movies, it also had its fair share of bad movies. There were A LOT of them that stood out as dreadfully awful. Even if I remember seeing them as a child and ended up liking them, I would sit back and be like, “What was I even thinking?”. Keep in mind that I haven’t every single bad movie that came out in the decade, so don’t ask, “But you forgot *add movie title here*!” Without further ado, this is my list of the top 50 worst movies of the 2000s in alphabetical order. If you don’t agree with any of my picks, that’s fine. This list is only based on my own opinion. Here we go!

2012 (2009)

The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl (2005)

Agent Cody Banks (2003)

Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007)

Anger Management (2003)

The Benchwarmers (2006)

Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005)

Christmas with the Kranks (2004)

City of Ember (2008)

Daddy Day Care (2003)

The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

Deck the Halls (2006)

Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat (2003)

Eight Crazy Nights (2002)

Evan Almighty (2007)

Fantastic Four (2005)

Fired Up (2009)

Fun with Dick and Jane (2005)

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)

Ghost Rider (2007)

Ghosts of Girlfriend’s Past (2009)

Herbie Fully Loaded (2005)

Hotel for Dogs (2009)

I Spy (2002)

The Invasion (2007)

Joe Somebody (2001)

Kangaroo Jack (2003)

Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)

The Man (2005)

The Master of Disguise (2002)

Old Dogs (2009)

Open Season (2006)

The Pacifier (2005)

Pearl Harbor (2001)

The Princess Diaries (2001)

The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004)

Rebound (2005)

The Room (2003) – Amazing on an entertainment level; but as a movie: AWFUL!

Scooby-Doo 2: Monster Unleashed (2004)

See Spot Run (2001)

The Shaggy Dog (2006)

Shrek the Third (2007)

Son of the Mask (2005)

Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Spy Kids 3: Game Over (2003)

Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

Twilight (2008)

Wild Hogs (2007)

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

Year One (2009)

I hope you enjoyed my picks. Please leave a comment below on what are some of the worst movies of the 2000s and/or if you remembered seeing most of these movies. I know there might be some bad movies that I missed, but I might not have seen them in a while.

Top 30 Best Movies of the 2000s

2000s

The 2000s decade was a very significant decade for me; rather the end of the decade was significant. This was the decade in which I watched Forrest Gump for the very first time. It had such a big impact on me that I knew I wanted to watch it again and again. Afterwards, I started watching more movies, and realizing how they can serve a bigger purpose than just entertain viewers. Once James Cameron’s Avatar came out, not only did I began giving my two cents on movies to my family, but on a website called YouTube.

I’m here to give you a list of my top 30 favorite films of the 2000s decade. This list is based on my own opinion. If any of you do not agree with any of my picks, that’s fine. But don’t be mean about it. Let’s begin, shall we?

1. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-2003)

2. The Dark Knight (2008)

3. Minority Report (2002)

4. Before Sunset (2004)

5. Once (2007)

6. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

7. Casino Royale (2006)

8. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

9. Up (2009)

10. Batman Begins (2005)

11. The Aviator (2004)

12. Star Trek (2009)

13. Unbreakable (2000)

14. Catch Me If You Can (2002)

15. Big Fish (2003)

16. The Last Samurai (2003)

17. The Departed (2006)

18. Iron Man (2008)

19. Cast Away (2000)

20. The Bourne trilogy – Identity, Supremacy, Ultimatum (2002, 2004, 2007)

21. Finding Nemo (2003)

22. Signs (2002)

23. Collateral (2004)

24. Walk the Line (2005)

25. A Beautiful Mind (2001)

26. Gran Torino (2008)/Million Dollar Baby (2004)

27. King Kong (2005)

28. Matchstick Men (2003)

29. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

30. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)/ Chamber of Secrets (2002)

I hope you enjoyed some of my picks. Leave a comment below on what your favorite movies from the 2000s are.