Over the past ten years, many have experienced the magic of Harry Potter through the feature films. We’ve seen Harry grow up from the magical Sorcerer’s Stone to the phenomenal Prisoner of Azkaban and even watch him become stronger in the borefest known as the Half-Blood Prince, yet it is remarkable that it has been a long time to finally reach the end of the journey with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. And what a glorious end it was.
In the leagues of sequels that stand out against their predecessors (The Dark Knight, The Empire Strikes Back, or even the fantastic hit of last year Toy Story 3), Deathly Hallows Part 2 can be seen as the newest addition to the list due to outdoing the rest by sticking to it’s source material.
Daniel Radcliffe triumphs as our hero one last time that deserves a mention thanks to his dazzling breakthrough all those many years ago. Ralph Finnes delightfully overacts old Voldy with the strength it deserves. The main trio has grown up from their youthful selves from the first film and even Matthew Lewis delights as Neville who finally gets the respect he deserve. The majority of the props go to Alan Rickman who gives his best performance since Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd, giving the audience someone to see fall for the love of his life and her son. Maggie Smith comes into her own as Professor McGonagall and Kelly McDonald as Helena Ravenclaw.
The movie shines with battles that can visually entertain and intense moments that makes the audience engaged, and this film makes sure to end the series on a high note.
Yet, we do have to analyze the film as being a whole film with the Deathly Hallows Part 1. While Part 1 bored in certain aspects, it had enough entertaining moments that we can all enjoy and when combined with Part 2, the film becomes much more of an epic.
In short, Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Deathly Hallows as a whole is a thrilling experience, spectacular in every way possible. This may very well be one of the best films this year and a terrific conclusion to the magic that graced the screen ten years ago.
Final Verdict: 5 out of 5
Think back to classic films that made you feel emotional, made you feel engaged, made you want to be in the story with the characters. Is that in your mind right now? When I recall back on that, I think of classic works of Spielberg in films such as Close Encounters, Jurassic Park, Jaws, and E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. Films that make you enriched in design, suspense, and the characters, something we’ve longed for in the world of cinema today. Thank goodness J.J. Abrams took a break off of Star Trek to give us back that feeling in the surefire instant classic, Super 8.
Joe Lamb, played by one brilliant young star, Joel Courtney, has recently lost his mom in an accident and feels the emotional distraught brought on by the events that stops any further production with his friend on their film for a film festival known as The Case and only has his dad, played by Kyle Chandler, left to take care of him. Cut to four months later and the production has started working again on The Case, which has some really great zombie effects. Slowly but surely, we are introduced to Alice Dainard, who is quite a mystery and played by the adorable newcomer Elle Fanning, sister of Dakota Fanning. Filming a scene at a train station, a train fast approaches on to be derailed by an oncoming truck and the movie starts to take a turn from a kid’s film to classic Spielberg glory as the kids dropped their camera to record the crash on accident, now making them involve in the strange happenings after and during the crash.
J.J. Abrams intrigues us with the suspense that uncovers whatever the supernatural or interstellar being is and entices the viewer with the perspective of not only the struggling father, but the view of the kids that are caught in the middle. The shot are wonderful and glorious in the true Abrams style and the visuals are impressive as well with a blend of CGI and practical effects that modern films seem to forget. With the whole town at risk, army forces trying to keep the mystery, and the kids trying to uncover what exactly what is happening, we are engaged waiting on what happens. I found myself enriched and swooned, as if I were in the picture myself wondering what is happening. Many homages to Spielberg’s other work are seen and work quite well in this film. This film combines the human elements of E.T. and The Goonies with the element of suspense of Jurassic Park to a tee, making one of the best films all year. One minor complaint are certain moments in which some cuts are very, very quick but that’s just a minor complaint I can live with. One thing I did enjoy about this film, all the main stars are relative newcomers that are just brilliant (my personal favorite being Ryan Lee as Cary, a pyro). This, in my opinion, makes us more invested in these characters and they are some of the most brilliant child actors to date.
Super 8 is an instant classic that pulls all the stops to make a thrill ride filled with emotion, suspense, and all the things that make a film a hit. J.J. Abrams hits all the right notes to make one incredible film that even Mister Spielberg himself would envy.
