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Sunday, March 31, 2013

REVIEW: The Host

MOVIE
The Host

CAST
Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons

RATING
PG-13

RELEASE
March 29, 2013

DIRECTOR
Andrew Niccol

STUDIO
Open Road Films

RUNNING TIME
2 hours 5 minutes








STARS
**3/4






REVIEW:

I can't believe it, but Stephanie Meyer has done what I once believed to be the unthinkable: she actually made her characters possess real, genuine human emotions.  Frankly, she doesn't do it as well as other authors have done it in the past, but at least the characters in her latest book-to-screen adaptation 'The Host' show at least a glimmer of happiness or sadness, unlike the emotionless characters in her popular 'Twilight' series.  Instead of four books, 'The Host' is just one book and in no series at all.  At least, that's how it is for the time being.  The director and writer of this film is Andrew Niccol, who has written great movies like 'The Truman Show,' as well as mediocre movies like 'In Time.'  The films stars include Saoirse Ronan from 'Hanna,' William Hurt, and Diane Kruger.  In all honesty, this movie could have gone either way for me.  For some reason, I kind of dug this movie.  I don't exactly know why I enjoyed this movie, but I did, and I'm not ashamed.

In the near future, aliens have successfully occupied the bodies of nearly all of the humans worldwide and are "perfecting" Earth in order to make it a peaceful place.  There is a small handful of humans left who haven't been occupied and are on the run from these aliens.  One of these humans is Melanie Stryder, a teenager trying to keep her brother safe.  In order to save her brother and her newly found friend/lover Jared, she sacrifices herself to the aliens in a suicide attempt.  After the attempt fails, her body is occupied by an alien known as "Wanderer," or "Wanda" for short.  It turns out that Melanie is still alive inside Wanda's head and is able to communicate mentally with the host.  The two end up in a refugee camp with Jared, Melanie's brother, and others.  Through Wanda, Melanie tries to convince everyone she loves that she is still alive.  Unfortunately, that job's gonna be a little hard as nobody is able to see past the glowing eyes.  Plus, the aliens are looking for Wanda as they suspected that Melanie was still mentally alive inside Wanda.

As someone who finds 'The Twilight Saga' a guilty pleasure due to their campiness, I was a little interested in this movie.  Sure enough, what I was expecting from the film, which included a cheesy love story and some unintentionally hilarious moments, was received successfully.  However what I didn't expect to get was some decent acting and a somewhat interesting story.  'The Host' is heavily flawed without a doubt, but I just don't understand the hate for the movie.  In all honesty, I think that people just hate this movie because it's from the woman who's responsible for the 'Twilight' movies.

Frankly some of the things that people have said negatively about the movie, including the excessive running time on the movie and the countless slow moments scattered throughout the movie, are dead on.  However the script and acting complaints just don't make a lot of sense to me.  The actors tried their hardest with the material they were given.  The script wasn't even as shallow as many other movies have been in the past.  The "Twi-Hards" will without a doubt dig this movie.  So will the people who go in expecting nothing more than a campy and cheesy ripoff of 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers.'  Sure a lot of the characters in the movie are annoying jerks, the story and script are a little cheesy, some of the mental conversations between Melanie and Wanda are unintentionally hysterical, and the movie's 2 hour runtime does drag on a little, but there is some good acting present from Saoirse Ronan, Jake Abel, and William Hurt, the story is somewhat interesting and creative, and there's something to it that makes it an enjoyable sci-fi romance flick.  'The Host' is far from a perfect movie, but it's also far from a terrible movie, and overall something that I would probably watch again if it was on TV late one night.





