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Movie Review: Star Wars – The Last Jedi

I had watched The Last Jedi the other day and I will try here to review it without giving away spoilers or twists.

The eighth part of the ‘Star Wars’ saga  is strikingly dazzling. After a material battle to kick off – the new director Rian Johnson (‘ Brick ‘) looks deep into the wounded souls of his heroes – especially in the dark Kylo Ren.

I You’re not really doing much, “Young Rey says disrespectfully to Jedi retiree Luke Skywalker, and the authors of the sequels have no scruples killing the gospel of George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars’, they proved in Episode VII, when angry Kylo Ren literally made his father, Han Solo, disappear into oblivion: he pushed him casually into an abyss – an inglorious end to Han Solo (Harrison Ford), who many fans considered the coolest character in the galaxy.

We meet Rey and Luke Skywalker right back where the cliffhanger at the end of J.J. Abrams’ seventh part on her fate in the unknown left: On a picturesque as well as deserted island whose steps carved into the rock seem almost to lead to heaven.

There, in the remnants of an ancient Jedi temple, the aged and broken Luke Skywalker lives his life. He was the youthful hero in the first three ‘Star Wars’ movies in the 1970s and 80s and is played as always by Mark Hamill, who has also matured dramatically compared to back then. However, the juvenile hero figure is a woman in the 21st century: 25-year-old Daisy Ridley, who showed in the last part who is wearing the three-quarter pants in the Star Wars universe.

Today, she is a strong supporter of Leia Organa (the 2016 deceased Carrie Fisher in one of her last roles). And Leia does not have to be saved in a bikini anymore. The princess of yesteryear is now general of the Resistance. She commands with heartfelt but forbidden attention the few resistance fighters who want to put an end to the leader of the evil First Order, Supreme Leader Snoke (as always a show: Andy ‘Gollum’ Serkis).

But the wild Rey desperately needs training to use her powers properly. The offer of father murderer Kylo Ren she had knocked out in the last movie. He clearly has a problem with his Anger Management. First, his fancy Darth Vader memorial helmet falls victim to a tantrum. So this time we get to see a lot of Adam Driver, who creates his Kylo Ren as a wonderfully weak villain.

Now, Rey hopes to Jedi veteran Luke Skywalker as a teacher, but he does not really want. What he carries with him for a small package and what Rey and Kylo Ren have in common, I do not want to reveal here. Only so much: There is a lot of sheet metal damage, the lightsabers are eagerly swung, and a lot of Star Wars stripes are looked up into the confused souls of the characters.

In addition old acquaintances appear again – and on both sides new heads. The biggest cuteness factor this time even not the droll droid BB-8, but feathered critters with big eyes. Yeah, ‘Lucas Film’ is now owned by Disney. So there is something for everyone in the far, far away galaxy. Boredom is guaranteed not to occur in the 151 minutes, which feel like one and a half hours.

Conclusion:

While there are things to criticize, Star Wars: The Last Jedi is definitely one of the better Star Wars movies. Where exactly you place it within the saga, whether over or under The Empire Strikes Back, or Rogue One, is likely to depend heavily on personal taste. The established new characters in the predecessor such as Rey and Kylo Ren, but also Finn and Poe undergo important developments and finally take the lead of the old squad. All of this happens in a great story that steals here and there from the old days, but clearly proves more autonomy.

Especially in the space battles the film draws grandiose pictures with first-class effects on the canvas. Offside, Rian Johnson continues the work with many practical effects that give the film a more realistic look. Beyond doubt is the work of John Williams, who returns to his best. This is mainly because he again used more old themes in the soundtrack and thus enhances the recognition. An increase over Episode 7 is The Last Jedi without a doubt. A definite recommendation for every moviegoer – for Star Wars fans anyway.

Rating: (5 / 5)

Check out the Trailer below:

Movie Review: Jurassic World

So here is as well our Review of the freshly released movie “Jurassic World”. Jurassic-World

Jurassic World continues directly after the first Jurassic Park from 1993 and forgets about the two sequels. But is the new film that good to make us forget about the two other installments?  Let’s have a look!

