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  • paulywalnuts 2:55 am on June 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Common, Dave Franco, , Jesse Eisenberg, , , morgan freeman,   

    Movie Review | Now You See Me 

    Movie Review: Now You See Me

    Movies about magic aren’t generally supposed to do well at the box office, but “Now You See Me” opened up better than box office king Will Smith’s scientology disaster.  Is Will losing his mojo, or is “Now You See Me” really that good?

    A little bit of both, perhaps.  NYSM is a fun movie, a little reminiscent of National Treasure more so than any of the great magic-themed movies that came before it.  Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson, and the guy that looks like James Franco are all magicians that are brought together by a mysterious benefactor that helps them rob from the rich, and give to the poor.  Michael Caine is one of their biggest fans, Morgan Freeman wants to prove them to be frauds (stop hating, Mo Free), and Mark Ruffalo wants to lock them up.  The movie follows their act getting discovered in Vegas, famous in New Orleans, and infamous in NYC.  The plot isn’t mind-bending, but keeps you guessing what’s next … well, mostly.  The magic acts are still spectacular for a 2013 audience that’s spoiled by CGI.

    Louis Leterrier directs the movie like a little kid that can’t sit down … the camera is always moving, circling the scene and characters.  He gives plenty of wide shots of Vegas, New Orleans, and New York … and even manages to get the audience attached to the actors a little.  A very little.  Common and other backup stars made the best of their short screen time.   The movie was good enough to be amusing, but short of great.  Actually, somewhere right now Christopher Nolan is wondering if he made “the Prestige” a few years too soon.  Or perhaps he took the source material a little too seriously … because somewhere between the campiness of animated movies and the seriousness of the Prestige, Now You See Me exists.  And it’s fun to watch.

    IMDB Rating:7.4 out of 10

    Rotten Tomatoes Rating:
    46% of critics liked it / 75% of audiences liked it

    This (grooms)man’s Rating:
    5 out of 10 … a good movie to watch, but you can wait for the DVD

    now-you-see-me-banner-6

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  • paulywalnuts 8:20 pm on April 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: joseph kosinski, morgan freeman, olga kurylenko,   

    Reviewing (Cruise’s Career: Back from) Oblivion 

    Reviewing (Cruise’s Career: Back from) Oblivion

    Oblivion

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Tom Cruise’s star has taken many hits in recent years, most of them self-inflicted.  With Oblivion, Cruise reminds folks like me why he is one of the world’s most popular movie stars when placed in the right movie.  Cruise’s offscreen reputation is quickly drowned out by an ambitious storyline, amazing but not over-used special effects, and breathtaking scenery that helps conveys the scope of the story Director Joseph Koshinski is trying to tell.  Let’s start with story.

    60 years after aliens attack Earth, Jack is one of the last humans left on what remains of the planet.  He is a technician, working alongside communications officer and girlfriend Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) and trying to avoid the unseen alien scavengers that may have lost the war, but refuse to leave the planet.  With two weeks left before they join their fellow humans which have relocated to Titan, Victorua can’t wait to leave and Jack is nostalgic for how life used to be 60 years ago. When Jack begins to stray from his humdrum routines, he begins unraveling the mystery behind the original alien invasion, how humanity actually fell, and what he can do to end the war between humans and scavengers for good.

    This homage to sci-fi movies that came before it will seem very familiar to lovers of the original Star Wars, Independence Day, the Matrix – but much more of a homage to what’s come before than derivative of their plot.  The audience is as much in the dark as Jack is through much of the beginning of the movie, but an occasional drone attack or scavenger hijacking will keep the pace moving along.  Olga Kurylenko and Morgan Freeman don’t have enough screen time, but make the most of what time they get.  Cruise and Riseborough have amazing chemistry and the mystery of what happened to the humans keeps you captivated.  The movie slows down in latter part of the second act, but even those slow moments lead to  an even bigger climax.  And yeah … it all leads to a great climax.