PREVIEWS YOU MAY SEE:

Scary Movie V

Star Trek: Into Darkness

Iron Man 3

Oblivion

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones



REVIEW: Tyler Perry's Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor

MOVIE
Tyler Perry's Temptation:
Confessions of a
Marriage Counselor

CAST
Jurnee Smollett-Bell,
Lance Gross

RATING
PG-13

RELEASE
March 29, 2013

DIRECTOR
Tyler Perry

STUDIO
Lionsgate

RUNNING TIME
1 hour 51 minutes






STARS
*1/2








REVIEW:

Well, it took me long enough to see my first Tyler Perry movie.  Unfortunately, I kind of wish I had waited a little while longer to see one of his movies instead of seeing 'Temptation.'  The full title of 'Temptation' is 'Tyler Perry's Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor,' but frankly it would take a long time to read this by using that title every time I mention the name, so let's just stick with 'Temptation,' since chances are nobody will remember this movie by the end of the year.  This film stars a lot of somewhat unknown actors/celebrities, with the only names that pop off the poster are Kim Kardashian and Vanessa Williams, both of whom are horrible in this movie.  The plot of the film basically says why you should never leave the love of your life for someone new and how you should be a good Christian 24/7 instead of sleeping around with the first guy who says they can offer you something more.  If you're a Tyler Perry fan, then I'm going to guess that you will probably enjoy this movie.  If you are anybody else, then this movie is 2 hours of wasted time and money.

The sad thing about this movie is that it had the potential to be good.  In fact, the first 45 minutes had me somewhat invested with the main characters and the conflicts the main girl Judith was going through.  There was even a shimmer of decent acting from the three main leads of the movie.  Everyone else in the cast is pretty forgettable and just downright bad.  As soon as Judith goes into her little love affair on an airplane, everything just goes downhill by incorporating a twist that if you think about it, it can be predicted early on in the film.  My entire audience was shocked as any typical audience would be.  I was just sitting in my seat saying to myself "Really? How could nobody have seen this coming like an hour ago?"

Tyler Perry just knows how to please his regular demographic and nobody else.  If he was able to make a movie that could please all audiences, then maybe he could get somewhere in life other than just making either sappy dramas or stupid comedies where he dresses up as a criminal christian woman with some sass.  'Temptation' is an example of when the slightest glimmer of something decent gets hammered down by wacky editing, a stupid twist, and some terrible jokes that will make anyone with the mind of a 13 year old laugh.  Seriously, I sensed a little bit of goodness in this movie while watching it.  I see the potential that Perry has as a director and a writer.  If he's able to write something that isn't just for his demographic audience, then maybe he'll go farther than he is now in Hollywood.  In the mean time, please spend your hard earned time and money on seeing something else.





PREVIEWS YOU MAY SEE:

Scary Movie V

42

After Earth

Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain

The Heat

Tyler Perry's Peeples



Wednesday, March 27, 2013

MINI-REVIEW: Admission

MOVIE
Admission

CAST
Tina Fey, Paul Rudd

RATING
PG-13

RELEASE
March 22, 2013

DIRECTOR
Paul Weitz

STUDIO
Focus Features

RUNNING TIME
1 hour 58 minutes







STARS
***1/4






REVIEW:

'Admission' is the type of movie that parents will want to take either their spouce or their college-enrolling son or daughter to see.  This film stars comedians Tina Fey and Paul Rudd, and it;s about a woman who is an admissions officer at Princeton University who visits a high school that may or may not have the son she gave up in college waiting to meet her.  The trailers for this film didn't do a lot for me in all honesty, so I just saw this out of boredom and the fact that the family was out of the house.  Low and behold, this movie was a lot better than one might expect it to be.  Sure the movie isn't perfect, but it is a very enjoyable dramady filled with enough laughs and heart to satisfy those going to college and those getting their children to go to college.

Tina Fey, Paul Rudd, and especially Nat Wolff from the Nickelodeon show 'The Naked Brothers Band,' all deliver really solid performances.  Each character has their own shining moment in the movie, and it can either be hilarious or genuinely heartfelt.  The writing, while not perfect, does feature some genuine moments and feature some great moments of comedy in them.  Director Paul Weitz has crafted a smart and charming dramady that asks what you would do if that meant you could spend more time with your child.  This movie isn't perfect by any means, but it is a movie that will have you invested and relating to the characters in some shape or form.  'Admission' is one of those 2013 films that might be forgotten by the time December rolls around, but those who see it may enjoy it for what it's worth.  'Admission' gets a passing grade from this critic.