In 1993 the time was ripe: Traditional special effects with animatronic puppets from the side of Stan Winston had reached at its peak. Digital effects were  finally at a quality that they are no longer perceived as foreign objects.

With this conditions Steven Spielberg hit the perfect time to send the cinema audience in Jurassic Park into a spectacular journey of the world of dinosaurs and to show them a movie in a quality they had never seen before. The out of this resulting Dino-Mania held the world in its grip for several years thereafter.

The sequels Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park 3 still remained in the shadow of the original. The audience had perhaps gotten to fast used to the CGI dinosaurs and the magic of the first park visit would not be set again. 14 years after the disappointing third part of the franchise Universal tried now to review the Jurassic Park brand again, politely ignoring the events of the two sequels which in my opinion was the right step.

We are going Back to the Island!

Continue reading Movie Review: Jurassic World

Movie Review: Hot Pursuit

So we went out to see Hot Pursuit, an Action Comedy starring Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon (“Walk the Line,” “Wild”) sofia-vergara-reese-witherspoon-hot-pursuit-movie-posterand Sofía Vergara (“Chef,” TV’s “Modern Family”), under the direction of Anne Fletcher (“The Proposal”). Fletcher directs from a screenplay written by David Feeney (TV’s “New Girl”) & John Quaintance (TV’s “Ben & Kate”). John Carroll Lynch (“Crazy, Stupid, Love.”) and Robert Kazinsky (“Pacific Rim”) also star.

The Plot in short: In “Hot Pursuit,” an uptight and by-the-book cop (Witherspoon) tries to protect the sexy and outgoing widow (Vergara) of a drug boss as they race through Texas, pursued by crooked cops and murderous gunmen.

The Trailer looks quite cool so we thought it is a probably good idea to watch this one. Well. Reese Witherspoon has done quite some cool movies (Wild, Mud, Water for Elephants…) but in this one she just does not pull it off sadly.  Sofia Vergara is shining much better here but that could not save the movie. Loads of cliches, sexism, and stereotypes are in combination with a really lazy script a sure guarantor for a movie that makes you wish you hadn’t wasted your time on it.

Leave the plot flaws away and you will find that the main characters have been able to leave their in the beginning of the movie defined stereotype roles as a by the book police office who serves on the evidence counter in the basement and a vamp who is materialistic and does not really follow any rules.  During the movie this uneven duo develops in a new direction showing that Cooper (Reese Witherspoon) can gain confidence on her capabilities and Daniella (Sofia Vergara) shows that there is more behind the persons than only being the wife of a drug lord.

Sadly aside from this development you are getting bored with generic jokes and dumb gags. The movie does offer 2 big names in the lead but does not deliver on the promise the Trailer makes as sadly the best scenes are in it already.

Verdict:  Even if you love Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara, the movie remains being so not worth watching it.

Acme Blog Movie Rating: 

 

You can watch the Trailer below:

Movie Review: Avengers: Age of Ultron

We had been on Wednesday for the screening of the Avengers : Age of Ultron at the Reel Cinemas at The Beach in JBR.

The Avengers are back again and deliver bombastic Action fireworks. In this movie review we will highlight the old and new characters, go on to the villain Ultron and the overall more dark atmosphere of the film. Joss Whedon in any case succeeded in delivering a highlight of with this movie.

The title for the best and most successful blockbusters of the year will probably be within the Disney studios itself. Marvel with Joss Whedon and the Avengers 2: Age of Ultron have now already hung the bar damn high, so that Lucasfilm and J.J. Abrams will have to work hard to top it with their end of year release of Star Wars: Episode 7. Once again cult director Joss Whedon (Buffy, Firefly) supplies us with the latest Avengers movie the highlight and grand finale in the current phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.avengers-2-photos-mark-ruffalo-robert-downey-jr

Unlike in the first part this time Joss Whedon loses no time with the introduction of the individual figures. The various individual films and the first Avengers movie should have made Iron Man, Captain America and Co. well known enough to the fans . Instead, the movie starts directly with a striking attack of the heroes force on the basis of Hydra leader Baron Strucker which was already in the post-credit scene of Captain America 2:The Winter Soldier shortly visible. Since than Strucker was as the great nemesis. He was known mainly through the TV series Marvel’s Agents of Shield as the head of the Hydra-threat, there however without being visible at all.

