p-dN2M7WZtRXv1r

Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Thrills’

Desolation of Smaug, Barrels of Fun (Film Review)

December 13th, 2013 No comments

PART TWO

OF THE HOBBIT: THE

DESOLATION OF SMAUG

 

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 11.45.04 AMReview by John Delia

Continuing on their journey the band of dwarves and Bilbo Baggins find the going rough in The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug.  The film is the second segment, or act two, of the trilogy directed by Peter Jackson. It’s a bridge to the last act that’s slated for release in 2014.  Steeped with action, the lengthy trip through Middle-Earth works its way through mountains, a foreboding forest, and a small village to the destination of a meeting with the dragon Smaug. It’s a magical trip that ends as a nail-biting cliffhanger. Read more…

The Masked Man Thrills in The Lone Ranger (Film Review)

July 2nd, 2013 No comments

LONG posterReview by John Delia

Taking a chance on an old-timer favorite, producer and director Gore Verbinski brings a remake of The Lone Ranger to life on the big screen.  Loosely based on the 1956 movie starring Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels, his casting of Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp somewhat mirrors the two original players and delivers a solid hit.  It’s a wild west action thriller. Read more…

Now You See Me, a Magical Thriller (Film Review)

May 30th, 2013 No comments

NOW SEE ME postartReview by John Delia

There have been some good film’s featuring magicians, but it’s been quite awhile since a bright one has come along to challenge the forerunners.  Opening this weekend is Now You See Me and it’s a fast moving, quick thinking, mind bender that’s fueled by a mysterious story and played out by a great cast.  If you like intrigue, mystery, magic and action and not wary of the fact that we are in a world captivated by CGI (although the producers say all the magic in Now You See Me is done live before the camera), then rush to a theater near you for some different kind of action. Read more…

A Good Day to Die Hard, a Super Thriller (Film Review)

February 13th, 2013 No comments

diehardPOSTER

Review by John Delia

The action gets to fever pitch in A Good Day to Die Hard the fifth in a series of Bruce Willis movies that have attracted large audiences. The film starts off with a bang and never stops with relentless destruction mounting to a thrilling roller coaster ride finish.  If you are an action junkie and need a shot of adrenaline, then you won’t want to miss this butt kicking sequel to one of the most lucrative franchises. Read more…

The Last Stand, a High Octane Blast (Film Review)

January 18th, 2013 No comments

LAST ST poster

Review by John Delia

ARNOLD IS BACK! A little loss for wear, yet he’s still a winner in my book with his new film The Last Stand.  Action lovers and fans of Schwarzenegger are in for a real treat with this rock em’ sock em’ explosive film that brings back memories of the Arnold of yesteryear ‘s Terminator series.  The well written script, kick-butt direction by KIM Jee-woon and an amazing film crew make The Last Stand a contender for this weekend’s top box-office champ.

High profile drug cartel mastermind Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega) needs to be moved by FBI Agent Bannister (Forest Whitaker) from the courthouse to a secure jail in Las Vegas.  In a daring escape the brazen Mexican drug lord heads for his homeland in a special racing Corvette that can reach speeds of over 250 miles per hour. In a high speed chase the FBI has positioned S.W.A.T teams in his path, but there’s a hostage in the car with Cortez, so stopping him will be very tricky. Read more…

TOP 10 FILMS FOR 2011 By Alyn Darnay

January 8th, 2012 No comments

Alyn Darnay

Filmmaker, Actor, Critic

Director and

Scriptwriting Instructor.

 

Alyn Darnay’s  THE TOP 10 FILMS OF 2011

 
It’s that time of year again, the time it falls to us reviewers to select the best films of the past year. Most of the time I really enjoy this part of the job, picking through the 200 plus films I saw and wrote about during the year, but this year, not so. 2011 has been a very lean year in terms of great films, perhaps the worst in the past decade. The thrills were few and far between, the dramas over-wroth, the comedies lame, the supernatural’s mundane and predictable, and the children’s offerings less than films. If you’re not getting the message here, I thought it wasn’t a very good year for film.
But there were some, few as they were, true joys in the movie theaters. Enough inspired pieces of creative work for me to pick the outstanding ones and grace them with the title of best of the year. So here they are starting with the best.

