Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Frank (2014) MOVIE REVIEW

Imagine Micheal Fassbender wearing the Frank paper-mache head, wearing Magneto's helmet.

Frank is a 2014 comedy-drama directed by Lenny Abrahamson. Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Scoot McNairy and Michael Fassbender as the title character. 

The movie basically follows Domhnall's character, Jon, a hopeful musician, as he is burnout from his regular life and finds an opportunity to break free from his daily routine when he came across with this rather eccentric band led by Michael Fassbender's Frank. 

You know that feeling when you wake up in the morning and you have important things to do, but instead you found yourself looking through your window and outside you see a group of people just goofing around and you don't know why, but your curiosity might trigger your body to go outside and get to know these people more until you realize you started to play with them?

Jon is our window to over these people. He is always the one trying to get the answers we are looking for. Even with his talents he is so ordinary that our inner average selves relates to him. Until he finally goes outside and play with Frank and his band that we realize not only Jon is getting sucked into this madness, but so are we. Domhnall did a great job portraying our looking-glass character. Even the character Jon himself, he's a well written character.

Speaking of well written characters, there tons of them here, but Frank shines out of them the most. There's a lot of mystery about this guy, he's like a cartoon character, one who doesn't blend well with real people, but gives this film its primary flavors. Even Michael's performance as Frank wasn't too obvious, which adds up to the mystery backing his big paper-mache head. 

The movie is also hilarious. I don't say that a lot about movies, but when a movie makes something grim and depressing funny and you don't feel guilty about it, it definitely deserves the credit. 

The film's also something of a musical. The best way to describe the music is like listening to some very deep indie music. It's not made for everyone. It may not even sound music to some, but it is. It's not pop music, I'll tell you that much.

The film itself is an adventure/roadtrip/self discovery film. Watching it makes you think about how miserable your life can be and how you can just simply set yourself free from it. It also has interesting message about the art of music itself. Sometimes, taking away its uniqueness also means taking away its specialty and makes it plain, ordinary and boring, like how your everyday life is.

The thing is, the movie works so perfectly being bizarre. You take that away and this film is nothing special anymore. 

To be quite honest, watching this movie is a refreshing experience. Its got a lot of heart and spirit, but as how the movie suggest, taking something away from it would make it less unique. 

Overall direction and screenplay

Not pop
Sudden ending

Score: A-

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Finally, he got tired of saying "get to the choppa!"

Sabotage is one of the most recent post-governor film of Arnold Schwarzenegger which also stars a ridiculous amount of star powered actors. Directed by David Ayer, the film centers around Arnold's character Breacher dealing with some sort of depression after facing some disadvantages of being an old DEA agent and other shenanigans as well.  

On the plus side, I can say that this is Arnold's best performance as of late. He really did justice to his rather dark character. I kind of feel sorry for the guy, most of his roles as of late had been kind of a joke aimed at himself, to the point where he felt like he had to make fun of himself while portraying those characters. At least here, he was given a more serious character and he did a good job portraying Breacher. 

But that isn't enough to cover up the 5#!+ that this movie is.

At least the story was thought through. Those two pages that tells the entire story with brief descriptions and only minimal dialogues, that's where they got it right. 

But there's this script with crappy, disgusting, unlikable characters. Some of them are even inconsistent and does things out of character. Granted a few of them were given each time to shine, but even the actors found it hard to shine through.

The movie also had this weird potential to be a good mystery thriller. There's this charade that's going on that even a summa cum laude would die to know the truth. Yet, all of this was mashed up with nonsense over nonsense. The movie terribly slowed down somewhere in the middle and when you get to the big revelation, you have already forgotten that there's this big mystery that you have to solve because your mind is crowded with other unrelated stuff from the movie.  

And what's up with the gore? I mean I can see they're going for realism. I have nothing against violence in films, you've seen me go fanboy on The Raid. As long as they are justified and makes a lot of sense. The violence in this movie is just simply unjustified, senseless and everything was only to throw it to your face. Are you still realistic even with a toned-down violence? Yes! This movie doesn't understand that. 

But overall, in spite of the negatives this movie had, I didn't hate it as much I should. It's just that I don't want to see it again.