According disappointing is the rather unspectacular end of Hydra and the rule of Struckers over the organization. Here potential was sadly given away. The Battle of the mountain fortress of Hydra however drops favor on the more spectacular. Hydra moves to numerous cannon fodder, so that the heros can put their skills to the test. Overall Avengers 2 is much more action-packed than the predecessor. Joss Whedon nevertheless manages it to prevent the slip to a pointless and insignificant action orgy. The staging is always well done and meaningful, but also dramatic and even humorous.

Black Widow:

I’m always picking up after you boys.

Between the lines and in the very few quiet moments, however it was possible to develop the characters a bit further. In the center here are mainly Black Widow, Hawkeye and Hulk , which could not shine with their own solo movies so far. Especially about Clint “Hawkeye” Barton we are learning now much better than after he had to serve primarily as a puppet of Loki in the first Avengers movie. Natasha and Bruce have built up their relationship since their first meeting, and so Black Widow is even allowed to control the Hulk at least partially, not to forget about the romantic tension between them two.

Additional to the well-known team the Avengers got also expanded with interesting characters. Talking her of the twins Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, better known as Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch. Comic fans could be disturbed, that due to lack of privileges on X-Men universe, the back-story of the siblings had to be changed. Actually children of Magneto, the two are shown in the film as orphans who maintain their skills by tesseract-experiments of Strucker who Pietro and Wanda have voluntarily supported. Driven by revenge, revenge on Tony Stark, whose weapons wiped out their family as we come to know.avengers-2-photos-jeremy-renner-hawkeye

Especially Scarlett Witch, played by Elizabeth Olsen, makes a strong impression. She fluctuates between her vindictiveness, doubts and also disclosed vulnerable sides of her. Her brother, however, remains rather pale in the whole movie. Accordingly I was touched only by his fate. A powerful new ally of the Avengers is the artificial nature of The Vision, which Tony has equipped with parts of his AI Jarvis. With his tranquil nature Paul Bettany , who has also already spoken the voice of Jarvis, and thus represents a counterpart to Ultron, makes a really positive impression. While the opponent of the Avengers is “only” a machine he is still one of the better enemies in the Marcel Comic Universe.

The charisma of Ultron created by a superlative performance of James Spader, who impressively breathes life to AI with his voice. As a creation of Tony Stark Ultron is torn between his actual target and its radical nature. He should be created to protect humanity and improve it, for Ultron this objective can be achieved only by the total destruction of humanity. However, Ultron is not only the ice-cold killer Machine, Joss Whedon manages the robot also with a sense of humor and vanity, which is plagued by internal contradictions.avengers-2-photos-scarlett-johansson-black-widow

Also in Avengers 2 Humor is not coming too short, but this time it is used more mindful. This is mainly due to the rather dark mood of the film, which makes a little more seriousness necessary. This mood is also underlined by the sets used. The dusty mountain fortress of Strucker, an old derelict Eastern European city, a beach full of scrapped ships, all places with more dark colors that have nothing to do with the glossy sets of the first Avengers movie.

In some scenes one notes that the movie was actually much longer and was cut for the cinema on a more tolerable length of almost two and a half hours. There is for example the scene with Thor and Selvig on this mysterious spring that goes completely without explanation off the stage. The significance of this scene therefore fails to reveal itself to the viewer. The encounter with the mysterious woman from the trailer for example was as well cut from the final film which might as well had an explanation of the spring scene.

In addition to the well-known heroes,the new additions and opponent Ultron there are numerous guest appearances from the Marvel Comic Universe known figures. Whether WarMachine, Falcon, Maria Hill, Peggy Carter or Heimdall, they all get in one way or another their brief appearances. Nick Fury also emerged from his exile and again engages his Avengers Initiative with help. This should get interesting in regards to the eventual impact on the Agents of Shield TV series. Besides the fact that the Avengers have saved once again the world The Avengers 2 lays as well foundations for the third phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

avengers-2-photos-captain-america-thor

Tony Stark and Steve Rogers show their different critical views to each other several times in the Avenger 2 and thus give a foretaste of the Civil War in Captain America 3. Thor indicated Ragnarök. With the meeting with the arms dealer Klaw in Wakanda the film is referring to the upcoming Black Panther Movie. And of course everything in the Avengers gears towards the grand finale in the Infinity War miniseries where they will have to deal with Thanos in the battle for the legendary Infinity Stones. The compilation of the Avengers has changed for good as well. While some of the known heroes have to face their challenges in their upcoming solo adventures other heroes rise to the front in order to protect the world on behalf of the Avengers.