 

1) Drive

 

Ryan Gosling in DRIVE

Director Nicholas Winding Refn treated us to a re-envisioning of the Noir genre with this taught tale of protection and revenge on the fringes of life in Los Angeles. Add to that Ryan Gosling’s brooding performance and Albert Brooks’s award-deserving turn as the Bad Guy and you have one powerhouse of a movie. Best Picture of the Year.
2) Limitless
This film came out of nowhere and gave us a new anti-hero. Never predictable, the twists and turns never took us where we thought we were going, and Bradley Cooper’s performance was stunningly wonderful.
3) My Week With Marilyn

 

Michelle Williams as Marlyn Monroe

I liked everything about this movie. It’s a supposedly true story of a film assistant’s dalliance with Marilyn Monroe, during the filming in England of the movie “The Prince and the Showgirl”.
4) Albert Nobbs
Glenn Close – Best Performance by an actress in the last 10 years. A must see tour-de-force. Based upon a play, it’s not the best film around but you won’t notice, because you’re there with Mr. Nobbs.
5) Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows Part 2
Finally, the definitive Potter Film. A glorious finale to the epic series, with everything you ever wanted from Harry’s movies.
6) Midnight In Paris
Woody Allen being romantic about that period in Paris when all the great writers, artists, actors roamed the streets. It’s like savoring a fine wine.
7) MONEYBALL

 

Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill

Playing Oakland A’s manager Billy Beane, Brad Pitt turns in a totally believable and finely crafted performance. However, it’s Jonah Hill’s straight turn with some of the year’s best lines that make the film such a funny, and touching movie.
8 ) Cedar Rapids
From director Miguel Arteta, comes this entertaining white-collar comedy in the style of “Fargo”. Ed Helms is a pure painful delight showing us the true nature of small town mentality.
9) Bridesmaids
This was the film that made me laugh the most this year. It’s sort of a “Hangover” for the girls. Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy and the crew show us just how funny women can be as they capture the challenges of friendship and competition in female relationships. Great comedy. Great movie.
10) MISSION: IMPOSIBLE – Ghost Protocol

Tom Cruise in M:I 4

Tom Cruise, an exploding Kremlin, the world’s tallest building, a blinding sandstorm, a 60 foot car dive, tech stuff up the wazoo; what more could anyone want from an action adventure film!
 

Best Documentary of 2011

 

Bill Cunningham

Bill Cunningham New York
Bill is an American Treasure who has spent his whole life on the streets of the Big Apple capturing and creating fashion trends on film. This doc brilliantly captures the true essence of the man and is a constant joy to watch. You need to see it.

THE ADVENTURE OF TINTIN, review by John Delia

December 21st, 2011 No comments

ONE OF

SPIELBERG’S

BACK TO BACK

HOLIDAY FILMS

 

THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN

 

 

Cast: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

MPAA Rating: PG for adventure action violence, some drunkenness and brief smoking

Genre: Kids/Family, Action/Adventure, Animation and Adaptation, 3D

Running Time: 1 hr 41 min

Opening Date: December 21st, 2011

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

 

 

 

By John Delia

 

Making the most of the animation called performance capture Steven Spielberg creates a wonderful kid adventure with The Adventures of Tintin.  The veritable rollercoaster ride of a film is even more spectacular in 3D.  Targeted at lads of any age and for good family fun, rush to see the full feature film The Adventures of Tintin.

 

TinTin (Bell), Snowy and Captain Haddock (Serkis) survive a bumpy ride

The movie follows a young reporter Tintin (Jamie Bell) and his white furry dog Snowy as he begins to explore a mystery when he finds a piece of a map hidden in a ship model.  The two meet up with Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis), a weather worn sea captain who takes a liking to them.  The dastardly pirate Red Rackham (Daniel Craig) gets word that Tintin has a piece of the map needed to find the treasure of the shipwreck Unicorn and he sets out to steal the fragment from the boy. When Tintin and Haddock set sail on their incredible adventure, Rackham isn’t too far behind.

 

The intriguing mystery behind the map makes for great fun for youngsters who like adventure and thrills.  Spielberg doesn’t hold back a thing presenting a wild ride around the globe as Tintin sails, flies, rides and slides his way in and out of trouble.  The fast paced movie leaves no time for antsy squirms or yawns, perfect for even the youngest family member.

 

The voice cast ably lead by Jamie Bell (Nicholas Nickleby) as Tintin and Andy Serkis (Arthur Christmas) as Captain Haddock make the dazzling film work.  Bell keeps his character full of excitement, inquisitive and caring, while the blustery Serkis provides Haddock’s take charge demeanor.  Adding the sinister voice of Red Rackham, Daniel Craig brings some mystery and suspense to the mostly lighthearted film.

 

The Adventures of Tintin has been rated PG by the MPAA for adventure action violence, some drunkenness and brief smoking. The film is a compilation of original the graphic novels “The Crab with the Golden Claws”, “The Secret of the Unicorn” and “Red Rackham’s Treasure” by Hergé.

 

Steven Spielberg on the set of The Adventures of Tintin

In order to achieve the enjoyment the film provides I thought it would be interesting to provide my readers with some facts on how performance capture is used in the making of The Adventures of Tintin.

