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Gravity-8.5/10-An intense, beautiful, thoughtful and original film that features great performances from George Clooney, and most of all Sandra Bullock.

Enders Game-8/10- Pretty solid adaptation of the book, I really had a good time watching this one. 

Directed by Paul Greengrass

Starring Tom Hanks

Rated PG-13

Rating-9/10

           

There are so many movies that come out that proclaim that they are “Based on a True Story” in order to make money, yet don’t have a thread of truth to them. Captain Philips is a perfect example of a movie that takes a true story and actually stays true to it, resulting in one of the most powerful, must-see movies of the year.

Captain Philips follows the 2009 hijacking of the US Mersk Alabama cargo ship and the subsequent kidnapping of its Captain, Richard Philips. Captain Philips portrayed by Tom Hanks, who gives the performance of a lifetime, one of his best since Saving Private Ryan. Tom Hanks hasn’t been in anything of this quality in a long time and it is a pleasure to see him in an Oscar noteworthy film like this again. He plays Philips convincingly as an everyman who is thrown into a terrible situation, and has to do what he can to save his crew, and his own life. The film does an amazing job portraying the Somali pirates by focusing on why they are doing what they are doing, rather than depicting them as two-dimensional villains. Barkhad Abdi plays the head pirate, and gives a really memorable performance, which is simultaneously frightening and empathetic.  Another reason that makes this film so great is Paul Greengrass’s excellent job directing. He previously has directed the Bourne movies as well as the incredible United 93, and with Captain Phillips he directs quite possibly his best film.. Greengrass does an admirable job making the film look realistic, doing the story justice by presenting it as it might have happened. Much like with United 93, even though you know what is going to happen at the end, it is still all the more intense.  

Overall, Captain Phillips is a perfect example of a film that does a true story justice, and is one of the most intense and powerful films you will see all year and is one that I hope will be remembered come Oscar season.

Movie Music Roundup

Im gonna post some links to some really good bits of some movie soundtracks. These aren’t in any particular order they are just very good bits to some soundtracks that I enjoy.

1. Pans Labyrinth-Music Written by Javier Navarrete- The lullaby in Pan’s Labyrinth is one of the most beautiful, sad and touching pieces of music i have heard in a while. Javier Navarrete really capture the core of the film in this soundtrack, and it will stick with you long after you watch the film.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19bBGxf5k6k

2. Looper-Music Written by Nathan Johnson-I didn’t really notice the soundtrack to Looper until i watched it a few times. This part of the soundtrack occurs at the ending of the movie, and it really ties the movie together. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZivyIoKQ9k

3. Dark Knight Rises- Music Written By Hans Zimmer- This in my opinion is one of Hans Zimmer’s better movie scores. My favorite part of the score in particular is when Bruce Wayne is climbing out of the pit. It is a powerful moment in the film, and Hans Zimmer really captures the moment with his score.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Homukj0sBYU

4. Oblivion- Music Written by M83- Director Joseph Kosinski really has a knack for picking who to do the soundtracks for his films. He got Daft Punk to score his Tron Legacy, and he got M83, an amazing french electronic artist to score his recent film Oblivion. It really is an amazing score, and was probably one of the better parts of the movie.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnYsgZdDHfM

5. Kill Bill Vol 1- Soundtrack by Tarantino-All of Tarantino’s soundtracks are amazing, but in particular his soundtrack for Kill Bill Vol 1 (as well as Django) was incredible, and really made the movie awesome. Here are two different parts of the soundtrack that are pretty awesome.

Twisted Nerve- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcKORO8S6m8

Lonely Shepherd- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8bRUjsYy4g

Rating- 4/10 

I think this would all have played out a lot differently if Mark Ruffalo turned into the hulk. Nuff said. 

I know this is a little late, but this is a review for Argo that I wrote a while back

Argo

Directed by Ben Affleck

Written by Chris Terrio

Starring Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, and Bryan Cranston

Rated R

Rating- 4.5/5 stars

 

            As of recent, Ben Affleck has really proven himself as a director. He made an amazing turnaround from terribly acting in sub par movies like Pearl Harbor, to directing and brilliantly acting in excellent films such as Gone, Baby, Gone, The Town, and now my personal favorite, Argo.

Unlike most movies that claim that they are “based on a true story” and have no shred of truth to them, Argoactually tells a genuinely true story. It is a declassified story about a group of fugitives have escaped to the Canadian ambassador’s house from the US Embassy, which was taken by Iranian rebels for 444 days from 1979-1981. With a plan involving a fake movie, it is CIA extractor Tony Mendez’s (Ben Affleck) job to remove them from Iran to safety into the USA.

            There are many elements that work in this film. For one, the plot for this movie is incredibly innovative, containing humor, an interesting story, suspense, and great performances all in the same film. The first element where this movie really succeeds is in its humor. The humor is great, mostly coming from scene-stealing Alan Arkin and John Goodman supplying it in the Hollywood section of the film. One wouldn’t expect a movie of this subject matter to contain any humor, but it is needed giving the audience much needed breather room from the movie’s intense subject matter. The other element that this film really flourishes is suspense. When Tony has to go to Iran the suspense really kicks in. The suspense in this film really works radical groups are still an incredibly dangerous real world problem, and the fact that this happened and could happen again makes this movie going experience even more powerful. When the climax finally hits, it is one of the most intense, exciting experiences at the movies you will encounter for a while. My experience might have been worse than most people’s in this part because out of fear, my mom was practically strangling my arm, plus stopping it’s blood flow.

