The Obscured Vixen

Book addict, blogger and designer living in a paranormal world.

  • My Blog Button

  •  Reading Challenges

Archive for the ‘Movie Review’ Category

Movie Review – Resident Evil: Retribution

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on October 6, 2012

Movie Review of Resident Evil: Retribution

Review by The Crimson Cougar

I have a great deal of fun playing video games. I have a great deal of fun watching movies. I REALLY have a great deal of fun watching horror/thriller movies.

The ‘Resident Evil’ franchise by all means should be an absolute party for me to witness going by my standards. It’s a horror/action franchise based on a very successful video game. Their most recent effort, titled ‘Retribution’ picks up right where the last movie left off, with the villain Wesker mid-attempt on Alice’s (Milla Jovavich) life. She then wakes up, only to have Wesker help her escape the Umbrella headquarters? Um…

Right, something I will try and do is not give a negative review for a movie, because out there somebody thinks differently than you. So, with that I will point out what I found appealing about this movie. Early in the film, moments of shock value return to the series for the first time in a while, I actually jolted out of the chair a couple times.

Fans of the video game series will be pleased to see most characters from the games appear in this game like Jill Valentine, Leon S. Kennedy and Ada Wong. The infamous line from the very first Resident Evil game “Barry…where’s Barry?” can be answered – He’s HERE! In this movie!!! Action junkies should have a decent enough ride of a popcorn flick to carry you through the runtime.

If you felt the last film in the series was good, but just want to see it done a bit differently and don’t need to question what’s being placed in front of your eyes, you have an action movie that returns to its horror DNA for some good thrills. Just don’t expect any sort of closure.

I’d certainly say wait for a rental, unless you feel obligated to see it in 3D.

Advertisements

Posted in Movie Review | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on August 27, 2012

Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises

Review by The Crimson Cougar

The amazing film and performance that was The Dark Knight and Heath Ledger respectively left it quite difficult to put out a more superior film. I’ve heard The Dark Knight referred as “Godfather II for comic movies” which is a statement I could agree with. However, spoiler alert- Godfather III didn’t really come close to its predecessor.

Right off the bat in The Dark Knight Rises, we are introduced to/and are witness to just who Bane is and what he is capable of. To be honest, I really felt the distinct separation of the two main villains right away. Heath Ledger’s joker was a chaotic man who got off on bringing darkness out of anybody and hopefully (in his case) everybody he tried to get involved in his game. The Joker was a loud, chaotic firecracker. Within the first 10 minutes, we experience just what and who Bane is: Menacing. “Oh, the Joker is going to load two boats with people and give them the choice to kill each other? – Well, I’m just going to shred this airplane like a can of Lysol and eliminate everybody inside… myself.”

The movie is dripping with undertones of the political state of things in this country, which I will leave alone. Well, it may be overt actually.

The movie then carries out with the biggest and best fight scene we’ve seen our caped crusader involved in, followed by the biggest set of circumstances to overcome. Christopher Nolan has done an amazing job making his movies seem less “mainstream” – in film school they teach you about color and how it plays into storytelling, etc. Nolan doesn’t use those “kindergarten” storytelling tricks like everyone else. If somebody is angry in a scene in a Nolan film, they don’t have to be wearing red. If the characters are in a dream world, the image doesn’t get toyed with at all. Christopher Nolan has his own way. The Dark Knight Rises fits into all that, but somehow feels a bit blended with “mainstream” moviemaking. It’s almost as if Nolan had 80% of what he wanted to do, then phoned in the other 20% with Hollywood cliche type action movie stuff. Which isn’t bad, it just felt a bit “other movies.” Nolan is the smart man’s filmmaker, and he kinda lowered the output and story of the movie for all the people who were like “Wait, I don’t understand, wah!” for ‘Inception.’

The movie will have one question constantly asked of it: What about the bad guy? Did he do better than Heath Ledger?

Ledger’s Joker was a loud, chaotic firecracker.

Hardy’s Bane is a focused and astute steamroller.

Ledger had an Oscar worthy performance. It really becomes hard to even TRY to bring any talk like that up this time around, but in all honesty Tom Hardy more than holds his own with his performance. I find it really great in fact. It’s hard to project lines and expressions when your mouth cannot be seen, nor most of your face from being covered by a mask. Again, menacing was the word that came to my head when Hardy was on screen.

