Tag Archives: action

SBox Recommends: Ant-Man (Movie Review)

Note: SBox Recomends never spoils!

Let’s face it! Even if you’re a big Marvel movie fan like me, you were immediately skeptical of this film. Why? Because this is easily Marvel’s most ridiculous movie concept (which is really saying something). However, comic book fans will agree that this character is important to the Marvel Universe, and therefore the time has come for the character to grace the big screen.

Either way, you have no choice. It’s a Marvel film. If you’re a fan, you pretty much have to see it. But allow me to explain why you should see it.

Continue reading SBox Recommends: Ant-Man (Movie Review)

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SBox Recommends: Avengers 2: Age of Ultron

This was my most anticipated film of 2015. In a year that is chock filled with highly anticipated films- from Star Wars to Jurassic World to Fast and Furious– this was the movie I had my eye on. That’s because I’m a huge fan of Marvel’s line of movies and the first Avengers film. But with great hype comes a great amount of skepticism. The first Avengers film is a hard act to follow, let alone attempt to overtake. People still say that it’s the greatest comic book film ever. And that’s the chief question this time around: Is it better than the first one? As debatable as it is to say, I would say “yes”. Continue reading SBox Recommends: Avengers 2: Age of Ultron

My 2014 Movies: 300: Rise of an Empire (#5)

Let’s state this outright: the 2007 war movie 300 is one of the best movies made in the 21st century so far. I don’t know a soul who doesn’t love this movie-  a fact that gives me faith in humanity. It’s a modern-day masterpiece and one of my favorite films ever. It’s one of those perfect movies that I feel can’t be touched… but they did. Among hearing of the sequel to 300 I rolled my eyes. But as the trailers began to show themselves, I decided it was a must-see. What do you know; it totally is.

Continue reading My 2014 Movies: 300: Rise of an Empire (#5)

SBox Recommends: Furious 7 (Review)

It’s hard to believe that The Fast and the Furious came out in 2001. It’s even harder to believe that these films are still being made 14 years later. Yet here we are with the newest in the franchise. Furious 7 had a lot of hype surrounding it, as all films in the series do. But this one had a much greater level of hype for an outside reason that by now everyone is aware of. Disregarding for a moment what this film represents for the series, we have to wonder if this film is worth seeing. Continue reading SBox Recommends: Furious 7 (Review)

My Thoughts on Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Yesterday morning I was searching my phone during second period and saw the news I thought would never come. At long last Sony and Disney have made the deal of the year: Spider-Man will be added to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

I’m going to just place all other posting plans aside for now so I can focus on this one post. I’ve been saying I was going to post something on the subject since around August. I’ve yet to do so as you can see. Since then we’ve entered a speculation period prompted by the infamous Sony hack of 2014, where we learned that talks between Marvel and Sony have existed and continue to. Now that the information is official, it’s now or never to bring this up; and that’s what I’m going to do finally.
Continue reading My Thoughts on Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

My 2014 Movies: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (#14)

Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a movie that exceeded my expectation a couple years ago. I was, and still am, unfamiliar with the original Planet of the Apes films, but was blown away by its rebooted counterpart. And for all these years after seeing that film, I’ve been patiently waiting to see where they can possibly go from there. Moreover I was hoping the sequel could somehow surpass this great movie. Dawn ended up being that better movie- slightly but surely.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the sequel to the 2011 Planet of the Apes reboot. Taking place a couple years later, the mutagen has taken over the world and killed most of the human population. Adversely, the apes have grown smarter are now becoming the more prominent species. A percentage of the human population has proven immune to the specimen and live in colonies, squandering for resources but surviving nonetheless. Meanwhile the apes live peacefully among themselves, holding a code of loyalty to all apes.

One day a band of humans search the woods for resources when they come across the apes for the first time. When they report back to their human colony, the citizens receive the information with disbelief until the apes, lead by Caesar from the first movie, arrive. Caesar makes it a point that the two species must be separated to avoid war with each other. Amidst a power crisis, the human leader sends another group to negotiate with the apes to allow the building of a dam. Caesar agrees and now must try to coexist with the humans temporarily.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was an excellent work of film through and through. Where can you possibly start with a film like this?

I guess I’ll start with writing. For a film called “Planet of the Apes” this is a pretty deep and well-written film. This isn’t just some action film with a forced story as some may initially dismiss it as. This film is only an action movie during the last third. The majority of the film is spent analyzing the human condition and comparing it to one of our close specie relatives.

The general theme of the movie is whether or not the ape culture when matched with humanlike intellect is capable of being better than the human species. Say the human’s take a step down on the dominance chain, is human nature flawed. You see two sides of the argument more notably with Caesar and Koba. Caesar has experienced the loving side of human nature while Koba knows them for their cruelty. And both perspectives have shaped how the apes live.

Even Caesar knows what humans are capable of and makes a constant effort throughout the film to both be like the humans but unlike the humans at the same time. Their community is based on loyalty and peace among all apes; in the words of Caesar, “Ape no kill ape”. Caesar begins the film feeling his system is superior to that of the humans, but upon interacting with his human guests starts to realize they aren’t too different after all. And this revelation is epitomized by the film’s latter events.

The point is that Dawn (my shortened version of the title) has an incredibly thought-out and compelling narrative. Furthermore the screenplay and script are well done, even when dealing with the apes’ dialect. Some may be turned off by the use of subtitles for many ape dialogue scenes, but they aren’t as longwinded and monotonous as you’d think. Even if you aren’t accustomed to reading foreign films I think you should be fine here. After all, the monkeys do talk as well.