Verdict:  Joss Whedon unsurprisingly succeeds again to tame an ensemble of superheroes and let them save the world in a bombastic staging. I particularly liked the very own problems and drivers of each character together with the tensions between each other. The signs of the upcoming civil war between the superheroes, which had already been indicated in Agents of Shield,  is continued in here. With few exceptions (Pietro), the integration of the new characters succeeded. Wanda could be the new mighty power in addition to all the soldiers among the Avengers once she unfolds her full potential. Ultron was outstanding as a villain who surprised especially with his own joke. For me Marvel has delivered with the Avengers: Age of Ultron  my most probably personal film of the year. Unless Star Wars is way better than I expect.

Acme Blog Movie Rating: 

You can watch the Trailer below:

Movie Review: Monsters: Dark Continent

We had been out last night to see the Movie Premiere of “Monsters: Dark Continent” at the Novo Cinemas at the Ibn Batutta Mall 23-04-2015_Monsters Dark Continent_Official Postercourtesy of Front Row Filmed Entertainment .

The Drama/Sci-fi/Thriller “Monsters: Dark Continent”  is directed by Tom Green (Misfits) and starring Johnny Harris, Sam Keeley, Joe Dempsie, Nicholas Pinnock, Kyle Soller and Parker Sawyer.

The Plot in short:  Ten years on from the events of Monsters, and the “Infected Zones” have now spread worldwide. In the Middle East a new insurgency has begun. At the same time there has also been a proliferation of Monsters in that region. The Army decides to draft in more numbers to help deal with this insurgency.

I had seen the first installment “Monsters” before and have truly liked it, so I was really happy when Monsters: Dark Continent got announced to be released.  I had quite high expectations on the sequel, despite knowing that in most cases sequels are not as good as the first part. There are Monsters in the movie yes, but they rather serve as a background and do not really involve too much in the story.  I would have loved to understand how they made it from Mexico, where the first movie was set, to the Middle East, but well.

The Monsters themselves look pretty good and real, but have too less involvement in the movie. It focuses in the beginning quite a lot on introducing in length each single character of the Detroit boys who decide to join the Army and hunt Monsters.  Despite the introduction I could not really relate to them.

MDC_08

Arrived in the Middle East they are very soon out to knock down their first Monster. The Monsters behave like rather peaceful Elephants throughout the Movie than being really bad Monsters. Nevertheless they are being hunted, but they are not the only ones being hunted. After some standard missions patrolling around the towns and seeing the impacts of War in these areas  the Team gets deployed on a mission to rescue another team which got missing. On the way to them the soldiers are hunted as well by Terrorist and their cars are taken out as they run into a trap. Continue reading Movie Review: Monsters: Dark Continent

Movie Review: Home

We went out today to see the Premiere of Home , the latest and probably best Dreamworks movie till date at the Vox Cinemas at the Mirdif City Center courtesy of Empire International Gulf LLC.

homeHome is featuring the voices of Rhianna, Jennifer Lopez, Steve Martin and Jim Parsons in brilliant movie directed by Tim Johnson who as well did Antz and Over the Hedge.

The Plot in short: When Oh, a loveable misfit from another planet, lands on Earth and finds himself on the run from his own people, he forms an unlikely friendship with an adventurous girl named Tip who is on a quest of her own. Through a series of comic adventures with Tip, Oh comes to understand that being different and making mistakes is all part of being human. And while he changes her planet and she changes his world, they discover the true meaning of the word HOME.


I had not really high expectations on an animated movie, my son would probably enjoy something like this way more than me I thought. Huge Fail. The movie was from the beginning great and not only for kids. It is a feelgood movie for all ages. It is about family , friendship and that being different or just being yourself is not a bad thing at all.  I found the movie throughout entertaining and very often funny.