    Joseph Kosinski’s biggest project up until now was Tron: Legacy.  Oblivion was based on an unpublished graphic novel that he co-wrote, and much like Josh Trank, Kosinki has just announced himself as one of the great directors that everyone needs to pay attention to in the coming years.  Go find out why.  In a theater, preferably a real IMAX.

    IMDB’s rating:7.2 out of 10

    Rotten Tomatoes rating:
    59% of critics liked it; 68% of audiences liked it

    This (grooms)man’s rating:8 out of 10 … a sci-fi movie for people that love smart sci-fi movies.  It delivers much more than you expect, so go see it.  In IMAX

     
  • Justin 7:49 pm on July 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , Heath Ledger, , Katie Holmes, , , , morgan freeman, ,   

    Christopher Nolan’s Farewell Letter to the Dark Knight Franchise 

    Foreword of the The Art and Making of The Dark Knight Trilogy book (Coutresty of SHH):

    Alfred. Gordon. Lucius. Bruce . . . Wayne. Names that have come to mean so much to me. Today, I’m three weeks from saying a final good-bye to these characters and their world. It’s my son’s ninth birthday. He was born as the Tumbler was being glued together in my garage from random parts of model kits. Much time, many changes. A shift from sets where some gunplay or a helicopter were extraordinary events to working days where crowds of extras, building demolitions, or mayhem thousands of feet in the air have become familiar.

    People ask if we’d always planned a trilogy. This is like being asked whether you had planned on growing up, getting married, having kids. The answer is complicated. When David and I first started cracking open Bruce’s story, we flirted with what might come after, then backed away, not wanting to look too deep into the future. I didn’t want to know everything that Bruce couldn’t; I wanted to live it with him. I told David and Jonah to put everything they knew into each film as we made it. The entire cast and crew put all they had into the first film. Nothing held back. Nothing saved for next time. They built an entire city. Then Christian and Michael and Gary and Morgan and Liam and Cillian started living in it. Christian bit off a big chunk of Bruce Wayne’s life and made it utterly compelling. He took us into a pop icon’s mind and never let us notice for an instant the fanciful nature of Bruce’s methods.

    I never thought we’d do a second—how many good sequels are there? Why roll those dice? But once I knew where it would take Bruce, and when I started to see glimpses of the antagonist, it became essential. We re-assembled the team and went back to Gotham. It had changed in three years. Bigger. More real. More modern. And a new force of chaos was coming to the fore. The ultimate scary clown, as brought to terrifying life by Heath. We’d held nothing back, but there were things we hadn’t been able to do the first time out—a Batsuit with a flexible neck, shooting on Imax. And things we’d chickened out on—destroying the Batmobile, burning up the villain’s blood money to show a complete disregard for conventional motivation. We took the supposed security of a sequel as license to throw caution to the wind and headed for the darkest corners of Gotham.

    I never thought we’d do a third—are there any great second sequels? But I kept wondering about the end of Bruce’s journey, and once David and I discovered it, I had to see it for myself. We had come back to what we had barely dared whisper about in those first days in my garage. We had been making a trilogy. I called everyone back together for another tour of Gotham. Four years later, it was still there. It even seemed a little cleaner, a little more polished. Wayne Manor had been rebuilt. Familiar faces were back—a little older, a little wiser . . . but not all was as it seemed.

    Gotham was rotting away at its foundations. A new evil bubbling up from beneath. Bruce had thought Batman was not needed anymore, but Bruce was wrong, just as I had been wrong. The Batman had to come back. I suppose he always will.

    Michael, Morgan, Gary, Cillian, Liam, Heath, Christian . . . Bale. Names that have come to mean so much to me. My time in Gotham, looking after one of the greatest and most enduring figures in pop culture, has been the most challenging and rewarding experience a filmmaker could hope for. I will miss the Batman. I like to think that he’ll miss me, but he’s never been particularly sentimental.


