Guardians of the Galaxy: Review

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4 STARS

 

OK let me start off by saying there is absolutely no need to worry if you are unfamiliar with Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy”, you will fall madly in love with the characters before the movie is over, this I promise you.  I wasn’t too familiar with the characters or the comic book series either however I will tell you that Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the best Marvel Comics based movie I have ever seen period!

Writer and director James Gunn penned a great story introducing these literally colorful and wonderful semi complex characters.  Mr. Gunn also happens to please the Fan-Boys making them proud with the fact that one of there own managed to do a comic book movie right which also happens to extremely entertaining, that’s always a plus don’t you think.   I mean what’s not to love with great characters like Rocket a sarcastic and tech savvy talking raccoon (Voiced by Bradley Cooper) and his sidekick Groot (Voiced by Vin Diesel) a talking tree that only has three words in his vocabulary “I am Groot” but also has a huge heart and the ability to surprise his team when they least expect it.  Next we have Gamora (Zoe Saldana) a lethal assassin raised by Thanos (Future Villain/Marvel Phase 3) with major daddy issues and Drax The Destroyer (Dave Bautista) a grief-stricken warrior who is out for blood after losing his family.  Finally we have Peter Quill aka Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) their charismatic leader a wise cracking thief with an amazing taste for music and an ok dancer…

One of the things I love most about the movie is the music.  Peter Quill who was abducted as a child wearing of all things a Walkman.  This Walkman had a mix tape recorded by his mother which has a great list of music from the 1970’s.  I just love how James Gunn was able to write the songs in to the story.  In fact I haven’t seen a great playlist of music enhance the visuals in story telling since the likes of Forest Gump and that is saying a lot.  Right from the opening sequence in which we see Peter dancing and strutting to “Come and Get Your Love” Performed by Redbone in sync with the movie credits.  Now I know he is no Fred Astaire but I can tell you it sure is fun to watch Peter jam to the music.  You will even catch yourself dancing in your seat.  We see characters bonding during “I’m Not in Love” by 10cc.  You even have a nice scene which uses “Moonage Daydream” by David Bowie on the way to meet a very weird and psychedelic being known as The Collector (Benicio Del Toro) with of all things has a collection of relics from around the universe. (Note if you like “easter eggs” please, please pay very close attention to the collection for a treat).  It’s great to see music round off a story considering the movie is not a musical.

I’m sure the selling point for most who watch the film is the word of mouth on how Rocket Raccoon and Drax the Destroyer steal the show with great one liners.  Before doing so please do not dismiss Michael Rooker as Yondu (Peter Quill’s surrogate father).  I believe his take on the character is what I love the most about the film.  Just to see Yondu who is a Kree, forget that the Kree are blue, it’s his Cowboy with Southern accent and flavor which really brings this character to life.  Yondu has away about himself from the way he chews his tobacco to his bobble head collection.  However the best thing about Yondu is his weapon.  It’s a golden arrow holstered to his hip the way a Texas outlaw wears a gun.  Arrow? You ask.  Yes an arrow that is psychically controlled as Yondu whistles a sweet melody.  It’s a very cool thing to see in action.
Now if that is not enough to go watch.  Then go watch Guardians of the Galaxy because it’s the best movie of the summer.  Its filled with action, comedy, fantasy and suspense.  Trust me when I say you won’t be disappointed plus your family will thank you for saving them from boredom and forever be their hero.
 
Directed By: 
James Gunn
Written by: 
James Gunn & Nicole Perlman
Based on the Comic Book By:
Andy Lanning & Dan Abnett
Cast: Chris Pratt (Peter Quill) Zoe Saldana (Gamora) Dave Bautista (Drax) Vin Diesel (voice of Groot) Bradley Cooper (voice of Rocket) Lee Pace (Ronan) Michael Rooker, (Yondu) Karen Gillan (Nebula) Djimon Hounsou (Korath) John C. Reilly (Corpsman Rhomann Dey) Glenn Close (Nova Prime) and Benicio Del Toro (the Collector)
 
 

Captain America and his mighty shield……… Review for Captain America:The Winter Soldier

Captain Ameria: The Winter Soldier

 

By Michael Alvarez
I highly recommend this film….