Acting is well-done from everybody. The apes have incredible voice work going for them. Caesar is voiced by Andy Serkis, who provides an epically deep voice; and yet he is still able to pack a large range of emotion and wisdom in his performance. In fact, all of the voice performers do a great job with that. The humans also gave great performances. Granted, their particular personalities are hard for (at least me) to remember long-term, but Jason Clarke, Ellie Russell and Gary Oldman’s performances stand out in my mind nonetheless.

Now for the visual effects which will lead into the action. Hands-down and not a single person can take this away from Dawn, these are the best effects of the year. The CGI used in this film is seamless and perfect. It sounds cliché to say “I really thought the apes were actually there” but I freaking mean it this time! The apes are so realistic that I immediately forget that Caesar isn’t really talking to Malcolm. I’m talking Sméagol levels of realism.

I’m really hoping this film wins that Oscar for Best Visual Effects. It earned it in spades!

Then you have the action scenes, which when matched with the already great-looking ape models are a recipe for pure awesomeness. Anyone who has ever witnessed the way a monkey or ape fight knows that they brutal in combat. They’re blunt, powerful, persistent and manic creatures. You simply don’t mess with an ape! If you want further proof, this movie will reinforce that semi-loyally. By that I mean that you won’t find apes using weapons like they do here. Other than that, the apes’ choreography is pretty spot-on, making for intense and crazy action sequences.

The movie’s score is also great. It can be calming and serene, but also vengeful and warlike. And they never overdo the music either. Many scenes aren’t accompanied by music, which gives it a very Animal Planet feel. It builds up the emotional tension a bit in scenes.

And of course the traditional production values are present and well-done: camerawork, editing, lighting, etc.

This film is a must-see. I would recommend watching Rise of the Planet of the Apes before seeing this just to give you a bit of background, but it’s not entirely necessary for enjoying the movie. There really isn’t much reason to not watch Dawn of the Planet of the Apes at least once. Whether you come for the action or come for the drama, it satisfies anyone’s standards.

View #13 here!

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

My 2014 Movies: Godzilla (#18)

I remember this movie. Towards the end of my Junior year, this is the film everyone was talking about. Legend has it that this film cured babies of all ailments and ended all wars. Joking aside, this was definitely a film that set the world on fire upon release. I have very little experience with the Godzilla franchise, so I wasn’t as excited as everyone else was until I saw it. But as a sucker for a fun action flick, I simply had to watch it once when it was released on DVD.

Godzilla is a dinosaur-like monster who is known for his ridiculous size. He was the result of a 1950s nuclear experiment in Japan that went wrong. When he’s not wrecking cities and buildings, he resides beneath the Pacific Ocean. But you already knew that didn’t you.

In the latest version of Godzilla, a US Navy soldier named Ford is the son of a scientist named Joe Brody who had witnessed Godzilla. In fact, due to a breach caused by Godzilla, his wife died fifteen years prior. Now Joe believes that there is something new to be studied at the site of his wife’s death, and convinces his son to join him. It is then that they begin to learn more about the monster, as well as two additional monsters that have arisen. Eventually, Ford decides to join an underground research team who has been studying Godzilla for years so that they can stop the impending, monster-based destruction from occurring.

Before I continue with my general thoughts on the movie, I feel it necessary to bring something up about. My issue when it comes to discussing the movie is that I am having difficulty remembering a good portion of it. I do remember scenes and a quick look at the synopsis jogged most of that memory, but I still don’t remember the entire film.

So, you may want to take certain parts of this post with a grain of salt. I will also not be going into the greatest detail here, because I’m in no such position. I’ll explain why I chose to place the film high anyway shortly. However, if there is one thing you can take from this post is that I did enjoy the movie. (I at least remembered that I liked it).

Going through the most basic elements, this film has fantastic production values. This movie has great cinematography, camerawork, sound. The film is set in three main locations: Japan, Hawaii, and San Francisco. So, you get some really great scenery wit great panoramic shots of these locations. Acting was also well-done from what I can remember. Our main protagonist was very likeable and is able to pull off those action scenes incredibly well.

I would love to comment on the movie’s writing and execution, but I can’t. Of the entire film, I remember the first half hour, some of the middle, the action scene on the train, and the climax of the movie. What I can say is that they build Godzilla up marvelously, give some good background to the characters, and do great with their execution of the Godzilla character.

When you find out why Godzilla is coming to the surface now after all these years, it makes perfect sense. Many action movies are ever able to give a legitimate reason for the mindless destruction that arises from the climax. So this film willing to offer such an explanation was very clever and stands out.

Now here’s something I can recall clearly: the special effects and action scenes.

Godzilla offers some of the best action sequences of the year. The part I think everyone will come out of this film talking about is the final battle where you finally see Godzilla fight. It’s something you have to see to believe. Trust me when I say it is worth two hours of waiting to witness. Everything about it is flawless.

That is one of the reasons why I ranked the film this high. I understand this contradicts what I said before about where I stand on a film being unmemorable, but I made this exception because I am able to recall enjoyment of the movie despite it not sticking with me. This countdown is based on my personal enjoyment of a film, and that’s why I stand by my position (though this was a very difficult one to place).

One day I will rewatch the movie free of distractions and paying close attention. In such a time, I’ll make an updated statement of the movie. As for right now, this will be my overall impression.

This movie is incredibly fun to watch though; don’t get me wrong. I would recommend this film to anyone who loves a good action movie with giant monsters fighting. Then again, you probably already saw this film if you were originally interested. So…watch it again! I know I will.

View #17 here!

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!