     

     
  • Justin 2:00 pm on July 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , morgan freeman, , ,   

    The Dark Knight Rises | Review 

    [SPOILERS AHEAD]

    After seven years on the screen, Christopher Nolan’s interpretation of the Dark Knight comes to a close, and while the movie has its imperfections, The Dark Knight Rises is a very satisfying piece of film.

    Eight years have passed since Batman takes the fall for Harvey Dent’s killing spree at the end of The Dark Knight. The City, thanks in part to the Harvey Dent Act is having an age of clean streets. Bruce Wayne however, emotionally (and physically) destroyed from the events of the second film has essentially exiled himself; hoping that hanging out in the rebuilt Wayne mansion will somehow turn around things.

    Things change when Selina Kyle (fantastically played by Anne Hathaway) steals from Bruce, prompting him to look into her background and some new thug on the scene named Bane, possibly requiring Bruce to come out of his retirement.

    This movie feels very different than Batman Begins and The Dark Knight in most ways (such as the type of villain and the flow) which is great, and was absolutely the right thing to do. About a quarter way through, it was obvious that you feel like Batman Begins was the appetizer, Dark Knight was the steak, and Dark Knight Rises is a great dessert.  As Groomsmen Pauly correctly mentioned in his review, this is more of a comic book movie than previous chapters; its def a crime/cop drama, its def epic, and to my repeated annoyance at comic book adaptations not being truly a comic book movie, this one is actually more of a comic book movie than most. It is ironic that this year brought not one, but the two purest ones to date.

    The scenes with Michael Caine are great, and while you immediately know one aspect of the ending very very early on when Alfred is talking to Bruce, that’s just fine.

    For a while, you might be thinking this movie’s runner-up title could have been John Blake Rises, and that’s just fine too. It becomes very clear this is no ordinary cop. His detective skills are so badass, you’ll be quite surprised what he deduces, without much effort, from the get go but that’s the point. Like the previous ending aspect, you see early on (as well as throughout the movie with this one) what you hope is to come by the end. Even with that said, these motions are great to go through with an ending that’s more badass than you hoped.

    There’s been some criticism that there were too many characters and not enough development of the new and the old, but I thought the balance was pretty damn good. It’s an A-list cast and they, not surprisingly, give top-notch performances. I think there is plenty of room appropriately carved out for Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but hey we all knew going into the movie that there was reason for this.

    At times you might think of Les Miserable or Tale of Two Cities. Les Mes for the messages and for the literal fact that Liam Neeson was in the last Hollywood version, and Anne Hathaway is in the new version. Also the Nolan boys explicitly mentioned that TDKR was inspired mainly by Tale of Two Cities. This is clearly seen, from the people’s court to the alignment with Sydney Carton, as both Carton and Wayne express their belief in their cities, what they do for their cities, and of course literally down to the words spoken by Gordon at the end, which are some of the famous last lines of Carton.

    Nolan puts his best foot forward on the action this time around (especially in terms of choreography and angles) and the Batman/Bane fight sequence halfway through is just gruesome. The “Bat” is completely badass, and Selina Kyle def shows off how to drive the Bat pod. The opening plane kidnapping, the first B and B showdown, Bruce rising from the pit (when the Bats came out plus Zimmer’s score, I think there were a few people who raised their hands in triumph, wait were those my hands?), and of course the very last shot of the movie are awesome.

    I still had trouble understanding Bane several times, there are some scene jumps, and some other obvious oddities, but these things truly are minor when you look at the whole canvas. Zimmer’s score was sometimes so loud I could not hear anything else, perhaps it was just my IMAX theatre (which is by the way, the right place to see this movie), but I’ve been loving Hans Zimmer’s scores since Crimson Tide and The Rock, so turn it up.

    Bane (Tom Hardy) is a very different villain from the Joker. In the end, he’s a point man (ironically what Hardy was in Inception), and that works pretty well, when you see the whole canvas, which in this movie you can again see pretty early on; even if you figure out the puzzle, seeing it completed 2 hours and 45min later is still awesome.

    The Dark Knight Rises overall is a great movie that thankfully closes out one of the best trilogies in film, and the best comic book trilogy out there.

