Elysium — Review

3 of 5 stars

When your first film is a major commercial and critical success like District 9, seeds of anticipation and worry are planted in the collective mind of your audience. Questions start crowding to the surface: “Is this guy for real? Is he a one-hit wonder? Can he do it again?” Needless to say: Neill Blomkamp‘s Elysium had ginormous shoes to fill, serious expectations to meet, and a lot to live up to. Did it succeed? Yes… and no. Mostly no.

It’s Better Up There

The year is 2154, and society is divided into two classes: the wealthy, who live on a man-made habitat called Elysium, and the…

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2 Guns — Review

2 of 5 stars
2 Guns

Well it wasn’t terrible but…

What a horrible way to start a review, right? I mean, I want to say something nice about this film because I didn’t hate it. It was entertaining and enjoyable on a few levels, but on other levels this film also failed to deliver. That makes this film kind of mediocre.

Yet on the other hand, this film has a couple of problems, and one very significant problem, hence: it wasn’t terrible, but…

Twists and Turns

This film definitely has a few more curve balls in store than the average film plot these days, and that’s not actually a negative thing. Often, it seems…

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Chad’s Adventures on Barsoom

Chad’s Adventures on Barsoom
Chad Hopkins - ChadTalksMovies.com

As I mentioned on The MovieByte Podcast Ep. 54, I have been working on a post for one of my personal sites, ChadTalksMovies.com, for two weeks now, all centered around the character and world of John Carter. Here’s a short excerpt:

SupermanFlash GordonStar WarsAvatar. These characters/films share a common ancestry through Edgar Rice Burrough’s classic novel A Princess of Mars. The creators of these and so many others at some point in their lives picked up this story and were absorbed into the world of Barsoom, introduced to a man named John Carter, a man transported to a world apart…

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The Wolverine — Review

4 of 5 stars
The Wolverine

This is one seriously messed up franchise. I mean, man, how hard is this thing to follow? It starts out simply enough — the first film, entitled X-Men, was set in the very near future. X2 follows up right on the heals of that film. Both of these first two entries into the X-Men franchise were directed by Bryan Singer, and they were most excellent. In fact X2 may be my favorite X-Men film to date.

Then a certain really nasty substance hit the fan, and X-Men: The Last Stand was released. This film was not directed by Bryan Singer, but by Brett Ratner, whom we should all agree must be expunged…

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RED 2 — Review

3.5 of 5 stars

RED, a 2010 film starring Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman, and Helen Mirren, was great because it brought something new to the table: older actors, most not known for starring in action films, coming together to create an action film that works as both a good action film and as a good comedy too. However, I was slightly concerned for the sequel; could the filmmakers capture what was special about the first film without rehashing it in the second? Luckily, I think that they (mostly) pulled it off.

The Mission

RED 2 picks up where the first film left off, with…

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R.I.P.D. — Review

1.5 of 5 stars

One word: WHY.

The Story

R.I.P.D. tells the story of Nick Walker (Ryan Reynolds), a police officer who opens the film with the burying of some mysterious pieces of gold under an orange tree in his backyard. We quickly learn that the gold was found by him and his partner, Bobby (Kevin Bacon), during a drug bust, but Nick tells Bobby that he has decided to return the gold. Later that day, during a raid, Bobby shoots Nick, killing him and sending him to the office of Mildred Proctor (Mary-Louise Parker), head of the Rest In Peace Department, or R.I.P.D. for short. The organization’s purpose is…

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Pacific Rim — Review

4 of 5 stars
Pacific Rim

Whatever you can say about Pacific Rim you cannot say that it lacks vision, guts, story, or monsters (lots of monsters). It also doesn’t have a very complicated plot, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

I went into this film with slightly elevated expectations than I had originally set for myself when I saw the first couple of trailers, but they still weren’t extremely high expectations. The idea of a monster movie with big, crash ‘em, mash ‘em robots sounds like the ultimate summer blockbuster movie in the same legacy left to us by the horrible Transformers franchise. Thankfully,…

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White House Down — Review

4 of 5 stars
White House Down

Olympus has fallen… again…

In the latest from director Roland Emmerich, the White House is under attack for the second time this year, and as much as I liked Olympus Has Fallen and gave it 4 stars when I talked about it on the podcast, White House Down almost wants to make me downgrade Olympus Has Fallen, by a half star. The reason is because I don’t feel this film merits 4.5 stars, but I also feel like it’s a little better than Olympus Has Fallen. So it’s sort of that strange in-between place for me. I’m sticking with 4 stars for both of them.

Roland Emmerich At It Again

Man, Roland…

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‘World War Z’ - Chad’s Review

Corey wrote the official MovieByte review of World War Z, but Chad also had some thoughts and I thought I would change it up a little and run this as an article. He’ll be on the podcast with me today at 3:00 PM CDT to talk about the film.


More about Chad Hopkins

‘World War Z’ - Chad’s Review

How does one judge a zombie film? I’ve personally never had any interest in the genre; in fact, I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a zombie film or television show about zombies before now, excluding 2007′s I Am Legend (which I’m not counting because the “creatures” in the original book by Richard Matheson that the film was based on were actually vampires). It’s a genre that I’ve always been skeptical of, so I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to see World War Z…frankly speaking, the trailers didn’t make me at all interested. However, I finally saw it, and, guess what? Wow.

Based on the book by…

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Monsters University — Review

4 of 5 stars
Monsters University

Pixar has become a bit of a household name these days. When we think of cute, family friendly films that are well made, have a great message, and are fun for all ages, Pixar is what we think of. I would contend even that the likes of the films we have seen from Pixar until very recently have been far better than anything Disney ever put out.

There are really 3 things Pixar is known for, two of those are the bulk of the ingredients that make a good Pixar animated film in my opinion.

  1. A Really, REALLY good and compelling story.
  2. A really good message behind the story, well executed…
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