The Boov’s are just too funny in particular  Steve Martin as the voice of Captain Smek, whose firm leadership of the Boov people is undermined by his ridiculous fascination with human artifacts such as bubble wrap . He reminded me partially on King Julien from the Penguins of Madagascar.

But even if you are not touched by the great story you will certainly love the Soundtrack. The whole movie was perfectly set and is for me the best Dreamworks movie since a long time. Take your kids and watch it on the big screen, they will love it! and you too, guaranteed.

Verdict: A great story meets perfect cast and nothing can go wrong on this alien/ human road trip movie.

Acme Blog Movie Rating: 

Home will be released in UAE cinemas on 26 March 2015 .

You can watch the Trailer below:

Attention: Win Movie Tickets for Furious 7 @ The Dubai Mall

It is once again giveaway time! This time around we have to give away 2 Movie Tickets for the upcoming Furious 7 Movie !  The screening will take place on April 2 at 08:30PM at the Reel Cinemas at The Dubai Mall.

The latest installment in the Fast Saga is about Dominic Torretto and his crew who thought they left the criminal mercenary life behind. They defeated an international terrorist named Owen Shaw and went their separate ways. But now, Shaw’s brother, Deckard Shaw is furious7out killing the crew one by one for revenge. Worse, a Somalian terrorist called Jakarde, and a shady government official called “Mr. Nobody” are both competing to steal a computer terrorism program called God’s Eye, that can turn any technological device into a weapon. Torretto must reconvene with his team to stop Shaw and retrieve the God’s Eye program while caught in a power struggle between terrorist and the United States government.

And this is how you can win:

Continue reading Attention: Win Movie Tickets for Furious 7 @ The Dubai Mall

First Trailer: Pixels

How cool is that?

Story: In Pixels, when intergalactic aliens misinterpret video-feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war against them, they attack the Earth, using the games as models for their various assaults. President Will Cooper (Kevin James) has to call on his childhood best friend, ’80s video game champion Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler), now a home theater installer, to lead a team of old-school arcaders (Peter Dinklage and Josh Gad) to defeat the aliens and save the planet. Joining them is Lt. Col. Violet Van Patten (Michelle Monaghan), a specialist supplying the arcaders with unique weapons to fight the aliens.

Movie Review: Project Almanac

Last night we watched Project Almanac, a Sci-Fi Thriller directed by Dean Israelite and starring Jonny Weston, Sofia Black-D’Elia, Allen Project-Almanac-posterEvangelista, Sam Lerner and Virginia Gardner, it is produced by the genius Michael Bay.

The Plot in short: As a group of friends discover plans for a time machine, they build it and use it to fix their problems and personal gain. But as the future falls apart with disasters, and each of them disappear little by little, they must travel back to the past to make sure they never invent the machine or face the destruction of humanity.  

We went to see the movies without even really watching the Trailer as we liked the topic. Time travel had fascinated the cinema many times and in very different forms: Just recently Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar brought breathtaking images of the relativity theory, where a fathers journey end in different curvedtimelines being younger than his daughter.  Another great example is the success of the Back to the Future trilogy. As well in Project Almanac a classic time machine is used to transport the main characters from one to the other time zone. Basically I found even the story had similarities to Back to the Future 2 where Biff Tannen uses the Sports Almanac to to improve his own future. In one scene you got a further similarity when one group member attempts to connect two power cables together in order to make the time travel machine work, but finds out that they’re not long enough and therefore don’t reach.

I as well loved the reference to Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure that one of the characters was watching on a laptop. The film concerns two teenagers who utilize a time machine to complete a history project, how ironic.8_1actnlg-1actnmj

What I really did not like was the that the style of Project Almanac is the typical subjectivity and shaky camera aesthetics of the so-called “found footage genre. That is just not my thing and I would have preferred the classic way.  Nevertheless I really liked the story itself. Would it not be for the found footage part I would give it 4 stars.

Verdict: If you are OK with the found footage genre this is a pretty cool movie to watch and be entertained. If you are not a friend of shaky cameras just leave it.

Acme Blog Movie Rating: 

You can watch the Trailer below: