Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014, USA) | Rating: 4/5
I really wished I rewatched the first movie before I went to go see this one, but I'm planning on watching it again in the near future. For those going to see it, I think that might help quite a lot with the timeline and whatnot. A friend that happened to be in theater pointed out that there are some timeline issues, but since my memory was very vague on the previous movie, I really had no complaints about that. Something I loved about Sin City were the unique visuals and this overdue follow-up has definitely improved on that. The monochromatic color scheme still mesmerizes the eyes and the touches of vibrant color are cleverly placed on points of interest. If I remember I think the previous film also followed more than one storyline, which I think could have been organized a little better. It wasn't confusing, but it felt a bit off balance in certain areas with a couple storylines and at times I think I wouldn't have missed one or two of those stories if they were removed. I did find the movie very entertaining and brilliantly violent, so check it out.
Filth (2013, UK) | Rating: 3/5
I have no idea what got me interested in this movie, but if I had to guess, perhaps I was curious about James McAvoy. I have seen him other movies aside from the X-Men franchise such as Wanted and Trance. Either way, the movie sounded unique and unique it was. I wasn't sure whether I wanted to review this movie as I don't have much to say. I had a hard time adjusting to the language barrier and the slang used, but as the movie progressed I became a little more comfortable...not completely though. Bruce, played by McAvoy, is our anti-hero of sorts. He possesses a lot of unlikable characteristics, but for some reason you can't completely hate him. He does a lot of "filthy" things to himself and to others, but you can't help but feel sorry for him and want him to break away from these filthy habits. It's hard explain why you feel that way, until you approach the end of the film and you understand why this sense of sympathy exists. The style is very blunt and unapologetic, which works with Bruce and the subject of this movie, so it's not meant for everyone.
The Lone Ranger (2013, USA) | Rating: 1.5/5
I must confess...I actually wanted to see this movie in the theaters. All the components leading up to the premiere seemed so promising: Johnny Depp, high action, an old franchise bringing western to the big screen, and some familiar names from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Of course, this movie was most known that year as one of the biggest flops in cinema, proving that a big budget doesn't guarantee a good movie. Despite the action being entertaining and well choreographed and easily comparable to the Pirates movies, there was too much going on, dragged out action scenes, and uninteresting characters. Watching this movie felt like a real chore as the pacing was unbearable and I was happy that I was multitasking at the time. I had no real reason to cheer on the heroes and, I'm sorry, Johnny, but your character was more of a caricature more than anything else. I know plenty of people were already jumping on him and Disney for whitewashing a Native American character, but it's worse that he didn't give Tonto any likeable qualities nor does the script offer any good laughs. So much for being a comedy. Good thing I watched Dead Man before this flop of a movie.
Transcendence (2014, USA) | Rating: 2.5/5
It seems like the majority have lumped this movie with failures like the one above and Dark Shadows into Johnny Depp's movie slump, but after watching it, I kinda want to disagree. Similar to The Lone Ranger, I thought about seeing this in theaters as well, but I was discouraged by the poor reviews. Normally, I wouldn't let critics decide on what movies I see in the theaters, but this wasn't really high priority on my movie watch list, so I opted to wait for the DVD release at work. I haven't read in depth what people disliked about this movie, but the only flaw that seems the most noticeable in my eyes is that it isn't that memorable or mindblowing. After seeing movies Her and Lucy, I see bits and pieces of elements from those movies in here, even though the release dates are questionable when it comes to borrowing or influence for this movie. I thought it was inventive and ambitious as I think most scientific and technologically dependent movies are a bit of a challenge. You have to work around a certain stretch of logic and imagination for all the formulas to work out and make sense to the viewers. For the purpose of this quick review, I'm not really going to comment too much on it. The story is interesting and the pacing is okay, but what makes the movie not stand out aside from the ideas are the characters. They don't have any real defining characteristics aside from a tiny piece in Depp's character Will Caster. It's not the best work in his filmography, but I wouldn't put it as a failure with The Lone Ranger and Dark Shadows; those movies are unforgivable.
Twixt (2011, USA) | Rating: 1/5
I believe I saw previews for this movie on another DVD I checked out and it looked visually (and probably conceptually) interesting. Unfortunately, this movie is pretty bad. It was nice to see former Batman star Val Kilmer in something again, but his character, like the others, are pretty boring. The dialogue just felt like listening to adults in Peanuts cartoons. There's exposition, minimal vocal inflections, and nothing that says much about their personalities except for very basic traits: this guy is selfish, that guy is lazy, this girl is an outcast, that guy is lost. Despite the trailer featuring stunning gothic visuals, the visuals throughout the movie felt low budget and almost over stylized. It seemed like the director and cinematographer had some ambitious goals with what they wanted to show, but didn't have the proper tools or budget to display that. Lastly, the story is very...loose. I'm all into horror movies about struggling writers, but there was nothing redeemable or interesting about Val Kilmer's Hall Baltimore. The movie just made me want to re-watch 1408, Secret Window, and Misery. Do not be deceived by the visuals!
If there's something you want me to review (or want a more in depth review of the movies above or previous ones), check out this post on how you can submit requests.