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Film Review: Dracula Untold

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Film Review: Dredd 3D

Judge Dredd passes judgment on the unlawful. And now “judgement is coming” for Dredd 3D.

Future America has become a crumbling wasteland. From Boston to Washington lies Mega City One, where violent criminals cause chaos in the metropolis and Judges fight to keep order and peace. The Judges act as judge, jury, and executioner. Judge Dredd is one of the best and is assigned a rookie named Anderson who is deemed a mutant for her psychic abilities. They are forced to work together and to stay alive when district “Peach Tree” goes under lockdown by request from Mama, a feared crimelord and the one responsible for the reality-altering drug called “Slo-Mo.”

The movie has a few things going for it.

1. There are two wonderful strong female characters.

 

Lena Headey (also known for her role as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones) makes a wonderful villain as Mama. You’ll just love to hate her. She is both ruthless and powerful. Everyone fears her. From the very start of the movie, Mama orders her henchmen to make an example of 3 men, telling them to skin them first and then drug them up with Slo-mo so when they throw them off from building it would make the fall seem like ages and torturing them with the evitable that they will die.

Olivia Thirlby (seen in Juno) plays rookie Anderson, a psychic mutant, who starts off timid and hesitant, but as most good characters do, she grows throughout the story, becoming a determined and fiercer person throughout her trials and proving to Dredd she has what it takes to be a Judge. In one scene, Judge Dredd wants to interrogate their suspect, but he knows it could take awhile and they don’t have a lot of time because they’re being hunted down by Mama and her gang. Using her abilities to read people’s minds, Anderson gets an answer within seconds.

2. The movie has an awesome soundtrack

La Roux’s “In For The Kill” (Skream Remix) sets the mood for the trailer and the movie.

 3. The slow-motion effects were a cool added feature.

Now hold up, I know what you’re thinking: Really? Slow-motion effects? Seen that like a billion times. But listen up. Usually I’m not a fan of watching movies in 3D since it seems gimmicky, but it worked for this movie. The effects were used to emphasize the use of the reality-altering drug called “Slo-Mo,” but what I liked about it was the artistic presentation of it. Water slowly parted into drops and glass shattered into pieces then shards, and they sparkled as they floated to you, giving off an array of colours that brought beauty to the scene regardless if it was paired with Mama’s ugly, scarred face or a death scene.

Now even though I mentioned a few good points about the movie, it was ultimately a letdown for me.

1. Slow-motion effects became overdone in the movie.

As I said, the effects were beautiful, but overtime, it became too much, making scenes feel too over-the-top that it felt boring to watch, and I just wanted it to end. It only seemed to be something filmmakers used to make the film run longer.

2. There’s unnerving violence against women.

There’s a brutal power struggle been the male and female characters. As I said, Anderson and Mama are both strong female characters, but the male characters in the movie try to gain dominance over them through violence against the women.

Mama used to be a prostitute. When she was no longer deemed useful to her pimp, he slashed her face to destroy her beauty. In the movie, there was a mug shot of her before the scars and it showed off her long hair too, which in some cases may symbolize femininity. In some ways, one can argue her pimp was trying to destroy it.

As for Anderson, her and Dredd’s captive tries to scare her by mentioning how the gang used to have a girl her age, having raped her and destroyed her. Also, when Anderson goes “inside” his mind to get answers about the homicide, the captive figures out he can project his fantasies on her. The scene suggests he imposes sexual acts on her.

3. This movie didn’t have a compelling storyline.

It didn’t even seem to have one. This fact alone made the movie lose a lot of points for me. You didn’t learn too much about the characters. Dredd’s development stayed flat-lined throughout the whole movie. I just didn’t feel too invested in it.

Overall, I’m rating this movie 2 out of 5.

If all you’re expecting are explosions, and senseless, brutal killing, then you’re in for a treat.

If you’re looking for any sort of storyline, then you’ll be greatly disappointed.

Film Review: Here comes Peter Cottontail

This Easter I spent some time enjoying one of my favourite Easter movies: Here comes Peter Cottontail.

You haven’t heard of Peter Cottontail?

In the words of the film’s narrator Mr. Sassafrass, “Great chattering chick-chicks!”

It’s one of my favourite lines from the movie. I couldn’t resist.

Rankin & Bass, 1971

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Film Review: Suckerpunch

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One. Do you find yourself geeking out to Japanese references, zombie Nazis, flashy weaponry and combat skills, dragons, castles and troll battles, science fiction, planets, and explosions?

Two. Were you staring at scantily clad girls?

Three. Did you feel you had no emotional ties to the characters—especially the main character?

Four. Are you left feeling puzzled from a lack of plot?

Five. Are you wondering “what was the point of that?”

If you suffer from two or more of these symptoms, you’ve probably just finished watching Suckerpunch.

This had been a highly anticipated movie—at least, for me. I was counting down opening night with a friend, and then after watching this movie, I just felt…well, let’s just say I’m disappointed in you Zack Snyder. Continue reading