There’s one scene in particular where Bane really does nothing to bring your attention to him during the scene, until he rests his left hand (open and unclenched, mind you) on this gentleman’s shoulder. It is there that you get the power of Hardy’s character. His voice does not raise, his actions do not get accelerated at all, yet you just KNOW that he is in utter control. He didn’t set the room on fire, he didn’t bang a drum. He rests his open palm on a man’s shoulder, and it just as well could’ve been an atomic bomb to the room.

Is Tom Hardy better than Heath Ledger in this movie? Well, how about this: why can’t he just be “great” as well? I have quite a sweet tooth and love ice cream. My favorite type of ice cream is vanilla, but that certainly doesn’t mean that if there is only chocolate that my dessert from that point on is ruined. Not at all. It’s unfortunate that I don’t have my vanilla ice cream, but I still am lucky enough to enjoy some chocolate. It’s not my first choice, but at least there’s ice cream. We should stop worrying about ‘the best’ and try and enjoy what’s going on in front of us. Yes, Heath Ledger was amazing. But Tom Hardy was truly great.

The Dark Knight Rises is great. It does a great job of tying things up for all introduced story lines and characters, and all while not being Lord of the Rings: Return of the King about it. It completes the trilogy quite well, while leaving some things around should Warner just want to piggyback this series. Much like The Dark Knight was Godfather II for comic movies, The Dark Knight Rises does not quite live up to the predecessor, but in no way can it be compared to the Godfather III analogy.

How about The Dark Knight Rises is the Lord of the Rings: Return of The King of comic movies? It’s not the best, but why can’t great just be good enough for your Saturday movie night?

Posted in Movie Review | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Book-vs-Movie: Breaking Dawn

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on December 23, 2011

Book-vs-Movie: Breaking Dawn
Book Release: August 2, 2008
Movie Release: November 18, 2011

I will be the first to admit that I am a total Twihard. I inhaled the books and have enjoyed all of the movies. So this will be an extremely thorough review!

Loved the opening scene of the movie how Jacob took off after receiving the wedding invitation. This is really what makes these movies: seeing things from others point of view. In the book we only get to see things from Bella’s perspective. Unfortunately we do not get to see Bella in her ‘tank’ of a car that Edward buys for her.

Edward tells Bella about his past and how he’s killed people. In the books, we learn this early on in the series. I was surprised that they actually included it in this movie. Edward tells Bella about his past in her bedroom, when Emmett and Jasper show up for Edward’s ‘bachelor party.’ I was so glad that they included this because it was such a cute part of the book.

When everyone shows up at the Cullen’s house for the wedding, Charlie’s notices the graduation caps hanging on the wall. Renee says it’s creative and Charlie says it’s just weird. Gotta love Charlie : )   Even Stephenie Meyer had a cameo during the wedding scene!

The commentary of all of their high school friends was hilarious. Talking about how all of the Cullen ‘family members’ (vampires) look stunning, how Jessica thinks Bella is pregnant, and everyone telling Alice that the entire wedding wasn’t over the top when it really was.

I loved how during the wedding vows they played Iron and Wine, the song from ‘Twilight’ when they had their first dance during the prom. They even had an extremely long kiss on the alter like in the book.

I didn’t like how during the reception when meeting Bella, Irina freaks out because there are werewolves at the wedding and one of them killed Laurent. She gets visibly upset and walks away. I understand that they’re setting up the next movie, but for such a short scene, I don’t think it was necessary.

Some of the speeches during the reception were just awkward. Besides Emmett and Charlie, I didn’t care for any of the others.

Edward lead Bella away from the reception because he knows Jacob is in the woods, just like in the book. They share a dance and then Jacob freaks out because he finds out Bella is going to have a ‘normal honeymoon.’

When they leave for their honeymoon, Bella has no idea where she’s going just like in the book. They fly to Rio, then get on a speedboat and head to Isle Esme!

Edward and Bella are very affectionate and it’s nice to see for a change. Edward isn’t as cold and standoff-ish like the previous films. It makes you believe that they’re a real couple getting married and going on their honeymoon.