There is no way around this, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a great film. YES I LOVED IT. Considering we do not always have the opportunity to watch a Superhero film with a perfect blend of cinematography, writing and a superb cast. If that is not enough, another point to consider is the fact that CA:TWS truly bridges all fims in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe Phase 2 along with ABC’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D”. So if you are a true Marvel fan like I am, you will be happy to know that it pay’s off to watch the show.
I must remind you that making an entertating film based on a comic book is no easy feat, with that said…….
The filmakers effectively use the source material as a story board and with the help of a great cast bring The Comic Book to life. Anthony and Joseph Russo worked off an exellent script written by Christopher Markus and Stephen Mcfeely based Ed Brubaker’s instant classic series “Captain America:The Winter Soldier” published by Marvel Comics. Its a great story filled with plot twists, with an extensive web of deceit, hardcore action, laughs and also with so many surprises even the fan boys won’t know what hit them. I see it as an Espioange film with an occasional Superhero or two.
Anthony & Joseph Russo are at the top of their game making their first Action film. Managing to keep us glued to our seats throughout entire film. It also helps that the Russo brother’s are coming off “The Community” which ad libs most of its dialogue during the shooting its episodes. This is a great thing because it lets the actors be free and creative making for a better performance. Especially with a cast like Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Redford.
Cinematography in the film is something to boast about considering camera work is often over shadowed by glitzy special effects. It is refreshing to know the film makers did not solely depend on special effects to tell the story. In the opening of the film there is a fantastic fight scequence between Captain America, his shield and a wanted terrorist. Not only was the fight sequence nicely choreographed with a combination of kicks and the Shield but so was the camera work shooting the sequnce was also very well choreographed. Its not easy getting the right angle during a perfect kick and many of you are not aware that the cameras on a film set run on high wires and a pull track like that of a Train tracks and controling those devices is an art by it self. Again because of the experience of directing “The Community” and shooting with Hand Held Cameras add a realistic touch to the action sequences. Plus its great to see a montage of scenes backed by a little music, just saying….
The film takes place two years after New York City was invaded by the Chitauri in The Avengers…. Captain America is now living in Washington DC and a full time operative with Nick Fury’s S.H.I.E.L.D taking down bad guys. Steve Rogers aka Captain America is still adjusting to life in the 21st Century. Steve is doing what he can to adjust to his new life from jogging, making new friends and building a music list with the likes of Marvin Gaye’s “Trouble Man” to the theme of “Rocky II” by Bill Conti. Steve is also avoiding blind date suggestions from his new partner Natsha Romanoff aka The Black Widow. I guess that is what makes Captain America such a great character, he makes saving the world look so easy but has such a though time trying to belong to it. Other highlights of the film are the mysterious Nick Fury as we saa what a BAD-ASS he truly is. We also get an in depth look and history of the infamous organization of S.H.I.E.L.D and how Howard and Tony Stark are connect to the organization.
As I mentioned earlier for those loyal fans of ABC’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D”, you are in for a treat. Not only do we learn why Nick Fury has been avoiding Agents Colson phone calls and for “being off the grid” but we also get a glimpse at a direction the show might take, I can only hope….. Lets not forget about Captain America and the course his life must take when confronting tradegies from his past…. Hold on I have a better idea I think you will better enjoy the film if you just go watch climatic film and see what I am all exited about.
Also don’t forget to stay and watch both the Mid and Post credit scenes teasing Avengers 2…….

 

 

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For Greater Glory Review

For Greater Glory

Review

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

By: Michael Alvarez

 
 
 

“For Greater Glory” is fantastic film based on the true story of the Cristero War, a rebellion which took place in the late 1920’S when the Mexican Government began to persecute the Catholic Church in fear of foreign invasion.  Although religious in theme I would please like to point out the film has an R rating for graphic violence.   It is horrific how people suffer for the faith in GOD.   Dean Wright who directed does an excellent job in telling the story from the point of view of a native Mexican and sending a clear message, “FREEDOM OF CHOICE”.  We can all relate and understand “Freedom of Choice” given our choice to live in the United States, no pun intended.  Another fact about the film I love is that the main character is never seen but spoken of during the whole film, the character being GOD.