Overall, this is a true example of great Hollywood storytelling. Not only is the story incredibly interesting, in an incredible feat, the movie deftly balances humor, suspense, great performances and most of all, real world issues all in one movie. Unlike many Hollywood movies today, the performances are genuine, and all of the actors do a great job convincing you these were real people. It’s these kind of movies that really remind you why we love them so much.

 

Top Ten Movies of the Summer

1. Pacific Rim- This movie is straight up the most fun I had at the movies at this summer. It didn’t feature particularly good acting, or ingenious storytelling, but it didn’t need it at all. It is like Independence Day except with giant monsters fighting giant robots, and there is nothing wrong with that.

 2. World War Z- I know that this probably isn’t everybody’s pick for second place, but it was one of the only films that came out this summer that exceeded my expectations. It was a very fun, intense, and entertaining blockbuster zombie movie that I thoroughly enjoyed.

3. This is the End- This is by far the funniest movie I saw all summer. Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and many more play incredibly funny versions of themselves in this incredibly raunchy apocalyptic comedy.

4. The Wolverine- Though the trailers didn’t make it look like anything special, this movie surprisingly really delivered. This is my favorite superhero movie of the summer, and taking the film to a Japanese setting made it all the more awesome.

5. Star Trek Into Darkness- The sequel to 2009’s Star Trek, slightly disappointed me, but was nevertheless a very good sequel. Though it missed some of the humor and energy of the first, it was a nonstop 2-hour thrill ride through space with a great performance from Benedict Cumberbatch, who is the man. I also lost my ipod touch when watching this movie, so that kind of sucked.

6. Fast and Furious 6-  It took what was awesome bout 2011’s Fast Five, did not take itself seriously, and had some truly incredible action sequences. Whether it is a battle on a free way involving a tank, or a scene where Vin Diesel literally drives out of a plane, this movie is ridiculous, and is all the better for it.

7. Iron Man 3- Iron Man 3 is for the most part a really good movie. It is much better than Iron Man 2, it featured the signature Robert Downey Jr. humor, and while there was some plot issues, for the most part it is pretty great. My main problem with the movie was how they handled the ending of the movie, but I’m still looking forward Avengers 2.

8. We’re the Millers- We’re the Millers is another really hilarious, raunchy summer comedy. Jason Sudeikis was really funny, plus there is Jennifer Aniston. As a stripper. Nuff said.

9. Elysium- While definitely not as good as director Neill Blomkamp’s previous film,  District 9, Elysium is still an exciting, innovative, and smart science fiction movie that dealt with real world problems. Personally, it was a little too short for me, and while it didn’t have as much power as District 9, it was a pretty good movie.

10. Man of Steel- Almost too action packed, this still made for a pretty solid superhero movie with a Dark Knight/Christopher Nolan feel to it.

 

Avengers

The Avengers

Directed/Written by Joss Whedon

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo and Tom Hiddleston

Rated PG-13

Gottlieb Rating: 4.9/5 stars

           

            The idea of assembling an ensemble cast for a big blockbuster movie has been around since, well, the beginning of the rise of film stars in the late 1920s. Every year we seem to get 3 or 4 of these blockbuster films with your favorite actors put together. Most of the time they don’t work due to the fact that they are so concentrated on the actors and actresses that they forget to give it a good story or dialogue (with the exception of Oceans Eleven and a few other films). The Avengers is the perfect exception to this trend, as this summer blockbuster works on so many levels.

This movie has generated tons of hype ever since you saw the teaser with Samuel L. Jackson in 2008’s Iron Man. But despite all this hype, it comes out being one of the most entertaining films I have ever seen, and this is all because of the work of Joss Whedon. Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly) has been a cult favorite for a while now, and he was the perfect person to direct and write this film for so many reasons. Instead of only being action packed like most other Hollywood movies, this film upsets this trend. It is a perfect balance between incredibly well delivered action sequences and just the right amount of focus on character. Another really important part of this movie is that it is hilarious. This is one of the most quotable movies I have seen in a while, and it reminds you how much Hollywood has forgot how much writing is essential to a movie. Another important reason to love this movie are the amazing performances from its powerhouse cast. Robert Downey Jr. is incredible as usual as the billionaire, genius, playboy, philanthropist Iron Man. Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans give great performances as Thor and Captain America, and Mark Ruffalo steals the show as the Hulk, who was one of my favorite parts of the movie. Jeremy Renner is continually showing how great of an actor he is as he plays Hawkeye, and Scarlet Johansson is incredibly hot (and Jewish!). What were we talking about again?

These great performances mixed with an amazing script and the near perfect directing from Joss Whedon make this film into one of my favorites of the year, nevertheless, of all time.

P.S. If you are Jewish and like shwarma, stay for the scene at the end of the credits

 

Check this out

From the same people who made the Avengers honest trailer, this is pretty funny

I loved this movie, but still this was pretty funny

To get you excited, i will leave you a few related videos to watch