The Double (2014) — Review

4 of 5 stars

Give a warm welcome to Ben Riley and his first contribution to MovieByte. To be honest, I have been wanting to bring someone onto MovieByte that both tends to have different opinions than my own, and who tends to watch and enjoy different types of films than I do as well. I believe Ben matches that description. As such, he has kindly watched and submitted his first film review of The Double which I was only slightly interested in.



More about Ben Riley

The Double (2014)

Richard Ayoade’s The Double is a film that is interesting because, like so many art films, it simultaneously invites and defies interpretation. I could argue that it is an unusual study of masculine self realization; or perhaps, I might say that it is a disturbing depiction of primal male impulses. Is it about individuality being suppressed by the demands of corporate society? Or perhaps a thoughtful rumination on the unique identity? Is it a study on the way a perceptive individual struggles with anima and persona? The Double is, perhaps, all of these things; it is possible that it is none…

Read The Review

Rio 2 — Review

3 of 5 stars
Rio 2

It seems to me that it would be difficult to make a sequel to Rio. I’m not sure I would have tried.

Rio is pretty universally loved. It has a 72% critic approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and that’s not too shabby, really. But I thought it a well deserved approval. Rio has heart and story, and it’s quirky and funny. Jesse Eisenberg’s Blu is one of the more lovable animated characters I’ve had the privilege of seeing in recent times. And in fact that voice cast of the entire film absolutely perfect in every conceivable way. You just can’t get any better.

As well, even for an animated musical…

Read The Review

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 — Review

3 of 5 stars
The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Since I am in a very small minority of a minority on the opinion I’m about to sling out there, I’m trying to figure out how to put this delicately. Oh, that’s right, I don’t care about putting it delicately. I did not like The Amazing Spider-Man. It was an incoherent mess of plot ideas and villains strung together in a fashion that made me question the theory of monkeys being able to write the collective works of Shakespeare given enough time. It was an extremely forgettable film that came entirely too soon after a fairly successful franchise that only faltered slightly with it’s third and…

Read The Review

Noah — Review

0.5 of 5 stars

Noah is a film that is sure to make people mad. A film and the enjoyment of it is already such a subjective thing. There are people in this world who, believe it or not, have seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier and hated it. And it’s perfectly legitimate for them to do so even if I completely disagree. There are many who have seen Noah, and who loved it for various different reasons. And I would even go so far as to say that liking or loving this film is a legitimate opinion. I do not share that opinion. You might recall that before now, I considered Cloud Atlas to be the worst film I…

Read The Review

Captain America: The Winter Soldier — Review

4.5 of 5 stars
Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Hey look, it’s another Marvel film that’s really, really good. Can I get a nickel for every time I say that? Because if I can, I’ll be a rich man. Someday, Marvel will have some sort of downfall that will be a sight to behold indeed, but that day is not here — nor, I suspect, will it be for a while to come. One of the things Captain America: The Winter Soldier shows us is that Marvel has some very savvy filmmakers in their camp. And I mean savvy on many levels. For starters, this film knows what it is, it knows its place, it knows how to inject humor at just the right spots, and what needs to…

Read The Review

Mr. Peabody & Sherman — Review

3.5 of 5 stars
Mr. Peabody & Sherman

As you may have heard on Episode 81 of The MovieByte Podcast, I had to work hard to convince TJ to see this film rather than the much manlier 300: Rise of an Empire, which I have absolutely no interest in ever seeing. That being said, I was hopeful that this movie would be worth the money to see it in the theater, both for TJ’s and my sakes. While it may not have been as good as I had hoped, I do think that it ended up being a pretty decent family film that I would certainly say is worth the money. Note: a few spoilers ahead, but no major ones.

An Extraordinary Dog

Mr. Peabody & Sherman…

Read The Review

Chad’s ‘Divergent’ Trilogy Book Review

Chad’s ‘Divergent’ Trilogy Book Review
Chad Hopkins - ChadLikesMovies

Hey guys. As you should know, the film adaptation of the first book in Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy, titled Divergent (duh), is set to be released next week. The trailer alone didn’t get me interested at all even though I felt like I should be excited for what looked to be “the next Hunger Games.” In an attempt to remedy that, I read the whole trilogy this past week and loved it! For some non-spoilery thoughts on the trilogy as a whole, head on over to my site to read the full review. Here’s the general gist of it:

Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy continues to prove that the world of…

Read The Rest

Outlander (2008) — Review

1.5 of 5 stars
Outlander (2008)

Boston Herald‘s James Verniere described Outlander as “Beowulf meets Predator” — a fair assessment, were it not for the fact that Outlander fails to live up to either one. Indeed, it fails to live up to much of anything.

The movie opens with the crash-landing of Kainan (Jim Caviezel), an alien warrior who finds himself stranded on the shores of Norway during the Iron Age. Crap. To make things worse, he manages to get himself captured by a band of seriously annoyed Norwegians. Double crap.

The proverbial cherry on top of all this crap comes with the realization that Moorwen — a man-chomping…

Read The Review

Non-Stop — Review

3 of 5 stars

The one thing you can never do when Liam Neeson is in the film is say that there was no talent brought to bear for whatever film you happen to be watching. Let’s review.

For me, he really came into prominence with Schindler’s List. While I have no intention of watching the film again, or certainly not for a long time, it’s not because the film is not good or because Neeson was not good. Indeed, Neeson’s performance is amazing and the role is well done.

Then he was the only decent Jedi in a completely mixed up alternate universe where the Star Wars prequels were made (I don’t acknowledge…

Read The Review

RoboCop (2014) — Review

4 of 5 stars
RoboCop (2014)

And here is where I’m going to get into unforgivable trouble I’m afraid — at least according to some people. Unlike the original RoboCop, I really enjoyed this film.

I believe that, when you look across the films of history that stand the test of time, the focus is almost always on the story and the characters. My issue with the original film is that they didn’t focus too much on the story and characters. In fact, as I argued, they never really figured out what to focus on.

This modern remake is actually quite refreshing in that regard. The story has been almost entirely re-imagined from…

Read The Review