 
 

General Enrique Gorostieta played by Andy Garcia led the rebellion against the Mexican President Plutarco Elias Calles (Ruben Blades) who introduced the very controversial and Anti-Catholic “Calles Law” forcing strong restrictions on Clergy Men and Church/ Religious gatherings fearing it might make it easier for a European Nation to invade Mexico given it takes place during the height of Communism in Eastern Europe.   Also please keep in mind that Mexico is the Country with the most Catholics in the world in fact Mexico City alone houses more Catholics than Vatican City in Rome.  So you can see how the “Calles Law” brought civil unrest and unnecessary bloodshed to Mexico leading to “The Cristiada” (Cristero War) which spanned from 1926 to 1929.

 
 
 

There are also four actor’s whose work stand out and are worthy of Award Nominations.  First there is Andy Garcia’s portrayal of General Enrique Gorostieta which is very charismatic and motivating.  Second we have Ruben Blades as the antagonist of the film President Plutarco Elias Calles who is blinded with the obsession of removing the Catholic Church from Mexico.  Third we have Chilean born actor Santiago Cabrerra who plays a very, very passionate Father Vega a priest who is the first general to lead the rebellion against the Mexican Government before General Gorostieta entered the cause.  Father Vega believes the ends justify the means in the Cristiada.  Lastly we are introduced to a very talented young actor named Mauricio Kuri who plays José Luis Sánchez del Rio.  José is a wonderful character in which we grow to love due to Mauricio Kuri’s fantastic ability to embody and channel the soul of the Cristiada movement through José Luis Sánchez del Rio.

 

 

“For Greater Glory” is a very entertaining and hypnotizing.  It draws you in from the very beginning it has wonderful acting which stems from a rich and great script by Michael Love. The film is also magnificently shot illustrating Mexico’s Beautiful Picturesque Landscape’s and War scenes precisely choreographed for camera showcasing Director Dean Wright’s previous background in Visual Effects. 

 

You do not have to be Catholic nor Christian to enjoy and appreciate the film.

 

“For Greater Glory” is a film that can be enjoyed by all and a MUST WATCH!

 

I highly recommend the film!!!!!!!!

 

 

Cast includes:

 

Move over Buffy, there is a new Vampire Hunter and his name is Abraham Lincoln.

Move over Buffy, there is a new Vampire Hunter and his name is Abraham Lincoln.        “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”     The Review 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
By: Michael Alvarez
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Without a doubt “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” is Work of Art!!
 
As you, I also thought Abe Lincoln as a Vampire Hunter would be a crazy suggestion for a film when I first read the film was being made.  I am sure glad I was WRONG! The film is anything but cheesy or corny.  It is visually Stunning, a Fantastic Script, and Superb Acting.  Timur Bekmambetov who grew up in a Communist Regime did an extraordinary job at interpreting the meaning of Freedom from an American’s Point of View. Bekmambetov also did a great job at recreating American History, and American Pop Culture on Film.  A feat I have not seen since Milos Forman Directed the Musical “Hair” back in 1979. Tim Burton made the right choice in Co-Producer Timur Bekmambetov to direct Seth Grahame-Smith’s script based on his Creative Graphic Novel under the same title “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”.  Let’s not forget that the film was shot in with 3D in mind, which looked incredible on screen.  The film opens with a beautiful Camera Shot of the city of Washington DC’s growth in the last 150 years in a backwards mode, very cool.  
 
 

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter

 
 
The story revolves around Abraham Lincoln’s (Benjamin Walker) secret life as a Vampire Hunter in which he logged on his personal journal.  Abraham began his trek after the loss of his Mother over a debt.  His obsession with vengeance blinded him from something a lot more sinister than he ever imagined.  That’s when Abe met his Recruiter/Trainer Henry Sturgess (Dominic Cooper).  Henry saved Abe from a Vampire attack and asked Abe if he will join Henry in his Cause of Vampire Hunting but, only after Abe will be willing to remove vengeance from his eyes.  Abe agrees now the secret life and training begin.  If memory serves me correct we were taught in Grammar School not only was Abraham Lincoln the 16th President of the United States who ended Slavery but he also built a Log Cabin from the wood he would chop off from trees.   What better than an Axe as weapon of choice.  Abe handles the Axe the same way Bruce Lee would use his trademark Nunchaku (Nun-Chucks).  Once Abe is fully trained all I can say is Buffy you better watch out because Honest Abe might take your job.  Like every hero Abe also has a Side-Kick, Will Johnson (Anthony Mackie) is a Loyal childhood friend who Abe and his Parents saved from a treacherous man named Jack Barts (Marton Csokas) the reason Abe decided to become a slayer.  The story also has a villain of villain’s Adam (Rufus Sewell) a vampire who is thousands of years old.  Adam is one of the reasons why this story is so brilliant.  The evil vampire Adam devices a plan in which  Slaves in the South are to be used as Live Stock for an endless supply of blood for consumption.  Masking Vampires as Plantation owners and fueling the Civil War.  Seth Grahame-Smith does an amazing job at writing fiction influenced by facts of American History.
 