During this first part of this movie, there were a lot of music montage pieces that I felt were really unnecessary. It caused the movie to move slower than it really should have. I’m guessing this is because of the directors style.

Once they arrive at Isle Esme, there is an awkward moment between the two of them when Bella asks her a few ‘human minutes.’ Then she goes into the bathroom brushes her teeth, combs her hair, and shaves her legs. Bella goes through the bags that Alice packed and realized that there’s no bathing suit… just lingerie. That is when Bella gains her confidence and walks to the beach in her towel. This plays out pretty exact to the book.

The scene of Edward and Bella skinning dipping and then later in bed are pretty hot and heavy. Woot woot! Edward breaks the headboard in mid-thrust, and Bella wakes up surrounded by feathers and the room a wreck.

Bella is in the bathroom remembering all the great moments of the night before, when Edward walks in and ruins it by showing her all the bruises he gave her.

He feels terrible and totally deflates her good mood. This part of the movie pretty much plays out word for word from the book. Bella tells Edward to cheer up, they both agree it was the best night of their lives, and then Edward stops all of Bella’s attempts at seducing him. They play games, walk around the island, and do everything to avoid the bedroom. Then Bella begins to have vivid dreams (although we all know where they’re coming from!).

Bella wakes up to a note that Edward has gone out hunting. Bella makes herself some chicken and halfway through runs to the bathroom to throw up. She reaches into her bag for some Pepto Bismal when she notices a box of tampons. She then realizes that her period is late and is confused because she believed she couldn’t get pregnant. Then she goes to the mirror and notices her stomach is larger, then feels something move inside of her.

At that moment Alice calls. When reading the book, we know that she called because she stopped seeing Bella’s future; they do not mention this in the movie. Carlisle gets on the phone and Bella tells him that she believes she’s pregnant. Edward then gets on the phone and talks to Carlisle and arranges a flight home immediately. While Edward is packing, Bella sneaks away with her phone and calls Rosalie. This entire scene was also taken directly from the book.

What we do not see in the book but hear about, is Jacob at home eating dinner with his father and Charlie. Charlie tells Jacob that Bella is sick and extending their honeymoon. Jacob takes off and goes directly to the Cullens’. Rosalie gives Jacob a hard time about getting close to Bella. Then Bella stands up and Jacob sees her bruising stomach. All of the scenes with Carlisle talking with Bella about the possibilities of what the baby is and the tests they perform is removed from the movie, and spoken with Jacob in the room in about a minute. This was a great choice to do for the movie.

Edward talks to Jacob and begs him to talk to her to try and keep her alive. In the book, Edward goes even further and says that if Bella wants a baby that badly Jacob can get her pregnant. They definitely did not put that in the movie!

Jacob gets frustrated when Bella won’t listen to him, and takes off in wolf form. He meets up with the rest of the wolf pack and they all see that Bella is still human, but pregnant with a ‘beast.’ Sam says that they will attack the Cullens and Jacob defies him. Jacob says he will not follow anyone but himself, and takes off on his own. Seth and Leah follow him, and give Jacob a hard time about being alpha. When he asks them to do things, they joke “Is that an order, alpha?” This scene takes place with all of the actors in wolf form, which came out pretty cool. It was also extremely true to the book, which was great.

Jacob goes into the Cullen’s house and tells them what Sam has planned. The Cullen’s and Jacob’s new pack all agree to protect Bella. Just like in the book, Esme brings the wolves sandwiches and clothes.

Insert some more music montages of Bella’s health getting worse, Edward and Carlisle researching vampire children, Jacob protecting the house… yawn.

Carlisle tells Bella that ‘the fetus’ is killing her and it will not stop. Bella hasn’t eaten and can’t get any nutrition. They do a much better job of showing Edward furious with Bella about her choices than they do in the book. Robert Pattinson does a wonderful job of showing Edward’s emotions.

Jacob is sitting with Bella thinking about how ‘the fetus’ wants something to “sink it’s teeth into,” when Edward gets the idea to feed Bella blood. The look on Jacob’s face when Bella is drinking blood from a straw is hilarious. Then Edward begins to ‘hear’ the baby thoughts.

