TRANSFORMERS: The Last Knight – Here’s what the critics say about it.

transformers the last knight16% of critics have this movie a favorable review.

Critics Consensus: Cacophonous, thinly plotted, and boasting state-of-the-art special effects, The Last Knight is pretty much what you’d expect from the fifth installment of the Transformers franchise.

 

 

 

A movie that’s cut like the world’s longest and most tedious trailer, pinballing from scene to scene and rarely spending more than a few seconds on any single shot.

June 22, 2017 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

I am not going to try to explain the story- after watching this movie I may never try to explain another story ever again.

June 22, 2017 | Rating: 0/4 | Full Review…

All the best moments in the movie-pure images, devoid of symbol and, for that matter, nearly empty of sense-go by too fast, are held too briefly, are developed too little.

June 22, 2017 | Full Review…

Distilled to its essence, The Last Knight is an orgy of incoherence, a sensory assault that suffocates the viewer in a cavalcade of special effects incontinence.

June 21, 2017 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

Every time Michael Bay directs another Transformers abomination (this is the fifth), the movies die a little. This one makes the summer’s other blockbuster misfires look like masterpieces.

June 21, 2017 | Rating: 0/4 | Full Review…

A movie that is at once loud yet incoherent, complex yet idiotic, and expensive yet worthless.

June 20, 2017 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

THE MUMMY – What critics are saying about the film!!

the mummy20% of critics like the film.

Average Rating: 4.3/10

Summary: Not the campy excitement from the last series. Lacks intensity and “mummy” moments. More monster movie thrills needed. The Dark Universe is unravelling.

 

 

Kurtzman does a decent job with the film’s tone, keeping it light and humorous, but the only thing at stake seems to be the future of the Dark Universe, which means more to Universal’s bottom line than it does to modern audiences.

June 9, 2017 | Rating: C | Full Review…

It’s hard to tell if it’s Cruise or the dragging weight of the movie, but he’s almost totally devoid of the star power that makes the “Mission: Impossible” movies compulsively watchable.

June 9, 2017 | Full Review…

“The Mummy” is trying to do so many different things, has so many different reasons for being (not to mention so many screenwriters), that a kind of narrative chaos is the all but inevitable result.

June 8, 2017 | Full Review…

A blaring, bloated zombie of a movie.

June 8, 2017 | Full Review…

Kurtzman has a style that could generously be described as “accommodating.” In lieu of any strong vision of his own, he seems content to assemble The Mummy out of a hodgepodge of commercial ideas.

June 8, 2017 | Full Review…

Narratively incoherent and full of cheese and camp, this movie makes it clear that the mummy should have remained dead and buried.

June 8, 2017 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
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WONDER WOMEN – What the critics are saying about the film!

wonder woman.jpg94% approval rating

Many big ideas are juggled, and while the story doesn’t exactly drop them, it does flail about a bit. Still, Jenkins has an eye for moving moments, Gadot is great fun to watch, and there’s genuine visual panache to be found amid the combat and comedy.

June 2, 2017 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

The real strengths of this production are its lead actors, the period piece setting, and an unexpected emotional resonance that one doesn’t expect from a popcorn movie.

June 2, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Gadot does succeed, against heavy odds, in creating a fresh figure of heroic morality and might, engaging an audience with an earnest character’s discovery of herself and the world.

June 1, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

As a period piece made in the spirit of an old-fashioned matinee, Wonder Woman (like the first Captain America) does not have to exhibit the insistent, grim-faced dystopianism that afflicts the recent Superman/Batman movies.

June 3, 2017 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Jenkins and company understand superheroes should have a purpose other than brooding.