 
 
 
 
Timur Bekmambetov took Seth Grahame-Smith script and seamlessly combined Fact and Fiction on screen.  Since this is Abe’s secret life Seth Grahame-Smith had the luxury of writing a story where he can fit in, combine and substitute facts and moments of American History with vampires.  As you are watching the film you see key moments of the Civil War such as The Battle for Gettysburg and The Gettysburg address all responsible due to vampires.  If one would not know History you would believe what you see on the screen to be true.  Don’t be surprised if you have the urge to research Abraham Lincoln to see what fact is and what is fiction?  Think about it Abraham Lincoln was a very tall man and rugged man, add the Top Hat, Axe, and a Jacket with coattails and you have yourself a Vampire Hunter.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” is a must see and well worth it on 3D!!!!!
 
 
 

“Brave” The Review

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
By: Michael Alvarez
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Pixar audience is maturing along with its Animation.  I believe this is the first Pixar film with a darker tone meant for the older children.  A slower than usual pace compared to the previous Pixar Films.
 
Brave is the story of Merida (Kelly Mcdonald) a Scottish Princess who dreams of a life filled with marvelous adventures while dredging the day she will become Queen and who happens to be a Marksman in Archery.  If that is not enough her parents King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson) are lining up eligible suitors from neighboring clans in Scotland for her hand in marriage.  An idea the free spirited Merida is not fond of and is willing to thwart at any cost.
 
As I mentioned earlier Pixar recognizes its a
udience is growing older so they are making films to suit them as well.  This is the darkest Pixar film to date with a much gloomier look and a slower pace in the story telling.  In fact although Pixar is known for its Wonderful and Beautiful animation however much more emphasize went on the script for “Brave”.  The story focuses on the Mother/Daughter relationship giving the Mother a much larger role absent from previous Disney and Pixar productions.  Mother’s play a large role in our daily routine and the filmmakers wanted to get that point across with the relationship between Queen Elinor and her teenage daughter Merida which is a major plus. 
 
 
 
The film also does a wonderful job in bringing Scottish folk lore to life such as the bad curses by Witches and the “Will of the Wisps”, magic beings whom guide people to their own destinies.  Variations of Stone Hedge are also seen thru out the film.  The gorgeous Landscapes and Castles of the Highlands of Scotland or also captured with such beauty that you cannot tell the images are computer generated.
 
Billy Connolly is hilarious as King Fergus so is Kevin McKidd who pulled double duty as both Lord MacGuffin and Young Macguffin.  The antics of Craig Ferguson as Lord Macintosh and Robbie Coltrane as Lord Dingwall are not far behind.
 
Overall a very entertaining and fun film for the entire family. 

Underworld Awekening Special Features review

 
 
 
 
 
I would like to please begin my Review with the Special Features.  The Content of the Special Features is what makes a Blu-Ray unique.  A DVD does not have the capacity to hold the information a Blu-Ray is able to.   Another fun fact about Blu-Ray is that they are Scratch Resistant, cool uh?
SPECIAL FEATURES:
 
  1. Filmmaker Commentary : It is always cool to watch a film and have the Director, Producer, or Star commenting on scenes as they go by and explaining the shot on why or why  it wouldn’t work.
 
  1. Featurettes:
 
A)     “Selene Rises” – Documentary on the return of “Selene” and the essence Kate Beckinsale brought back to the role.
B)      Casting The Future of Underworld” – Documentary on the Casting of the Film and hints of Future Underworld Films.
C)      “Resuming The Action” – Documentary on Action Sequences and Stunts. Stunt Director’s makes cool comments on Kate Beckinsale performing most of her stunts.
D)     “Building a Better Lycan” – Documentary on Make-up and Special Effects.  Very cool! I always wondered how the Lycan’s were made and featurette showed many cool details.  Including CGI, Make-up and Animal Suit with Animatronics.  
E)      “Awakening a Franchise” – Documentary on 3D effects.  Educational in a cool way!  We learn that a new 3D “Red Epix” Camera was used for the 3D effects which records 120 Frames per Second.  A normal camera records 30 Frames per Second.
 
  1. Previsulization Sequences:
These are Computer Animated sequences created early in the Production process to help visualize the Key Action 3D scenes.
 
A)   Alternate Opening Sequence
B)   Car Chase in 3D
C)   Coven Fight in 3D
D)   Antigen Attack Part 1
E)    Antigen Attack Part 2
F)    Antigen Attack Part 3
 
  1. Blooper Reel – For those who love to see actors fumble lines. J
 
  1. “Heavy Prey” – Music Video by Lacey Strum featuring Geno Lenardo.
 
  1. Previews – Previews of upcoming Films.
 
 

Chronicle Arrives on Blu-ray and DVD May 15

The following link is my review on this great Film!

https://cinemaic.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/a-different-kind-of-hero-chronicle-the-review/

The best analogy I can come up with is The way Batman Begins takes a realistic look at Multi billionaire who decides to be a Hero using his Money.
Chronicle is a realistic look at what ordinary people would do if they actually had Powers.

 

What Are You Capable of?

Featuring an Extended Cut Loaded with Must-See Deleted Scenes,
The Intense Sci-Fi Thriller Flies On To Blu-ray and DVD May 15

Los Angeles, CA (April 23, 2012) — Take an extraordinary journey with three teens who uncover a power greater than anything they’ve ever imagined. Up-and-coming actors Dane DeHaan (“True Blood”), Alex Russell (Almost Kings) and Michael B. Jordan (“Friday Night Lights”) star alongside Michael Kelly (The Adjustment Bureau) in the innovative action film CHRONICLE, debuting on Blu-ray and DVD May 15 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Three high school students make an incredible discovery, leading to their developing uncanny telekinetic powers beyond their understanding. As they learn to control their abilities and use them to their advantage, their lives start to spin out of control as their darker sides begin to take over. What starts out as fun and games quickly becomes dangerous and they must face the inevitable question of whether they can handle the responsibility that comes with their remarkable powers.

Utilizing hand-held filmmaking techniques to create a realistic and exciting viewing experience, the CHRONICLE Blu-ray boast a director’s cut of the film and unseen footage that offer a deeper glimpse into the events that took place with the students. Special features include deleted scene, camera test, pre-viz materials and more. The film will be available as a Blu-ray combo pack with DVD and digital copy for an average retail price of $39.99 and the DVD is $29.98 respectively. Prebook is April 4.

DIRECTOR’S CUT CHRONICLE Blu-ray Combo Pack
● Deleted Scene – Matt and Casey in the Kitchen 
● Pre-Viz 
● Camera Test 
● Theatrical Trailer 
● Chronicle Soundtrack Info 

About Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment LLC
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, LLC (TCFHE) is a recognized global industry leader and a subsidiary of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, a News Corporation company. Representing 75 years of innovative and award-winning filmmaking from Twentieth Century Fox, TCFHE is the worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox film and television programming, acquisitions and original productions on DVD, Blu-ray Disc Digital Copy, Video On Demand and Digital Download. The company also releases all products globally for MGM Home Entertainment. Each year TCFHE introduces hundreds of new and newly enhanced products, which it services to retail outlets from mass merchants and warehouse clubs to specialty stores and e-commerce throughout the world.

Follow Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment on Twitter @FoxHomeEnt

 CHRONICLE Blu-ray Combo Pack (Catalog # 2776786)
Street Date: May 15, 2012
Prebook Date: April 4, 2012
Screen Format: 16:9 (1.85:1)
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital,
 French 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
U.S. Rating: PG-13
Total Run Time: 144 minutes
Closed Captioned: Yes

CHRONICLE DVD (Catalog # 2276779)
Street Date: May 15, 2012
Prebook Date: April 4, 2012
Screen Format: 16:9 (1.85:1)
Audio: English 5.Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Surround Dolby Digital,
 French 5.1 Surround Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
U.S. Rating: PG-13
Total Run Time: 131 minutes
Closed Captioned: Yes