Movie Review: Annie (2014)

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Plot: A foster kid, who lives with her mean foster mom, sees her life change when business tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in.

Rating: 6/10

The very low rating I gave might suggest that I disliked Annie. I really didn’t though. I certainly thought that it was really very, very optimistic and that literally no one had an ounce of rhythm except Jamie Foxx. Cameron Diaz and Rose Byrne were the epitome of white girls dancing and I wanted to hide when they were subjected to singing and dancing and I was subjected to watching them do it. I thought Quvenzhane Wallis (what a name) was pretty cute as Annie. It seems quite deranged to make films about singing orphans, but the film (and probably theater production) manages to be upbeat and sweet and inspirational and one of those situations where the villains aren’t even villains at the end of the day. I watched Annie with my mom and she really liked it, and for her to really like a movie is almost impossible. There really isn’t much else to say about this – for a musical full of people who aren’t really musically gifted it didn’t go that bad. I wouldn’t claim that the film restored my faith in humanity because there is no way humanity is that good, but I did like it and thought it was sweet.

Have you seen Annie? What did you think?

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Movie Review: Django Unchained (2012)

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Plot: With the help of a German bounty hunter, a freed slave sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner.

Rating: 8/10

I really like myself and my heritage on a regular basis. I’m not one of those white people perpetually steeped in guilt of what my ancestors did. However, there are a few things that makes me ashamed of the things the White Man has done – surely the most pompous and perplexing breed of human ever to roam the earth. Django Unchained definitely made me feel disgusted with American settlers. I firstly want to say it is incredibly rich of Americans to bitch so endlessly about Apartheid – just look at how they went on. Anyway. Let’s actually talk about the movie, shall we?

Django Unchained is now the third Tarantino film that I’ve seen. I saw Pulp Fiction as part of a Blindspot 2015 film, and watched Inglorious Basterds in the same week I watched this one. Django certainly has the same feel of Tarantino films – that crazy flamboyance. I love that he has such a distinct style – you only need to watch one sequence to know who you are dealing with.

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It is not an easy story to watch. It gets very rough in places and I felt a bit sick a few times. It is not that the violence is particularly often, it is the dehumanizing type of violence that is so terrible. Once again Christopher Waltz manages to steal the show as the infinitely sweet Doctor King. He was the one white man in the movie that showed he had a soul and was had kindness in him. His courteous treatment of Django and his gentle education makes him a character that I won’t soon forget (and how vastly different is he from his role in Inglorious Basterds?!)

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I’ve never really paid much attention to Jamie Foxx’s work, but I was really impressed with him. He manages to be severe yet humorous, a difficult feat, and has intense character development. The first scene with him in where he throws off his cloak it is obvious that Django is not a man that was born to be oppressed.

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I love Leonardo DiCaprio, well, on the level that everyone loves Leonardo DiCaprio. I was truly revolted by him in this film, which showcases his talent and abilities. But still, just NO.

DU is a bit long – I think the end went on slightly longer than it should have. It is really good though, and definitely worth a watch.

Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Rise of Electro (2014)

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The movie starts with a flashback, showing Richard Parker (Campbell Scott) on a plane, uploading files. His wife Mary (Embeth Davitz) heads to the bathroom and Richard is attacked by an assassin. Richard manages to upload the data just before the plane explodes, killing everyone on board.

Years later, Richard’s son peter is busy saving the world, disguised as Spider-Man. Spider-Man is regarded by many as a vigilante, but it is clear that he is helping rid Manhattan of criminals. He catches Aleksei Systevich (Paul Giamatti) who is trying to steal a truck from Oscorp containing plutonium vials. Spider-Man saves the life of an Oscorp employee, Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), a guy with serious confidence issues who regards himself as unimportant. Spidey tells Max that he is very important and that he is his Spidey’s friend. Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) is on the phone with Peter, asking him where he is. Peter sees a vision of George Stacy, Gwen’s deceased father who had asked Peter to steer clear of Gwen for her safety. Later that night he ends their relationship again, trying to honor that promise he made.

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Spider-Man and Max 

Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) returns to Manhattan to visit his dying father, Norman Osborn. Norman, the CEO of Oscorp, tells Harry that he is a disappointment to him and that the disease that is killing him will kill Harry as well unless he manages to find a cure to it. Norman dies, leaving his young son as the CEO of the billion dollar empire. The board of Oscorp is a bit worried and Harry quickly makes enemies with them. Peter, Harry’s old friend, visits him and after a bit of awkwardness they connect again.

Max becomes obsessed with Spider-Man. He is still being bullied at work and he is ordered to fix some faults in an Oscorp lab on his birthday. He loses his footing and falls into a tank with modified electric eels and they attack him, mutating him into Electro. He heads towards Time Square, confused, and Peter rushes to him after hearing Gwen might be heading to England on scholarship. Max causes a blackout with his surging power, but Spider-Man is unable to calm him down when the police shoot at him. Max is taken to the Ravencroft Institute for further investigation.

Electro

Electro

Harry is worried when he starts to see his disease developing. He realizes that Spider-Man is an example of his father’s successful research and thinks that some of Spider-Man’s blood will save him. He asks Peter, who sent in a picture of Spider-Man, to contact him and ask for his blood, obviously not knowing that Peter IS Spider-Man. Peter is worried that the blood will make Harry sicker or make him something dangerous, as previously seen. They part with bad blood between them. The Oscorp board-members rock up and frame Harry for Max’s accident and he is successfully removed as CEO. Harry’s assistant tells him of equipment and venom that can save him, hidden somewhere in the building. Harry goes and talks to Max, asking for help. Max agrees and kills his captors. They escape, Harry injecting himself with the venom. What will happen to Harry and Electro? Can Spider-Man save Manhattan once more and will Harry ever find out that Peter, his friend, denied him blood that could save him? Will Gwen go to England or continue risking her life to be with Peter?

Rating: 7/10

I really enjoyed this. I know a lot of people had some issues with it, but I thought it was really entertaining. The special effects were sound and I liked how Peter Parker developed, fought with himself and his morals and how he constantly struggled with his feelings for Gwen Stacy compared to the promises he made to her father. The chemistry between Garfield and Stone is really strong and they make a very strong pair on screen. I love Spider-Man’s cocky attitude and humor. He is really funny and I had a few good laughs during the movie.

I thought Dane DeHaan was excellent as Harry Osborne. He was so sad and broken by his horrible father and he really tried to be a good guy. I liked the relationship between Peter and his aunt, and how sad it was when she thought he was seeking information on his parents because she wasn’t a good enough mother to him. I like how they give a bit more clearance where his father went and what exactly happened there and how it affected Peter. I thought the special effects were well done, both on Electro and the Green Goblin. I loved Electro, but thought he and the GG should have been more developed and gotten up to more nonsense than they did. Jamie Foxx was thoroughly entertaining as Max, surprising me with how well he played a geek who really didn’t fit in and was bullied by everyone. I had sympathy with his character and understood why he went crazy when he finally had a bit of power.

Have you seen it? What did you think?