PREVIEWS YOU MAY SEE:

The Great Gatsby

The Big Wedding


Monsters University


1D3D


The Place Beyond The Pines


The Heat


Despicable Me 2





Tuesday, March 19, 2013

REVIEW: The Croods 3D

MOVIE
The Croods

CAST
Nicholas Cage, Emma Stone

RATING
PG

RELEASE
March 22, 2013

DIRECTOR(S)
Chris Sanders, Kirk De Micco

STUDIO(S)
DreamWorks Animation,
20th Century Fox

RUNNING TIME
1 hour 39 minutes







STARS
***1/2








REVIEW:

DreamWorks Animation can be a hit or miss studio when it comes to their films. While films like the 'Kung Fu Panda' series, 'How To Train Your Dragon,' and 'Megamind' proved that the famed studio was the same caliber as Pixar, other films like 'Shrek The Third,' 'Monsters vs. Aliens,' and 'Rise of the Guardians' proved to be not as impressive. Now comes their latest animated feature entitled 'The Croods.' This film features the voices of stars including Nicholas Cage, Emma Stone, and Ryan Reynolds. It also tells the story of a family of cavemen trying to survive this new world they've discovered. From the trailers, this seemed to be a ripoff of the 'Ice Age' films with cavemen as the central characters instead of prehistoric talking animals, as well as a weak storyline centering on an arguing father/daughter duo. Much to a surprise, this film was much more than a typical arguing family animated film.

Instead of really dumb humor, there were some surprisingly clever and intelligent jokes about families and the prehistoric era. Instead of a typical father/daughter story, the filmmakers decided to go into unexpected territories with it and make it something that's rarely seen in films like this. When a voice cast can consist of A-list actors just for the sake of having A-list actors, the actors in this movie bring emotion and a kick to their voices, which help make the characters relatable, funny, and more empowering. To top it off, the animation in the film, along with the 3D, are polarizing and mesmerizing to watch, showing just how beautiful animation can be in this day in age. Overall, 'The Croods' exceeded expectations to bring a funny, sweet, visually stunning, and heartfelt family movie that deals with family issues in a good way.

The story centers around a family of cavemen named "The Croods." Grug, the father, is very overprotective of his family and believes that his way of living is the only right way of living. Eep is a free spirit who wants to explore the world and disobey her father, whose stories of bears and such all ends in them dying due to disobeying. When the family cave gets destroyed, The Croods embark on a journey of survival from the supposed "end of the world." The teller of this upcoming apocalypse is a mysterious explorer named Guy and his pet sloth named Belt. Together, The Croods and Guy take on a journey that's greater than the changing world around them.

Without a doubt the strongest thing about this movie is the animation. Almost every shot of this movie is simply gorgeous to look at, especially in 3D. DreamWorks in my opinion is the single best animation studio in regards to 3D, because the ways they create their 3D movies take the audience and throws them into these stunning worlds and makes them stare in awe. The design of these characters, and even this prehistoric world, is a stunning achievement for the studio, and that's saying something when comparing this to other recent animation spectacles like 'Rise of the Guardians' and 'Kung Fu Panda 2.' If you go to see this in 3D, I highly guarantee that you won't regret it. Seeing it in 2D is fine, but the 3D in this film really immerses you and takes you into a magical prehistoric world unlike anything that's been created before.

While most animated casts consist of A-list actors who are mostly in it for the sake of the paycheck, the voice actors in this movie actually lose themselves in their roles and make them their own. I honestly believe that Nicholas Cage was born to play a caveman in addition to all of the crazy roles he's done over the span of his career. Believe it or not, though, Cage actually gives a subtle and solid vocal performance, almost in the style of Ray Romano's Manny from the first 'Ice Age' film or John C. Reilly in 'Wreck It Ralph.' Emma Stone and Catherine Keener were also solid, but in all honesty their characters Eep and Ugga could have been played by anybody. Ryan Reynolds and Clark Duke were the best parts of the animated cast as Guy and Thunk respectively.

