Tag Archives: X-Men: First Class

Prometheus: A step below greatness

Logan Marshall-Green, Noomi Rapace, and Michael Fassbender star in Prometheus. Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

It’s difficult not to become completely encapsulated in an epic horror/sci-fi the likes of Ridley Scott’s Alien from 1979. With the standards set from that film, any movie associated with it will be viewed under extreme scrutiny. Luckily, Prometheus separates itself from the original by focusing on the science and adds elements of horror to spice things up.

In Prometheus, a scientific discovery leads to a galactic exploration to find the origins of humanity. What they find when they reach their destination is nothing close to what they expected.

Ridley Scott, the once legendary director, has returned to where his major success had initialized with classics like Blade Runner. With the aid of writers Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindeloff, Scott takes us on a journey that explores man’s greatest mystery: Where do we come from? Both director and writers achieve an incredible level of thought provoking ideas and thrilling storytelling. However, they also left a lot of unexplored venues which will prevent this movie from reaching the stratospheric acclaim of its predecessor.

Casting for this movie hit an almost perfect score with an excellent ensemble of actors to portray the various archetypes. Michael Fassbender is yet again phenomenal in his role as the multi-layered, intriguing android. Alongside him, Noomi Rapace shows equal skill in manifesting her character’s emotions (very reminiscent of Sigourney Weaver in 1979). While the rest of the cast was great, Charlize Theron completely lacked everything that was required to make her performance memorable. Mind you, it is hard to be memorable when your character appeared to be tacked on haphazardly.

The cinematography is beautiful, but the musical score lacked atmosphere to really provide punch to crucial moments.

Scott’s use of the added 3rd dimension works phenomenally. The entire film viewed through 3D glasses delivered the most realistic “looking through a window” effect to date. Definitely worth the additional cost.

Bottom Line: No matter how great this film appears to be, the nagging flaws keep it from becoming an epic classic.

Grade B+

Runtime: 124 minutes
3D: Yes

The Hunger Games: Riveting adaptation

Jennifer Lawrence stars as 'Katniss Everdeen' in THE HUNGER GAMES. Courtesy of Alliance Films Media

How many times has Hollywood butchered novels when adapting them into films? It’s fair to say countless times. The Hunger Games novel by Suzanne Collins has sold 800,000 copies around the world, making expectations for the movie adaptation climb to dizzying heights.

Collin’s story tells the tale of a future in which the Capitol of an oppressive North America selects a boy and a girl from each of the 12 districts to fight to the death in The Hunger Games tournament. We follow an anti-social, skilled archer, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) who takes the place of her younger sister when she is chosen to compete.

This is one of the first blockbuster adaptations in recent memory to be, not only faithful to the source material, but also a fantastic film.

The story gives the audience something to sink their teeth into, alongside characters to route for and against. It isn’t peddling to the masses by giving into the romantic aspect of the story. Instead, it allows a natural progression that feels organic and true to human nature.

Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone, X-Men: First Class) is one of Hollywood’s finest talents at the moment and she brings every bit of her acting arsenal to our heroine. Her empathetic performance shows incredible range and raised the level of acting from all around her. Her cast members, including Josh Hutcherson (The Kids Are All Right), Woody Harrelson (Zombieland), Elizabeth Banks (Man On A Ledge), Stanley Tucci (Captain America: The First Avenger), and Wes Bentley (Underworld: Awakening) all deliver the necessary goods in spades.

The one major criticism is in the direction. Gary Ross (Seabiscuit) did everything a director should do except competently shoot the action scenes. Even the simple things like walking quickly or moving through a crowd were riddled with shaky camera work. The actual battle royal was impossible to decipher with his extreme close-up, earthquake-worthy shooting style.

Regardless of this foible, this movie does everything Twilight should have done and will captivate both male and female audiences around the world.

Bottom Line: I’m already itching for the sequel!

Grade A-

Runtime: 142 minutes
3D: No