June 2, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
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2016 ACTION/ADVENTURE Short Films

Submit your Action/Adventure Story to the Festival Today: http://actionadventurefestival.com

Best of Action/Adventure SHORT FILMS showcased at the festival in  2016:


festival posterMARTY: A WILD WEST NEVERLAND, 16min., USA, Fantasy/Adventure
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festival posterHELIO, 20min., USA, Sci-Fi/Action
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festival posterO, 29min, Norway, Horror/Mystery
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festival posterGILT, 22min, UK, Thriller/Drama
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festival posterTHE TRAP, 16min, Canada, Crime/Thriller
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festival posterTENGU: BIRDMAN OF THE MOUNTAINS, 8min., UK, Action/Fantasy
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festival posterBLACKWELL SUMMERS MYSTERY, 12min., USA, Action/Crime
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festival posterMOTEL MOTEL, 20min., Belgium, Crime/Mystery
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festival posterTHE APOLOGY, 7min, UK, Mystery/Crime
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festival posterRED ROVER, 15min, Australia/USA, Fantasy/Action
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September 2016 Film Festival


festival poster
THE LAST JOURNEY OF THE ENIGMATIC PAUL WR, 17min, France, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

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September 2016 Film Festival


festival posterUNCANNY VALLEY, 9min, Argentina, Sci-Fi/Experimental
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September 2016 Film Festival


festival posterFOOTPRINTS, 13min, Canada
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festival posterTIME SMASH, 2min., USA, Animation/Sci-Fi
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festival poster
JAILBREAK, 1min., USA, Animation/Crime

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festival posterFANTASY FOOTBALL: A NERD’S TALE
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2min, USA, Action/Comedy


festival posterQUPID
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10min, Australia, Action/Romance


festival posterACROPHOBIA
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3min, Switzerland, Action/Documentary


festival posterKARATE GIRL BRAWL
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10min, Canada, Action/Thriller


festival posterTHE MEGA PLUSH
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4min, USA, Animation/Action


festival posterBURGLAR
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5min, South Korea, Crime/Action

 

 

****

Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Movie Review: SERGEANT YORK (1941)

SERGEANT YORK MOVIESERGEANT YORK, 1941
Movie Reviews

Directed by Howard Hawks

Cast: Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Joan Leslie, George Tobias, Stanley Ridges, Margaret Wycherly
Review by Pamela Miller

SYNOPSIS:

A hillbilly sharpshooter becomes one of the most celebrated American heroes of WWI when he single-handedly attacks and captures a German position using the same strategy as in turkey shoot.

REVIEW:

Biopics have the been the back bone of filmmaking since films started to be made. There have been countless films about actual people dating back to the silent era with films like The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) and going through recent years with films like The Aviator (2004) and Walk the Line (2005). We’ve seen everyone’s life displayed on the big screen, from sports stars to musicians to political figures to biblical characters. Howard Hawk uses this genre to show the life of a military hero in Sergeant York (1941).

This biopic proved to be a hit, earning 11 Academy Award nominations and it couldn’t have come at a better time. World War II was right around the corner and America was swelling with national pride. So, what better way to honor our fighting soldiers than to show us a film about one of the most famous and award winning soldiers of World War I, Alvin York. The real Alvin York handpicked Gary Cooper to play himself, knowing he was the only actor who could give him justice. Hawks was hesitant to make this biopic, having never ventured into that genre, but jumped at the chance to work with Gary Cooper. All the cards fell into place, and the production began, ending with one of the most well known war movies in film history.

Cooper stars as York, a naïve country boy with a bit of a drinking problem and occasional temper issues. He’s also a terrific shot, winning shooting contests in his small mountain town. When he gets into a bar fight, he decides to change his life around and become a born-again Christian with the help of Pastor Rosier Pile (Walter Brennan). He also has the hots for a local country girl, Gracie Williams (Joan Leslie), who shies away from his advances. World War I is soon in full swing and York is drafted into the Army. However, this conflicts with his new moral integrity, as he does not want to harm or kill another human being. This doesn’t fly with the United States army and he’s thrown into basic training before being shipped over seas. His dead on aiming skill is soon recognized and he moves up the army ladder. Still conflicted with his religious beliefs, he is sent home to think about killing a few as a way to save more lives. He is swayed by this thought and reports back for duty.

However, his troop finds themselves in a bit of a pickle when the enemy kills a large portion of their company and backs the remaining ones into a corner. York sees the light and decides it’s time to show the enemy what he’s really got. He fires back at the Germans and his incredible marksmanship frightens them all into surrendering. He proudly marches all 132 German soldiers back to his base, much to the surprise of his superiors. When he returns home, he returns a national hero and is given the Medal of Honor. His newfound recognition convinces Gracie that York is the man she wants and the two live happily ever after.