Their roles had a sort of charisma that can only be found in light hearted animated movies, and their voices overall worked. I would love to see these guys in many more animated films in the near future. Cloris Leachman also managed to get some good laughs, especially in her constant bantering with Nick Cage. While her character was the typical old lady character in any movie in general, Leachman was able to make it her own and have the character be quite entertaining. That is the jest of all of the voice actors in the film. Most of them are solid and really entertaining, while others are generic and could have been played with anybody.

'The Croods' is not a perfect movie, but it is a nice breath of fresh air after a lot of disappointing movies to come out so far this year. The voice cast is great, especially Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, and Clark Duke. The animation and 3D is superb, with it enhancing the movie in many more ways than not. The writing has a lot of humor and a lot of heart despite some clich├ęd moments. Directors Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMico successively deliver a fun and strong animated feature that kids and adults will equally enjoy. If there has been a lack of good or appropriate kid’s movies to come out so far this year, look no further as 'The Croods' is a satisfying animated flick that looks to be the start of a beautiful and great partnership between DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox.



PREVIEWS YOU MAY SEE:

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

REVIEW: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

MOVIE
The Incredible
Burt Wonderstone

CAST
Steve Carrell, Steve Buschemi

RATING
PG-13

RELEASE
March 15, 2013

DIRECTOR
Don Scardino

STUDIO(S)
Warner Bros. Pictures,
New Line Cinema

RUNNING TIME
1 hour 40 minutes








STARS
***










REVIEW:

Movies essentially are magic that enchant audiences all over the world.  They're able to make reality disappear and have an entirely new world presented directly in front of them within the blink of an eye. With special glasses, movies can pop right out at you and bring you one step closer into these awesome worlds.  Of course, though, there are magicians all over the world, most notably in Las Vegas.  'The Incredible Burt Wonderstone' takes audiences into that crazy world of rivaling magicians and, while not giving us anything remotely original in terms of plot details and cliched drama that is always put in comedies, gives off many laughs and some great performances, particularly from Alan Arkin and Jim Carrey.  Even though 'Burt Wonderstone' wasn't as hilarious and great as it could have been, it was still an entertaining and funny comedy that manages to give off some of the best moments I've seen all year.

For 30 years, Burt Wonderstone and Anton Marvelton have practiced the art of magic so much so that they have a headlining show at Bailly's in Las Vegas.  Unfortunately, the name of their act "Burt and Anton: A Magical Friendship" is now an irony as the two magicians have become divas of their own and despise each other.  When a new street magician named Steve Gray comes into the spotlight, Burt and Anton start losing ticket sales due to the people saying that they want the next big thing.  In order for the magic in their act to become new again, Burt and Anton must find the magic in their friendship and the wonder and awe that made them get into the business in the first place.

The actors in the movie are either really good, or they're just decent.  The two actors who fall under the decent category are Steve Carell and James Gandolfini.  Don't get me wrong, they were good in the movie.  I feel though it was how their characters were written that they were only able to give an average performance.  They both felt dry and pretty unlikable for the most part.  In fact, there were moments where I was rooting for the villain of the movie to win instead of the hero.  That's never supposed to happen, now is it?  Olivia Wilde and Steve Buschemi are really good in the movie, giving some great performances in the film as well as delivering on some funny jokes.  The two funniest actors in the film though are Alan Arkin and Jim Carrey. 

Alan Arkin and Jim Carrey play veteran magician Rance Hollaway and rival magician Steve Gray respectively.  Arkin uses his dialogue and his comedic timing to steal a scene and helps make the movie really enjoyable.  As for Jim Carrey, he goes back to his 'In Living Color' roots and uses nothing but physical comedy to steal the show.  In almost every single scene he's in, Carrey finds a ridiculous and hilarious way to make the audience explode in contagious laughter.  If they made a spinoff movie with just Jim Carrey's character, I bet it would be a lot funnier than this film overall.  I think the reason why the film isn't as funny as I had hoped was because of the writing.

The movie was written by four writers, one of them being John Francis Daley, who also wrote the 2011 comedy 'Horrible Bosses' and starred in a great cult-TV show called 'Freaks & Geeks.'  A movie with four writers is already a bad sign, because each writer could want to go their own way with the film and make it jumbled and unfunny for the most part.  That sadly is what happens here.  Sure there are jokes that are funny, in fact some are hilarious, but the movie suffers from an excessive amount of slow and dry spans of time that leave the comedy scattered all over the place.  If this movie had had one or two writers who knew exactly how they wanted to make this movie, then it's possible that it could have been a much funnier movie.  Instead, this is what we get, and it's pretty disappointing.

'The Incredible Burt Wonderstone' had the potential to be an incredibly funny and awesome comedy.  Instead, it's only a good movie that's being given a slight recommendation.  There isn't quite a lot of humor in the movie, but when it hits it hits really hard.  The acting is fine for the most part, but it's Jim Carrey and Alan Arkin who steal the show.  Director Don Scardino did the best he could do with this mixed up script, and he actually did fine as a first time director.  If only the movie was more satisfying in the humor department.  If you go see this movie, I doubt you'll hate yourself for seeing it, but you may be disappointed with the overall outcome and such.  'The Incredible Burt Wonderstone' is a fine comedy that could have been much funnier, but is worth watching on DVD or something.


PREVIEWS YOU MAY SEE:

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The Great Gatsby

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MINI-REVIEW: Upside Down

MOVIE
Upside Down

CAST
Jim Sturgess, Kirsten Dunst

RATING
PG-13

RELEASE
March 15, 2013

DIRECTOR
Juan Solanas

STUDIO
Millenium Entertainment

RUNNING TIME
1 hour 47 minutes







STARS
***1/4








REVIEW:

I've been looking for an original fantasy movie for quite some time, and finally it has come in the form of 'Upside Down.' This is a mainstream movie that's being released in a limited release, which is a shame because this could have potentially had decent box office revenue had it been released wide with a bigger studio. Instead, this is a film that few will see, but the few who do may enjoy it. This film takes the forbidden love story and adds a new twist onto it: the two people who fall in love are from two corresponding planets with two different gravitational pulls. The two lovers belong to each planet, and they can't be together unless they're held down by something in the other world. When the government separates the two for over a decade, the man of the couple, named Adam, travels to find his former lover, named Eden, after finding out where she works. This is one of those hidden gems that, while flawed, is still original and quite entertaining. If you find 'Upside Down' somewhere, somehow, chances are that you will be happy that you saw it.

The best thing about the movie by far is the originality of the story. Writer/Director Juan Solanas clearly showed in the script and the stellar visuals that he wanted to get his voice out there and wanted this movie exactly the way it was made from first frame to last. The problem with the script though is that the movie sort of abruptly ends and sets up a sequel that probably won't happen. I understand that this was supposed to be a character story and not the story of the two worlds becoming one, as said in the opening monologue, but I feel that they could have added another 20 or so minutes to properly wrap up the story and show these two worlds become connected. Still though, the story, script, and incredible visuals make up for that, as do the great performances from Kirsten Dunst and Jim Sturgess, who give two of the best performances of their careers. Even Timothy Spall delivers a great performance that shows that he can play characters other than a whiny villain.

Not much else is there to say about 'Upside Down.' The visuals in the movie are so outstanding that one may be surprised that this is getting a limited release in the US. Kirsten Dunst, Jim Sturgess, and Timothy Spall all deliver on great performances, and have good chemistry together. The story, while anti-climatic, is original and refreshing, which is hard to find these days in movies. Overall, if this movie comes your way in any shape or form, I'd say check it out. With all of the constant sequels, adaptations, and remakes these days, it's nice to find a movie that feels new and looks astonishing. 'Upside Down' is one of those hidden gems that's destined for cult status once it finds an audience.





