Movie Review: The Chronicles of Riddick

Title: The Chronicles of Riddick
Released: 2004
Director: David Twohy
Starring: Vin Diesel, Karl Urban, Thandie Newton
Rating: 2/5

I’m not a huge Vin Diesel fan, nor did I enjoy Pitch Black at all. However, I am a huge Karl Urban fan, and with Riddick about to be released in cinemas, I thought I should give this movie a chance – plus, I can’t complain about a movie if I haven’t seen it (look at all you Twilight haters that have never watched the movie or read the book!).

This movie just didn’t do anything for me. I found it boring, a little cheesy, and just…boring. Vin Diesel’s acting just seemed so flat, though I will say some of his one liners had me giggling. Thandie Newton as Dame Vaako just pissed me off, and in my honest opinion, the only good thing about this movie was Karl Urban in eyeliner.

The CGI was pretty bad, and I’m not going to excuse it for the year it was released – Lord of the Rings came out before it and that looks a lot more believable than these ‘monsters’. And the change in ‘Jack”s character was a bit extreme, but that’s just my opinion.

In the end, I didn’t like this film at all, and it’s put me off going to see Riddick when it’s released next week. I probably will, because I’ll go see anything with Karl Urban, but let’s face it, he’s the only good thing about it.

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Movie Review: Grown Ups 2

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Title: Grown Ups 2
Released: Summer 2013
Director: Dennis Dugan
Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade
Rating: 4/5

Despite what many critics and movie goers are saying about Adam Sandler’s latest outing, I found Grown Ups 2 to be a hilarious barrel of laughs and one of the most fun movies i have seen the cinema this year so far.

Yes, it’s silly, and yes, it’s daft, but it’s supposed to be. That is the main point of the movie – it’s FUN. The jokes are stupid and they hit the spot. At one point I found myself bent over being I couldn’t stop laughing.

The characters, whilst a little unrealistic, are lovable and amusing. There are also a few delightful cameos from an array of stars, ranging from some familiar Disney faces to the one and only Stone Cold Steve Austin (which was amusing as hell – watching him cower from Adam Sandler will never not make me laugh).

In the end, if you enjoy stupid, heartwarming comedy, you really should give with movie a go. You don’t go to see comedies for the amazing writing or effects – you go to laugh, and that is exactly what this film delivers. It’s not often that I can’t wait to view a comedy a second time, and I’m already planning my second trip!

Movie Review: Percy Jackson & the Sea of Monsters

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Title: Percy Jackson & the Sea of Monsters
Director: Thor Freudenthal
Starring: Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Douglas Smith, Brandon T. Jackson
Rating: 4/5

WARNING: Spoilers ahead

I am a huge fan of Rick Riorden’s Percy Jackson series, so I have been waiting for years for a sequel to The Lightening Thief, and when I first saw the trailer for SoM, I won’t lie, I felt a little nervous. Whilst the effects and such were pretty awesome, I wasn’t too sure how the characters would be portrayed this time ‘round, especially with the introduction of some new character – characters that I loved (or hated, in some cases) in the books.

However, after seeing the movie I am happy to say I was not let down. This book series is right up there with Harry Potter for me, so I feel a little protective of it and it’s character. Again, Logan Lerman blew me away with his portrayal of Percy, and I think he just continues to prove he was the right choice. Alexandra Daddario has improved her performance of Annabeth so much (which almost makes up for her atrocious appearance in Texas Chainsaw 3D – almost, I said) and Brandon T. Jackson is forever so perfect as Grover – in fact, as much as I love the books, I the movie version of Grover is maybe a little better, or maybe he just makes the character seem even better. Douglas Smith entering the ring as Tyson…okay, I was cynical at first, mostly because of the trailer. Tyson is my precious baby, okay? In the books I just want to baby him, and by the way he looks in the trailer, he looks like a teenage stoner, not a slightly dumb Cyclops who is actually smarter than you think. However, Smith is brilliant and Tyson won my heart all over again.

Another thing that should be noted in terms of actors, Leven Rambin as Clarisse…okay, she’s good. My issue is that she is a horrible character for the majority of the books. I hate her, okay? I don’t care if she’s a strong female character, she is a horrible person and I don’t like her. However, she’s likeable and slightly redeeming in the movie, and I’m not sure if I like that or not?

The supporting cast was brilliant, and I think Stanley Tucci as Mr. D was brilliant, and Anthony Head taking up the part of Chiron was a smart choice. Oh! And Nathan Fillion as Hermes was perfect – I think he fits exactly what I imagined when I read the books for the first time.

Okay, enough flailing over the actors! The movie itself is a kids action movie that I feel can reach out to anyone. When it comes down to mythology they follow it to the core, even if it is modernised (the three Fates driving a taxi cab called the Chariot of Damnation? Gold, okay, gold). Hermes running UPS is excellent, and the Oracle would be a little frightening to children in 3D, if you ask me.

The only issues I truly have with the movie is the parts of the book that were missed out – the Sirens, for example, and the use of the Winds. However, I can overlook these things because I think the movie makes up for them enough. I was also a little annoyed by Tyson’s entry to the story, but in retrospect it works a bit better than the book (at least on the screen).

The one liners are brilliant, and I am so glad they kept Grover cross-dressing and pretending to be a Cyclops. The relationship between Percy and Tyson is heart warming – in the book you get a little pissy with Percy because he’s just so cold and unwelcoming to this brother he doesn’t want, but in the movie it’s more like he just doesn’t know what to do, and it isn’t until Tyson proves how much he loves his brother that Percy realised, wow, he has a brother and he loves him. (Also, the end scene with Percy taking off Tyson’s glasses, wanting him to be proud of who he is – I had to hold back the tears.) The relationship between Percy and Annabeth is starting to blossom too, and I like that they aren’t just making it OMG THESE TWO NEED TO GET TOGETHER, it’s more, hey, they would be a cute couple (which Hermes points out). It makes me happy to see a kids/young adult movie that doesn’t have two of the main characters dive into a relationship – Percy and Annabeth are best friends for years before they realise how they feel, and I like that.

In the end, I loved this movie, okay? It’s made me want to reread the books and I plan on watching the first movie again tonight. They’re keeping these characters I love alive, and I better get the whole god damn series (if I’m not getting Darren Shan, I better get Percy Jackson, okay?)

So go see this. Don’t listen to the critics and give it a chance, okay? If you enjoyed the first movie you will love this one.