Sergeant York is another feel good, war hero movie. Like in Mr. Deeds, Cooper plays a naïve small town bumpkin and, with his innocent, boyish eyes, he pulls the role off well. He basically mastered the naïve look while also showing off his manly side. There’s always a deeper, more complex thought pattern going on behind those eyes than what he lets on. It’s what has come to be expected of Gary Cooper. As an actor, Cooper is just plain memorizing to watch and York is no exception.

Hawks plays this movie pretty safe. It’s a wholesome, prideful tale, released at a time when war was glorified. It completely shelters us from the reality of the situation but for the sake of what film audiences wanted to see in 1941, it works. In today’s world, it would be interpreted a bit differently. Today’s audiences seek more realism and the truth as opposed to obvious sugar coated falsehoods. This is still not always given to us, but with more modern war films like Platoon, The Thin Red Line, and Saving Private Ryan, Hollywood attempts to recognize the maturity growth of audiences of this genre.

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Read NEW: Action/Adventure Feature Film Pitches

Read the best of Action/Adventure Feature Film Pitches

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CHAINED, by Simon Parker

SHOBU SAMURAI: PROJECT ARYOKU, by Shinry

PANIC-ATTACK, by Felipe Herrera

RAMBO ROBINSON, by Purna Rai

CITY WITHOUT HEROES, by Deen Gill

OPERATION COLDFEET, by Clintton C. West

FIGHT FOR LIFE, by Marty Smith

LETHAL TO KILL, by Susan McGregor

ODDS, by Ivan Efremov

ONCE UPON A DRAM (OH), by Prince-Odira Ewuzie-Phandira

THE FOURTH WAY, by Sherry Chow

BATTLE OF THE SHORT AND TALL PEOPLE, by BJ Samuel

THE BASTARD SQUAD, by Sparky McLaughlin

ODDS, by Ivan Efremov

Movie Review: THE DEPARTED (2006)

Tribute review as today is Jack Nicholson’s 79th birthday.

thedepartedposter.jpgTHE DEPARTED, 2006
Movie Reviews

Directed by Martin Scorsese

Starring: Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, Alec Baldwin, Anthony Anderson
Review by Surinder Singh

SYNOPSIS:

New recruits: Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) join the Boston State Police Department. Costigan is sent undercover to be a mole in the Irish Mafia led by fearsome mob boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). But Costello has a man working in the Police Department… Detective Colin Sullivan! As both Costigan and Sullivan pass information over to the opposite sides both the Mob and the Police start to realize they may have a “rat” in the house! A deadly game of hide and seek ensues with both cops and mobsters trying to flush out their informants. And as the body count raises the line between criminal and cop begins to blur because: “when you’re facing a loaded gun… what’s the difference?”

REVIEW:

After the internationally successful Alan Mak and Wai-keung Lau thriller Infernal Affairs (2002) Hollywood decided to make one of it’s own! Remakes are by definition problematic in popular cinema. The most common problem that arises is that people find the original to be stronger making the remake pretty much obsolete. Gus Van Sant’s Psycho (1998) is a prime example of this problem, it was widely rejected despite having an accomplished director and cast behind the project. Making a movie is hard enough, but making a movie in the shadow of another that already has a strong following makes the job arguably less of a commercial risk for the backers but much more of a risk creatively for the filmmakers.

When you look at the cast sheet for The Departed you have to be impressed! Why has so much talent lined up to be in just one movie? The answer is simple… it’s a Martin Scorsese picture! Leonardo DiCaprio had already been forging a strong creative relationship with the director but The Departed welcomed a host of actors old and new onto their first Martin Scorsese film! Veterans like Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen and Ray Winstone take hold of their roles with a clear sense of relish, they are working with one of the greatest “actor’s directors” in Hollywood. Scorsese has always displayed a passion for screen acting in his process; understanding how important character and performance are to film drama. Scorsese is the director who famously discussed in detail with De Niro how the character Travis Bickle would tie a knot in Taxi Driver (1976) and with The Departed he delivers a master class in how to direct an ensemble cast.