Tuesday, March 12, 2013

REVIEW: Oz: The Great and Powerful 3D

MOVIE
Oz: The Great and Powerful

CAST
James Franco, Mila Kunis

RATING
PG

RELEASE
March 8, 2013

DIRECTOR
Sam Raimi

STUDIO
Disney

RUNNING TIME
2 hours 11 minutes








STARS
***1/2











REVIEW:

To be perfectly honest, I'm not a big fan of the 1939 classic 'The Wizard of Oz.' It's not that I hate it, it's just that I don't get why it's called a kid classic other than the fact that it was one of the first films in color and it's from the late 30s. I respect it as a movie, but overall I just don't really care for it. For some reason though, I was excited for 'Oz: The Great and Powerful.' I've loved all of the Spider-Man movies that Sam Raimi directed, (aside from '3') and the film had a really solid cast consisting of people like James Franco, Mila Kunis, and Michelle Williams. As somebody who really enjoyed Tim Burton's 'Alice in Wonderland,' which this film has been compared to based on the marketing campaign, I was actually looking forward to this film. Sure enough, 'Oz' didn't disappoint. It is a whimsical, enchanting, fun, and sometimes scary movie that stands on its own and shouldn't be compared to its 1939 counterpart. Aside from the setting and characters, the two films are nothing alike.

The year is 1905, and Oscar Diggs, aka "Oz," is back in Kansas to perform his magic act in a traveling circus. Oz is not an honest man whatsoever. In fact, he's even a bit of a con man. So when he just escapes a couple of angry citizens of Kansas after they were ripped off, Oz gets into an even bigger predicament than he imagined. Just as Oz escapes the angry civilians, he is sucked into a tornado that teleports him to the magical world of Oz. There is a prophecy in this magical land that a man with the same name as the land would take the throne and destroy the Wicked Witch. Unfortunately, some things aren't quite what they seem between the three supposedly good witches of the land.

James Franco never fails to deliver a good performance and his role as Oz continues that streak. Franco's Oz throughout the film is a selfish conman, which was an interesting way to see this character. He was a womanizer while traveling from town to town and swindles people with the help of a cheap music box. When he's transported to the magical land, he doesn't change much until he meets Michelle Williams’s character, and even then he's still a conman. He's a despicable character who is somewhat likable as the final 30 minutes roll on by. Aside from Franco, my other favorite performance was Michelle Williams as Glinda. I really dug how the character was used to impact the overall outcome of Oz, and I liked her chemistry with Franco as well. The other cast members, particularly the stunning Mila Kunis, all lacked and were kind of mediocre in a way. The acting was overall fine, but nothing was groundbreaking and some were a little over the top.

Sam Raimi had a great sense of direction with this movie, having the ability to create this world that is so different yet so familiar at the same time. Due to copyright reasons, Disney wasn't allowed to directly replicate things from the original 1939 movie. The fact that they were able to create this world which felt familiar yet entirely new at the same time is remarkable. The visuals and story too are also quite great. The team who worked behind the scenes on this movie should be given a good old pat on that back for making this world look and feel fresh and new. Sure it's a CGI fest, but the visuals, especially in 3D, look quite stunning.

'Oz: The Great and Powerful' is a movie that people will either really dig or find no enjoyment in it whatsoever. I was one of those who really enjoyed it. Sure the film was a little long and some of the actors went a little over the top, but this movie overall brings the world of 'Oz' to a new generation of kids. The script manages to tie things in from 'The Wizard of Oz' into this film and makes them work to an extent. Sure we don't get any hint of the existence of Dorothy or even the red ruby slippers, but they weren't even needed in the first place when the story is about The Wizard. Fair warning though, this film is a bit frightening, so children under 7 should probably skip this one. However if they could manage 'Alice in Wonderland,' then this should be fun. Overall, 'Oz' is a whimsical and fun movie filled with stunning visuals, solid acting, a great story, and a great tie in to the original 1939 classic without fully replicating it. This is one trip down the yellow brick road that I don't regret taking one bit.