With very few things to like about this film, Sabotage lingers on mindless story telling, unlikable characters and ludicrous violence way more than it should. 

Best Arnold lead since post-governor
"Okay" action set pieces

Terrible (looking) characters
Senseless violence
Too much junk covering the good stuff

Score: C-

Sabotage is now available on DVD, Blu Ray and Digital HD.

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Thursday, September 4, 2014



Big Red Cheese is finally getting some love in the big screen! After years of waiting, Shazam is finally in the works and set to be distributed Warner Brothers and New Line Cinema.

The first confirmed casting was from wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in his Twitter. "Kneel at his feet or get crushed by his boot" My honor to become... #BlackAdam #TheAntiHero #DCComics, this was tweet made by the actor that made the internet (mostly fanboys) go berserk. I mean, seriously, he looks like Black Adam! 

While Variety has recently said that writer Darren Lemke is on the scriptwriting duties for Shazam. Now everyone prays that he channel his inner good scriptwriting skills that he displayed with Jack The Giant Slayer and not the other of his talent that he has shown in Shrek Forever After.

With that said, it's only normal for a fanboy (like me) to speculate like crazy. Now I'm not the biggest Shazam fan out there, but I think that so far the filmmakers share my general and legit knowledge about the character. With New Line President Toby Emmerich quoted that the film will have a sense of fun and a sense of humor. But the stakes have to be real.

Here we will discuss 2 things:
  1. What should be the tone of the film?
  2. Who should play Shazam?

The Tone

I'll keep this one short, simple and to-the-point. 

Billy Batson is only 10-years old. He's maybe a kid that has been going through bad times for as long as he remembers, but never was he a bad kid. He is a young boy with the golden heart and most likely one of, if not, the most respectful, kind and loving kid you'll ever see. These are the qualities that The Wizard saw as to why he was chosen as the new Shazam. 

If this film does take place in the DC Cinematic Universe, it is only vital that he lives in a Post-Metropolis Invasion world. As suggested by the animated series and animated movies, Billy Batson is a fan of superheroes, especially Superman. If anything, he wanted to be like Superman. He lives in a world of divisive perception towards the Man Of Steel, and he believes that he is a hero that was just trying to do his job. Billy relates to the negativity of the people towards Superman, as he has been doing good deeds all his life and yet he's always been constantly being picked on. 

To see an aggressive and violent world through an innocent child's eyes is something that is rarely explored in any superhero movies. Shazam has the opportunity to be the first of its kind, With right balance of a kid-family friendly movie to a larger than life action-adventure, we might just have DC's best superhero movie. 

Seriously, this is a character that has out shined Superman in some point of time. It's not impossible for that to happen again. 

The Captain

I know he's no longer named Captain Marvel (you can thank Marvel for that), but I'll just leave that heading the way it is just for the sake of it. 

There are many actors out there that has a potential to capture the essence of the character and portray it flawlessly at the big screen. Here are some of the fan favorites or fan picks to play Shazam..

1) Brandon Molale

I am being honest with you, I've barely seen this guy in TV. But he has the built, the looks and he's even the same age as Dwayne Johnson so, why not?

2) Patrick Warburton 

Most of you might remember him as The Tick, and that is saying a lot why he should play Shazam. Though his age might be a big question mark to the casting department. 

3) Owain Yeoman 

I mostly know him as Wayne Rigsby from The Mentalist. As far as I've seen from him, he's pretty good at what he does. Even if he was a one-sided in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, it would be fun to see him play the titular character. 

4) Kellan Lutz

People might always remember him as a lifeless character in the Twilight Saga or that really crappy Hercules kid from The Legend Of Hercules, but believe me when I say this. Give him some good material and the director to show him the right direction and he has a potential to carry out a franchise. Have you seen The Expendables III? He was the (second) best actor of the bunch, Mel Gibson the first. 

5) Mark Whalberg

Please stay with me on this. I know this one's for laughs, but trust me I have an idea. I know he's a fun actor. Say what you want about Transformers: Age Of Extinction (I said it was bad, and I don't care if you don't agree with me), but he knows how to have fun with his roles, regardless of how bad these movies are. Just think of him from Pain & Gain, put him on a Shazam suit, I rest my case.

6) John Cena

Now this one's really for laughs. lol But think about it..

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