When Carlisle, Esme and Emmett go out to hunt and collect more blood bags that Bella is going through, they run into the wolfpack and begin to fight until the Cullen’s are able to run away. Once they leave, Bella goes to grab the cup of blood and the baby breaks her spine.

The birth scene is similar, but different to the book. I haven’t reread the book in about a year, so I could be off with some of the following comparisons.

Rosalie cuts Bella’s stomach with a scalpel, which I don’t remember happening in the book; Edward bites through Bella’s stomach to get the baby out. Then Alice has to drag Rosalie from the room because the human blood is making her thirsty.

That leaves Jacob and Edward in the room with Renesmee. This doesn’t happen in the book because Jacob doesn’t imprint at this moment. In the book, Renesmee is rushed right out of the room.

Then Bella dies and Jacob begins CPR. Edward stabs Bella in the heart with a needle full of his venom. Jacob is so angry that he leaves the house crying and all of the wolf pack believes that she died in childbirth.

Edward continues to bite Bella to help spread the venom even faster, which I don’t remember happening in the book either.

Then there is an awesome cut scene, which is probably what caused people to have seizures, where Bella is lying still on the table, but a CGI scene of Bella’s veins coming back to life. She’s thrashing around on the table screaming, when the scene cuts back to her body still again. It was an awesome way to show the pain and burning that a vampire being turned goes through.

Another awesome scene was when Jacob goes back into the house and imprints on Renesmee. He freezes and can’t take his eyes off her. He pictures her entire life as she’s growing up, and talks over the images saying how he would do anything and be anyone she needed to be. He falls to his knees because the feeling is too strong.

Sam’s wolf pack shows up to the Cullen household and begins a fight with Edward, Alice and Jasper. They continue to fight, but the Cullen’s are outnumbered. Then Emmett, Esme, and Carlisle return to help in the fight. I don’t remember this fight scene happening in the book.

We then see Bella in a blue dress lying on the hospital table slowly coming back to life. Her bite marks are healing, her spine reforms, her hair curls, and skin turns pale white. Her life flashes before her eyes with clips from previous movies, and they play “Bella’s Lullaby” from the first movie.

All of the Cullen’s and Jacob are around the table waiting watching Bella. In the book we know this is because Alice told everyone that she can now see Bella again and that she will be waking up soon.

I couldn’t wait until the end of this movie, not because it was terrible, but because I wanted to know how they would split the book. I’ve talked about it with many people, and I was exactly right! We see Bella lying on the hospital table, then the camera focuses on her closed eyes, which open and are blood red.

Hope everyone stayed after the credits to watch the extra scene! A human enters the Volturi lair and hands Aro an envelope from the Cullen’s alerting them they’ve added a new member to their coven. They talk about how they’re increasing their numbers, and how the Cullen’s have something that Aro wants.

I cannot wait until the next film, and I really hope that they don’t cut a lot out. The one story line in particular that I really hope is left in is the J. Jenks story line. Meyer does a great job with this, and I would love to see this on screen. I’m also curious to see how Renesmee will be portrayed.

The one thing I’m most excited for? The Volturi are back! I absolutely love Michael Sheen as Aro, and cannot wait for the big Cullen/Volturi battle.

Did you read Breaking Dawn and also see the movie? Do you agree or disagree with my review? Let me know!

Posted in Book Reviews, Book-vs-Movie, Movie Review | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Movie Review: Paul

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on August 18, 2011

4 of 5 stars

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead) reunite for the comedy adventure Paul as two sci-fi geeks whose pilgrimage takes them to America’s UFO heartland. While there, they accidentally meet an alien who brings them on an insane road trip that alters their universe forever. For the past 60 years, an alien named Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen) has been hanging out at a top-secret military base. When he discovers he’s been taken prisoner, the space-traveling smart ass decides to escape the compound and hop on the first vehicle out of town-a rented RV containing Earthlings Graeme Willy (Pegg) and Clive Gollings (Frost). Chased by federal agents and the fanatical father of a young woman that they accidentally kidnap, Graeme and Clive hatch a fumbling escape plan to return Paul to his mother ship. And as two nerds struggle to help, one little green man might just take his fellow outcasts from misfits to intergalactic heroes.