PREVIEWS YOU MAY SEE:

Now You See Me

Oblivion

After Earth

The Great Gatsby

Monsters University

The Croods

Iron Man 3



Monday, March 4, 2013

REVIEW: Jack The Giant Slayer 3D

MOVIE
Jack The Giant Slayer

CAST
Nicholas Hoult,
Eleanor Tomlinson

RATING
PG-13

RELEASE
March 1, 2013

DIRECTOR
Bryan Singer

STUDIO(S)
Warner Bros. Pictures,
New Line Cinema

RUNNING TIME
1 hour 54 minutes






STARS
***








REVIEW:

Fe, Fi, Fo, Fum, I'm surprised this film doth not suck.  With all of these rehashes of children's fairy tales like 'Snow White & The Huntsman' and 'Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters' coming to the big screen recently, it's hard to find a sense of originality implanted in these action fantasies.  'Jack The Giant Slayer' continues that streak unfortunately, but in a way doesn't take itself seriously throughout.  Basically this film takes the story of 'Jack and the Beanstalk' and adds more giants, a love interest, and a villainous human.  In other words, a cliched fantasy story is put in in order to "Hollywood-ize" the original story.  While it's not a perfect film by any means, 'Jack The Giant Slayer' at least is a fun movie to see on the big screen, and even with friends and family.  It's kind of like a modern campy fantasy flick: it's cheesy, stupid, and dumb, but enjoyable enough where it won't tick you off.

Probably the best thing about the film is the selected group of actors who give an effort and deliver solid performances.  Nicholas Hoult from February's 'Warm Bodies' delivers another solid performance as the title character.  Hoult brings a charisma to his character and makes him a likable enough hero.  Ewan McGregor also delivers a good performance, playing one of the soldiers of the kingdom named Elmont.  Of all of the cast members, I had the most fun with Elmont's character.  It might have been because he was the most enjoyable and adventurous of the characters in the film. Ian McShane for example isn't given anything to due other than to command the kingdom and mope around about his daughter. Speaking of the daughter, Eleanor Tomlinson as Isabelle the princess differs from most damsels mainly because she wants to be adventurous but is grounded due to her title in the kingdom. With all of the good performances, there are bad performances. 

It breaks my heart to say this, but Stanley Tucci's character annoyed me in this film. Frankly I understand that was supposed to be what the character is, but it just felt too over the top for me. Even more annoying is Tucci's right hand man played by Ewen Bremner, who is only there to be the snarky sidekick that annoys everyone. He succeeded. Finally, Bill Nighy voices a two headed giant, and he's just playing Davy Jones from 'Pirates of the Caribbean' all over again, not bringing anything relatively new to the table.  Overall the cast is a mixed bag.  It might have been filled with some relatively big names, but the good performances are mixed with the bad performances, regardless of their names.

Director Bryan Singer, whose most notable works include the first two 'X-Men' movies and the underrated 'Superman Returns.'  Singer actually has a good sense of direction with this film, continuing his streak in my opinion.  He's able to capture this beautiful world and bring it to us in an exhilarating fashion.  It helps with the CGI, which is also great.  The script is also fine, but there's really nothing special to it.  A thing that actually takes away from the film in a way is actually the 3D.  This is the type of movie that really didn't need the conversion at all.  It would have been just as good to have seen it on the big screen, or even in regular IMAX, which the film is also featured in at the moment.  Overall the world that Singer brings is great to be in and great to look at, and the script is fine for what the movie is trying to be, but the 3D conversion was just unnecessary and can be just as easily enjoyable seeing it in 2D.

Not much else is there to say about this film.  'Jack The Giant Slayer' is nothing but an entertaining popcorn flick with an unnecessary 3D conversion.  Some of the acting is good in the film, while the rest of it is mediocre.  The CGI and atmosphere of this fantasy world looks great, but other movies have made fantasy worlds look much better and more realistic.  Finally, director Bryan Singer delivers in directing the best he can on an average script.  This is the type of movie that's best to see with a bunch of friends who are looking for nothing other than a good time, which is what this film gives.  While this movie will probably become one of the more forgettable films of 2013, at least when I do look back on it I'll see it as a fun and entertaining ride.  'Jack The Giant Slayer' is far from being great, but it is a fun enough film to recommend seeing on the big screen.



PREVIEWS YOU MAY SEE:

Now You See Me

The Host

Pacific Rim

Oz: The Great and the Powerful

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2

Epic

Man of Steel