    A-

     
  • Justin 3:11 am on July 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Bob Kane, Chris Nolan, , , Dark Knight, , , Heath Ledge, Joseph Gordeon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe, , , , morgan freeman, , , ,   

    WB Releases Six Minute Dark Knight Trilogy Trailer 

    And here, we, go.

    Hilarious. WB just released a five minute forty second trailer of the entire trilogy. Its pretty crazy and epic. (Heath Ledger as the Joker still steals the screen).

     
  • Justin 1:16 pm on August 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , morgan freeman, , ,   

    First Official Image of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises 

    Thoughts? Not what I expected, but maybe this is before she gets her catwoman suit or something. And its just one picture w/ zero context and I trust Nolan.

     
  • Justin 3:59 pm on July 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , morgan freeman, , ,   

    The Dark Knight Rises: New Set Photos of Bane and the Batmobile 

    Justin, in association with ESPN 8, the Ocho, proudly presents Groomsmen on Film’s first behind the scenes photos post for a movie. Courtesy of Just Jared, we have shots of Bane, the Tumbler once again, and Bane on the Tumbler. Sorry no Anne Hathaway in a certain suit.

     
    • winklevi twins 1:25 pm on August 2, 2011 Permalink

      I know the joker showed his face during the day in the last movie, but Bane? I wonder why the tumbler is in desert storm mode and why Batman is showing himself during the day.

    • Justin 6:33 pm on August 3, 2011 Permalink

      So my friend in Pittsburgh walked down to shooting as he works ~10 blocks away from filming. And he saw a bit of this (as it is being filmed over a couple days). He says he saw a scene with three tumblers, Bane, and a whole bunch of random people fighting as far as he could tell.

      As you pointed out and he confirmed, all three tumblers were in their original desert storm camo. If thats the case and assuming it is part of film (which sounds like it was according to my friend), then me thinks bane somehow gets into Wayne Enterprises and has a shopping spree through the R&D division…

  • Justin 4:21 pm on July 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , morgan freeman, , ,   

    The Dark Knight Rises Official Teaser 

    https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=2054374751994

    Batman looking like he could use some help in that last scene. I wonder how close Nolan will stay to the comics. From what I know, Bane at one time, broke his back, and later killed him? Pauly that right?

     
    • winklevi twins 10:25 am on July 29, 2011 Permalink

      there was a shocking front cover of a batman comic book where this happens. it was such an iconic moment for batman and bane so i wonder how Nolan is going to acknowledge this or maybe he doesn t. I almost hope he doesn t. Nolan s doesn t really presents the movie like a comic book style like 300, Watchmen, or Ang Lee’s Hulk. He s created new imagery (i.e he s car) visual motion style to batman. Like all batman characters Bane has a a great back story. Although represented more as a juiced up no brain wrestler in the animated cartoon, really he s almost as intelligent as batman. This should be a good one.

    • winklevi twins 10:26 am on July 29, 2011 Permalink

      dude WTF i wrote a great reply and wordpress just didn t post it. what a piece of shit.

    • winklevi twins 10:30 am on July 29, 2011 Permalink

      anyways my abbreviated reply

      01. Bane n Batman Iconic comic book cover.

      02. I m hoping nolan doesn t literally represent (this) image like films before him have ie 300, watchmen, ang lee’s Hulk.
      03. Bane is just as intelligent as Batman from what I remember.
      04. Looking at the cast i don t know how all the characters are going to get good facetime.
      05. This should be a good end to the trilogy.

  • Justin 2:02 pm on July 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , morgan freeman, , ,   

    Initial Reaction to The Dark Knight Rises Teaser 

    I want more.

    Its hard to hear what Commissioner Gordon is saying in the hospital bed, but you get the point, we need the Batman to come back.

    We get a look of Bane, which we’ve probably all already seen. At the end, it looks like a quick shot of Batman fighting Bane, hard to see. Looks good not surprisingly.

     
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