 

“The performance capture animation cinematography that was used in Tintin is a remarkable tool that uses groundbreaking techniques developed by Spielberg during the filming process. According to Paramount: Entirely unlike a traditional soundstage set, the performance capture process unfolds on what’s called a Volume—a clean, white-and-grey stage featuring up to 100 cameras mounted in a grid on the ceiling, able to capture 360-degree coverage and render that data into three-dimensional space. On the Volume, all the actors (and also the wire-framed props and set dressings) wear reflective dots that are picked up by the camera in less than a 60th of a second, and interpreted into a 3D virtual moving picture.

 

“In addition, another eight HD video cameras captured the raw performances as they unfolded.  This was later used as reference for the animators to make sure every grimace, smile, shiver and nuance of emotion, from fear to friendship, came through as the actors’ performances were morphed into digital creations.

 

“Operating the virtual camera using a device slightly larger than a video game controller with a monitor attached, Spielberg was able to walk through the Volume, watch the actors’ avatars interacting within the film’s universe on the virtual camera’s monitor, and compose the shots he wanted in real time.  The actors, too, could see themselves in the movie’s world on monitors positioned throughout the studio, allowing them instant feedback. 

 

FINAL ANALYSIS: An exciting fun ride for boys and families. (B+)

 

 

SHERLOCK HOMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS review by John Delia

December 15th, 2011 No comments

HOLMES

AND

WATSON

BACK AT IT AGAIN

 

SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS

 

 

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Jared Harris, Eddie Marsan and Rachel McAdams

Directed by: Guy Richie

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and some drug material

Genre: Action/Adventure and Sequel

Running Time: 2hrs 9min

Opening Date: December 16, 2011

Distributed by: Warner Brothers

 

 

 

By John Delia

 

Another fine adventure for the London detective becomes afoot in the newest 19th century Sir Arthur Conan Doyle crime film Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.  The cast from the 2009 release reprises their roles under the able direction of Guy Richie making this outing even more exciting than the last. Don’t skimp here; choose the theater with the best sound and picture quality to magnify your action experience.

 

Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr. awe Watson and Holmes

Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and Watson (Jude Law) are at it again solving a mystery of magnitude consequence when the detective ends up with a mysterious note following a run in with his on again off again romantic interest Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams).  Quick to smell a rat, Holmes puts things in perspective leading him to a Gypsy named Madam Simza (Noomi Rapace) who gives Holmes a clue to the whereabouts of his archenemy Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris).  But, there’s more than meets the eye here as Holmes and Watson find out, it’s about an evil plan to make a fortune selling war armaments, the most modern cannons that deliver devastation and mayhem.  Will Holmes and Watson make it in time to stop a world war?

 

Downey and Law continue to entertain bringing Holmes and Watson to life as they pick at each other, protect each other’s lives, figure out the clues and charge full ahead until their perpetrator has been caught.  Whether it’s diving into a huge falls, fleeing machine guns, throwing Watson’s new wife off of a moving train or fighting an outnumbered number of adversaries, the two are complete as friends with each other.

 

Noomi Rapace as Madam Simza goes over a plan with Holmes

Adding to the wild and adventurous film Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) takes on the role of Madam Simza the sister of the ‘key’ in the game of shadows. Strong willed and spirited, Sim blends in well with the investigating duo as they track down her brother in order to stop Moriarty from starting a war.

 

The trick here is to reproduce and continue the momentum from the first Sherlock Homes film keeping it palatable enough for the action adventure junkies.  Without a doubt, returning producers Joel Silver, Lionel Wigram, Susan Downey and Dan Lin have repeated with even more energy than their first release.  Not holding back a penny, you can see the quality of the production in the special effects, locations in France, Germany and Switzerland, a heightened production design team, extremely good make-up, and thrills provided by some cringing computer graphics.

 

Enhancing some tricks used by director Walter Hill, director Guy Richie develops a scene in the forest that’s reminiscent of The Long Riders.  This event, although less gory, provides a cacophony of sounds as bullets and cannon fired rounds burst through trees and shred anything that’s in its deadly path.  Shown in slow motion you can hear branches and trunks of trees split, and shrapnel wiz by the heads of Holmes and his mates fleeing through the dank forest.

 

What keeps this a big adventure is the music by Hanz Zimmer with its consistent brilliant percussion and brass musicians pounding out urgency and suspense.  Using some of the music from the original soundtrack, he ramps it up to pandemonium during most of the fighting scenes evoking memories of the beginning foot chase in the first Sherlock Holmes.

 

I like Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows as much, no even more than the original that spawned this sequel.  It’s probably the best film Richie has made and he should thank Downey Jr. and Law for believing in him so we the audience can benefit from the nicely written script.

 

Sherlock Holmes:A Game of Shadows has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense sequences of violence and action, and some drug material.

 

 

FINAL ANALYSIS: A smart action adventure with high energy and thrills. (A)