Rapid Review: The Infiltrator (2016)

“This is what I do. I’m an undercover narcotics agent, I sit with murderers and made men and I lie. I lie my ass off.”
– Robert Mazur

SYNOPSIS: A U.S. Customs official uncovers a money laundering scheme involving Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. – via IMDB


GRADE 7I was definitely up for checking this out because, well, Narcos totally has us hooked on anything pertaining to Pablo Escobar at the moment, and not to mention Bryan Cranston being a huge draw on his own. Back in the drug game? All aboard! I was pleased to see John Leguizamo in here, as I quite enjoy him, and Diane Kruger provided a solid performance, too. The performances were all quite good, although there were a lot of characters who were skipped over. The Infiltrator gives you the information you need for the movie in the setup, and then runs with the sting. My biggest issue is that, while this was good, it missed its chance to be great. All the potential was there, but the movie played it too safe and didn’t go for the guts. I was a fan of the way relationships were depicted in this, giving the viewer a look at how a situation can get sticky when you are undercover because you really can end up liking the people you are investigating, so situations are not always ideal, and they do have crazy effects. The biggest issue is that, while the cast was good, one would expect more about Escobar and his insane cocaine cartel, and the plot never really went all in, and the vestment of Mazur getting bust were relatively low. The poster makes it look like this guy went up against Escboar and survived, when in reality it was very little of that. The movie had the potential to pack more punch than it ultimately went for. This means that the movie is good, but it never hits the highs you want for it. Worth a look see, at any rate.

Review: Godzilla (2014)

godzilla 2014 poster

“Nature has an order. A power to restore balance. I believe he is that power.”
– Dr. Ichiro Serizawa

SYNOPSIS: In 1999, the Janjira nuclear plant was mysteriously destroyed with most hands lost including supervisor Joe Brody’s colleague and wife, Sandra. Years later, Joe’s son, Ford, a US Navy ordnance disposal officer, must go to Japan to help his estranged father who obsessively searches for the truth of the incident. In doing so, father and son discover the disaster’s secret cause on the wreck’s very grounds. This enables them to witness the reawakening of a terrible threat to all of Humanity, which is made all the worse with a second secret revival elsewhere. Against this cataclysm, the only hope for the world may be Godzilla, but the challenge for the King of the Monsters will be great even as Humanity struggles to understand the destructive ally they have. – via IMDB

This accurately sums up how I felt during this entire movie:

FINALLY. That’s what it feels like when you finally get to see the big dude!

GRADE 4Gotta say that this was a movie I was really excited about. I watched the trailers, and I was like hell yeah, bring Godzilla back to us! I mean really, that was awesome. Then the film came and I was in the middle of exams and could only pick one film to watch in between it all, so obviously X-Men: Days of Future Past won out, that I was way more amped for. Anyway, the reviews started coming back and they were looking a little disappointing, but I wanted to watch it anyway.

I read recently that a sequel has been okayed, and was like damn, I might have to get to this one. Eventually I did. To give you an example of what happened: I spent the next two hours continually waking my other half up, who was peeved that the movie was such a disappointment, and I lamented that for a movie called Godzilla, there was awful little of the Big G in it… well, at least Andrew of Cultured Left Peg entertained me endlessly.

I am so glad that I did not waste study time and my hard earned money on this crap. The human component of this film was excruciatingly boring. I cannot believe the trailers marketed this movie with a lot of Bryan Cranston, so here I got all excited about that. Guess what? They ripped that joy away from me within the first thirty minutes, too. Now there was an hour and a half left to watch no Godzilla and the terribly wooden Aaron Taylor-Johnson (who, by the way, isn’t even hot in my opinion, either, so I lost on all fronts). Also, whenever he was with Elizabeth Olsen, there was no chemistry there either. Ken Watanabe, another big name draw, was also barely around. I just want to express my irritation with that.

I hated how whenever Godzilla came across those mutos, we saw nothing, just some news snippets after the fact. Goddammit people, I came here for the Big G! I must confess that I thought Godzilla was really well done (on the rare occasions you did get to see him). He was massive, he looked amazing, he moved extremely well, the water shots were brilliant… but that is all I can say for it really.

Rapid Review: Drive (2011)

drive poster

“You tell me where we start, where we’re going, where we’re going afterwards. I give you five minutes when we get there. Anything happens in that five minutes and I’m yours. No matter what. Anything a minute on either side of that and you’re on your own. I don’t sit in while you’re running it down. I don’t carry a gun. I drive.”
– Driver

SYNOPSIS: A mysterious Hollywood stuntman and mechanic moonlights as a getaway driver and finds himself trouble when he helps out his neighbor. – via IMDB

driver driving

I cannot believe that it took me so long to get to it! I have always read around the internet how it is said to be good and all that, but I just never got to it, and it has been waiting for me to check it out for months. Finally, it was going to happen. It was time. Just wow. My mind was completely and utterly blown. I am pretty indifferent about Ryan Gosling, not a huge fan, don’t hate him, doesn’t bother me to see him in a film or anything. But this was the first time that I was actually swept away by him. He was just perfect in his role as Driver. He put so much into the character. The film had a brilliant cast, and Carey Mulligan was also just great to watch. The chemistry between her and Gosling was also extremely impressive and very believable. Their little shy romance was so beautiful to watch, and not overbearing and soppy. The kiss that they shared was simply one of the most breathtaking kisses I have ever seen on the screen. It was stunning. Bryan Cranston was entertaining, as always. The concept for this film was fresh and new in a few ways, and it was executed incredibly well, so Nicolas Winding Refn seriously needs some props for that. The camera work was awesome, and the lighting and emphasis on certain things was beautiful to behold. I am more impressed than I can put into words. The violence was not excessive (as so many people complained about), though it definitely was present. There was not one moment where the film started lagging and losing its momentum – it maintained its greatness from the off and continued in the same streak. The film progresses smoothly and is wonderful to watch. The cast was absolutely awesome, they worked so well together. The soundtrack caught me by surprise, but worked perfectly for the film. Overall, this movie is totally worth the watch, I cannot recommend it highly enough!