Final Verdict: 4.5 out of 5
In the year 2009, I went to a local theater and put some money down on a film that I regret watching, yet alone paying to watch it, known as Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. I claimed this as the worse film I have seen in my entire life and it responsible for the destruction of my favorite franchise growing up as a kid, thanks to old VHS tapes my dad had of the Transformers series. Michael Bay is the master of bad sequels and the master of destruction. It’s no wonder he continued the tradition in the stupid and pointless Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
All your favorites are back such as Sam, Agent Simmons, and the Army. Wait, no one cares for these characters at all, most care for the Transformers. They are the title stars after all, right? Not according to Bay who fails to make any connection between the audience and the human characters. These soulless characters make the movie a pain to watch as we cringe at the lame gags and cheap comic relief characters in this film, mostly stemming from Ken Jeong. Megan Fox’s replacement, Rosie Hunington-Whitely, has the audience begging for Megan Fox’s acting again as she can’t worth a damn. Shia LaBeouf is the same darn character from the second one with no development, what so ever, and suddenly everyone in this movie lost the ability to act, except for Patrick Dempsey who nails being a villain for the humans.
Now back to the Transformers element, which is the the humans but fails completely. The Decepticons have a base on the dark side of the moon which the Decepticons can release a full fledged army to finally destroy their nemesis the Autobots and destroy the world to make a new version of Cybertron on Earth. Now, that’s a story I can get by, until Erhen Kruger (the writer responsible for the misery that was Revenge of the Fallen) destroys history in front of your eyes making the Decepticons pretty much responsible for everything that is happen since NASA started the space program. Also, evoking images of 9/11 in the Chicago battle scene is a awful move, but the biggest middle finger to the audience comes in the form of launching a shuttle into space and getting hit by Starscream resembles the Challenger and Columbia disaster. That made me hate this movie more than I should.
Enough of the bad though, let’s get to the good. The action sequences are stunning and the visuals have improved quite a bit. Michael Bay has become better making CGI action sequences and you can see it in the extremely long Chicago battle. It may go overboard, but the action was there. The voice acting is perfected with Leonard Nimoy as Sentinel Prime, Optimus’ dad, and the return of Hugo Weaving as Megatron which is always a delight. Sadly, these are the only thing I can really say that are great about the film.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon is a noisy mess of a film with a human element that is outlandish to relate to in anyway, a plot that is destroyed by tearing a hole in history, but contains visually impressive action sequences…yet even that can’t save this convuluted disaster of cinema. The worst film of the year by far.
Final Verdict: 1 out of 5
My experience of Cars 2 was quite a boring experience and the first time this has happened during a Pixar film. I did catch a 3D screening of the film, but that really has not much to do with it (the trailer for Brave looks stunning in 3D though).
Cars 2 starts with an exciting action filled scene loaded with some neat visuals and impressive design. It was a glorious opening out of a spy film, then it hit me. Isn’t this about racing? How does it fit into the world? Gladly it is explained and works quite well, one of the highlights of the film. The plot is the standard spy fair with a hint of mistaken identity, of course, as Mater being mistaken as a secret agent. This makes for a good thing to follow, but is done in a very boring manner and makes the movie feel dragged under it’s own weight.
The focus on Mater makes this adventure not as fun or exciting as McQueen in the original film. McQueen being reduced to a mere subplot is disheartening to see as a Pixar fan. The races during his plotline are remarkable and shot extremely well. How come the film couldn’t just be about the World Gran Prix rather than an espionage film? The espionage aspect just falls flat for the story and Pixar tend to be the master of unique story ideas. The film felt like life was lost from it, making the viewer bored. As a comedy, it works in certain areas, such as the Japan trip or Mater’s introduction to the spy world, Pixar forgot the balance between humor for adults and children, instead it is only for kids younger than 10.
This film basically shows Pixar made this as a cash-grab for new toys and merchandise, gone is a clear focus on the heart of the original or story. Cars 2 bores despite its remarkable visuals due to lack of investment to make a quality animated film. Don’t fear, Brave is coming soon to fix this pothole in the middle of Pixar’s road.
Final Verdict: 2 out of 5