This movie was great! Much better than I expected. Anyone that has ever been to a con, or wanted to go to a con, has to watch this movie.  It is such a great geek fest of a movie.

Paul is an alien from another planet, that acts like ET all grown up.  He plays tricks, curses, and has one dirty mind.  He’s extremely loveable, and has very funny interactions with humans.  Specifically Graeme (Simon Pegg) and Clive (Nick Frost).  I’m not a big fan of Kristen Wiig, but she actually didn’t bother me too much in this movie.

I can see how some people would not enjoy this movie, if it’s not your cup of tea.  However, if you are a huge geek/dork/nerd (whatever you want to call yourself) like I am, you will greatly appreciate this movie.  There are Star Wars jokes, typical con fan jokes, anime jokes, and so much more.  A definite recommend.

Posted in Movie Review | 1 Comment »

Movie Review: The Adjustment Bureau

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on August 7, 2011

3 of 5 stars – Good Stuff

After watching the trailer for this movie, I was anticipating a Jason Bourne meets Inception mind thriller.  There was that, but there was also a romance story. About 70% romance and 30% action.

Don’t get me wrong, I definitely enjoyed the movie and thought it was extremely well cast. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt are very believable as a couple madly in love that would do anything to be together. I loved John Slattery (Mad Men) as the face of The Adjustment Bureau, and Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker) as Matt Damon’s main ‘follower.’

The concept of an entire bureau dedicated to keep people on their life path was an intriguing and very cool how they played it out through the movie. The CGI on walking through doors was awesome! And I know understand why Matt Damon wears a hat in the entire trailer ; )

The romance story line I knew was going to be there, but I did not expect it to be the main aspect of the movie. But being a helpless romantic, I bought it and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s nice to know that no matter what fate has planned for us, they are people out there that are meant to be together. Like I said, a helpless romantic : )

Posted in Movie Review | Leave a Comment »

Movie Review: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Posted by The Obscured Vixen on August 5, 2011

4 of 5 stars – A definite recommend.
Beware!  This review may contain spoiler alerts.

I will preface this review that the reason I gave this movie 4 stars instead of 3 was because it was much better than I anticipated; and I love when that happens!  I wasn’t sure what to expect, being that it was a prequel to a classic, extremely popular movie.

Summary: The movie opens with Will Rodman (James Franco) working in a lab on a serum causing brain cell regeneration.  We later learn that Rodman is working on this serum because his father (John Lithgow) is suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Something goes terribly wrong at the lab and Rodman’s project is shut down.  Rather than putting the animal down, Rodman takes an ape home that was born earlier that day because it was not yet on record.  What Rodman doesn’t know, is that the serum that was given to the ape’s mother was passed genetically to her offspring.

Fast forward eight years, and the ape, Caesar, has the knowledge of a teenager.  Rodman is still working at the lab, but on a different project (technically).  He is secretly working on the serum to try and help his father since he has taken a turn for the worse.  Rodman does not want to watch his father suffer, and brings the serum home to test it on his father.  It works, but only for a while.  While Rodman’s father is disoriented, he leaves the house and gets into an argument with a neighbor. The neighbor begins yelling and pushing causing Caesar to become very protective of Rodman’s father.  Caesar breaks out of the house and attacks the neighbor, eventually being taken away by Animal Control.

Caesar continues to grow smarter over time, and learns how to open his cage and leave the Animal Control Center.  Caesar returns to Rodman’s house and steals the serum that is being given to his father.  Back at the Animal Control Center, Caesar gives this serum to the other apes building an army.  At the right moment, the apes take control of the Center and break out into the city, taking that over as well.  This displays the beginning of how the apes will eventually rise over humans.

My Opinion: The movie ended with a definite possibility of a sequel, which I believe the studio will make.  Franco and Lithgow gave great performances that caused many heartfelt moments.  The CGI apes were also given eccentric personalities, and you cannot help but fall in love with and feel for them.  There are a few call backs to the original movie that are quite creative  : )  I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone that is a fan of the original Planet of the Apes, or any movie fan that enjoys a good action flick.

PS – It didn’t hurt that The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo trailer played before the movie  : )  Can’t wait!  Woot woot!

Posted in Movie Review | 1 Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: