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Posts Tagged ‘Zoe Saldana’

Guardians Of The Galaxy: Vol. 2  —  movie review
Today’s movie review is for the “recently” released Guardians Of The Galaxy: Vol 2 (2017) starring Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, (voice of:) Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon, (voice of:) Vin Diesel as “Baby” Groot, Michael Rooker as Yondu, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Kurt Russell as Ego, Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, and Sean Gunn as Kraglin.  Basically, Quill, Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Groot are the Guardians.  Ayesha and Ego are the baddies.  And, Mantis, Yondu and Kraglin are tag-alongs.  Nebula is “different” because she starts out a baddie and ends up a Guardian who leaves the team.  Vol. 2 is a sequel to the 2014 “surprise” breakout hit.  In the original, the team members are introduced, thrown together, they save the galaxy and start a movie franchise.  In this sequel, the team becomes a “Disney” family: ‘ohana – nobody is forgotten and nobody gets left behind.  Just a quick word about Yondu: he has a major purpose in the film and, technically, he too becomes a member of the team, so maybe, tag-along is not the correct description.  But, Yondue isn’t a good-guy and he’s not a baddie, so, like Mantis and Kraglin I’m just putting him down as “tag-along”.
Does it work?  Is this a good movie?  Is it a great sequel?  In order:  Yes, so-so and it’s okay.
Wow!  I can hear you saying?  What’s up, Kev?  This is a super-hero movie with special-effects galore…  Why just a so-so reaction?
Let me backup…  With one exception, this movie has received TERRIFIC positive reviews by EVERYONE I’ve asked about it.  Who was the exception?  My son, James.  The person I went to see the movie with.  His reaction: It was good, but not great.  James is INTO comics and he knows the back story to all of the titles and characters.  He is also a bit binary.  He wants the story to stay faithful to the comic.  More often than not, the movie doesn’t stay true and this upsets him.  I’m not that big a stickler, but I have my moments too.  This movie was not true to the comics and so his rating: good, but not great.
So, what was my problem?  I just didn’t find it to be particularly funny even though the movie went out of its way to throw humor at you with one liners, insults and sight-gags.  The humor seemed / was strangely “forced” to me.  The story just didn’t feel original.  I felt like I was watching “Tron Legacy” with Kurt Russell substituted for Jeff Bridges.
Now don’t get me wrong.  I “enjoyed” the movie.  It was fun.  It had a great sound-track which was integral to the movie.  It has better than average special effects and lots of action scenes.  It doesn’t have a lot of skin in lieu of sex or foul language to make it “seem” like (sound like) an adult movie.  Final recommendation: moderate to strong.  If you are not into comics and you’re just looking for summer entertainment, it’s probably strong to must-see.  For me: it suffered from “Sequel Syndrome”.  It just didn’t quite live up to my hopes based on the original.
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On This Day In:
2016 Hard Learners
2015 Goals
2014 Switch To Dogs…
2013 Times Change
2012 Ashes Not Dust
2011 A Handful From Saudi
None Of This Happened
Take Responsibility

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Well, the last thirty days have seen a good run of new movies for me: “Oblivion“, “Iron Man 3“, “The Great Gatsby” (last weekend) and yesterday, “Star Trek Into Darkness“.
The Great Gatsby – movie review
“The Great Gatsby” movie is based on the “classic” novel by the same name and written by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  I saw the movie promo’s starting several months ago, and as I’d read the book several decades ago, I decided to do something I almost never do – read the book and then go see the movie.  On the rare occasions when I do both read the book and then see a movie based on a book, I tend to see the movie (and enjoy it), and then go read the book.  In all honesty, this is normally because it takes a couple of years for the movie to follow the book and I would pick up the book in paperback after the movie just cause it’s cheaper to buy it used then.
But I digress…  This book is from the 1920’s and the movie has been done multiple times since its initial publication.  I guess the most famous is the 1970s version starring Robert Redford (which I have never seen).  Anyway, my daughter is an English major and she has a copy of the novel, so I read it in advance of seeing the movie.The movie follows the book very closely.  The characters are not the way I imagined them from the reading, but the major scenes are pretty spot on to the book.  As I didn’t “like” the book, I ended up finding the book only slightly better.  The costumes and feel of the movie seem pretty accurate and the acting was okay, but a couple of things bugged me.  Visually, the shirts and coats of many of the men didn’t seem to fit.  Almost all were too tight, and many were too short (particularly in the sleeves).  Now, normally this wouldn’t bother me much – if it all – but one scene has Gatsby raining down clothes on the female lead bragging about how he has them sent from his personal clothier in London.  So, why don’t the shirts, vest or jackets fit?
The second thing which bothered me was the music score.  It was too modern.  It had a ’20s “jazzy” feel, but it wasn’t, and a couple numbers even seemed to be almost rap.
So, is this the “definitive” Gatsby?  Even not having seen any of the other versions, I’d be inclined to say no.  I enjoyed DiCaprio in the title role, but everyone else was kind of blah.  Well, Maguire was okay, but not better than so-so.  None of the other characters were the way I imagined them from the book and certainly none of them played the role better than my imagination – again, even though the book was followed fairly closely.  Final recommendation: unless you are a MASSIVE DiCaprio or Gatsby fan, wait for TV release.
Star Trek Into Darkness – movie review
First off, full disclosure…  I watched all of Star Trek (the Original Series – aka ST:TOS) in first release back in the ’60s.  I have seen every episode at least five times (and most, many, many, many times more).  I even have the Enterprise and the Galileo Seven Christmas ornaments, for cryin’ out loud.  So, maybe this reviewer is slightly biased.  Having said this, what did I think?  This is a terrific movie!!  Get out your DVD of the first re-boot to get prepped and then RUN down to your local cinema to see this on a big screen.  Do NOT wait for this to come out on DVD unless you have a huge video set up at home.
Is this episode a “soap opera” in space? Yes (so what).  Are there “enough” nods to the original series and earlier movies? Yes!  Is there action?  YES!  Are the special effects up to snuff?  YES!  (Well, mostly.  Some of the CGI is pretty fuzzy / noticeable).  Is the acting good to great?  For the most part, yes!  These guys are really starting to own the roles, particularly the “minor” regulars Uhura (Zoe Saldana), Sulu (John Cho) and Chekov (Anton Yelchin).  It goes without saying that Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Bones/McCoy (Karl Urban) are well played.  Once again, Scotty (Simon Pegg) dominates most of scenes he’s in.  And ethnic issues aside, Benedict Cumberbatch makes for a good Khan.For me, the two touchstones of ST:TOS were humor and friendship.  Both are abundant in this movie.  I honestly believe that if you are in any way a fan of the original series, you will enjoy (if not love) this movie!!
Now, before all the absolutists start in on me, here are a couple of the “WTF” moments:
The transporter has a limited range (even in “The Next Generation” (TNG)), you can’t beam from one solar system to another.  So, Khan can’t beam from Earth to the Klingon home world.  Khan defeats the combined crews of three Klingon Birds of Prey (30 to 40 guys), but he can’t wup on one Vulcan (okay, so Khan was popped by 6-8 phaser stun blasts, but still), come on…  And finally, even at warp speed, travel from Earth to the Klingon home world is not instantaneous.  And, yes, there are other things, but REALLY, the movie is terrific!
Anything else?  Yeah.  Two “reality” points.  First, enough with the retread story lines.  The purpose of the reboot was to provide freedom for new stories, not just to re-hash the old stories with new actors.  How about Star Trek 3 gives us a new story?  Now, that I’d love to see!  Second, Pine isn’t younger than Kirk anymore.  If you’re not careful, you’re going to age Pine right out of the role for future movies.  I don’t see how you can do five years worth of exploration while shooting a movie once every three / four years…
Time will tell…
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On This Day In:
2013 Defining Maleness
2012 All Set
2011 Not Always

 

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