Nicholson’s Costello opens the movie with a reverent voice-over that clearly states his worldview. One can instantly see Costello’s kinship with the Scorsese mobsters of Goodfellas (1990) and Casino (1995). Like many other film fanatics I had been waiting feverishly for Nicholson and Scorsese to get together and Costello is the right character for the collaboration! A father figure to both Costigan and Sullivan, Costello repeatedly reminds both men of his threat: “Don’t disappoint me on this or some other guy will be putting their fat cock up little Miss Freud’s ass.” Nicholson spruces up every line with devilish style that quite literally allows him to get away with murder! Nicholson fits perfectly into a Scorsese movie and let’s face it, it’s hard to go wrong when you cast Jack Nicholson!

As opponents, Damon and DiCaprio are nothing short of remarkable on screen. Taking into account the acting royalty that surrounds them; both actors (the operative word) are always the most compelling characters on screen. DiCaprio really shines in his scenes with police shrink (and mutual love interest) Madolyn (Vera Farmiga). Acting as the emotional go-between of Costigan and Sullivan she is the one person we see the hard-faced Costigan open up to. DiCaprio gradually peals back Costigan’s tough outer layers showing us how vulnerable he really is. He has to play the tough gangster when undercover, but inside Costigan is fragile and very lonely. It’s clear to see why DiCaprio has worked so hard at building a creative partnership with Scorsese as this allows him the best possible working environment to advance further in his career as a screen actor.

Then, there’s Matt Damon’s Sullivan. Perhaps the least glamorous role in the movie: a smug, impotent cop that’s betraying everyone in his life. Sullivan could quite easily be off putting to an audience. It’s a testament to Matt Damon’s ability that he makes Sullivan an entertaining not to mention compelling character to watch. Damon plays Sullivan’s all-important smarts magnificently, he shows us that Sullivan is a person that is well aware of his strengths and gets a real kick out of being able to outsmart those around him: “Just trust me Frank. Hey, it fucking involves lying and I’m pretty fucking good at that. Right?” Damon is an actor who can play opposite any other actor and hold his own. His scenes with heavyweights like Baldwin and Nicholson show what an assured and controlled actor he is.

Martin Sheen plays the honest Captain Queenan with a near saintly good nature. He’s the centre of justice and morality that constantly reminds us what a cop should be like. Baldwin plays up to type as Captain Ellerby, there’s something instantly commanding about Baldwin when he walks onto screen as the boss of the operation. But the real star in the supporting cast is Staff Sergeant Dignam (Mark Wahlberg). The script gives Wahlberg some real gems to work with, his cynical and unconventional approach to his work are brilliant: “If you had an idea of what we do, we would not be good at what we do, now would we? We would be cunts. Are you calling us cunts?” Like Queenan, Dignam is a rare breed that’s incorruptible to the end. You have to admire Wahlberg’s ability with the material although having grown up in Boston he was able to use his real-life background to inform the role and play Dignam with authenticity.

The Departed moves at an exciting pace with plenty of action and suspense to validate its one hundred and fifty one minute running time. While Scorsese is famed for his personal approach to the cinema, he does deliver the goods when making straightforward genre pieces like this. Take the scene where Costigan follows Sullivan out of the cinema to get a visual identification. Scorsese constructs a wonderful chase sequence with added brains as both men use their senses and smarts with equal measure. The scene is pure cinema: a story told in images and not merely dropped into the film to avoid audience boredom. Rather, it’s an integral part of Costigan and Sullivan closing in on each other. Both men are within an inch of making each other that puts us on the edge of our seat!

It’s worth noting that The Departed was the film that finally gave Scorsese the Best Picture and Best Director Oscar. Many still believe that the Oscar should have been given to Goodfellas (a film that single handedly defined nineties Hollywood cinema) and/or for his work in the seventies. But if you look closely at The Departed there are a great many references to his past work. To use music as an analogy, if Scorsese’s earlier works were the “great albums” containing the peak of his talent, then The Departed is like the ‘Greatest Hits’ album of his career that revisits all his best songs. In The Departed we see many references to Scorsese’s past films: the young boy aspiring to be like the neighborhood gangster and then being recruited by him (Goodfellas). The scene in the porno theatre: a clear nod to Taxi Driver. Costigan’s initiation into the gang by way of a fight in the bar: Gangs of New York (2002) and of course the (unspoken) connection Sullivan has to the Catholic Church which brings to mind Mean Streets (1973)… to name just a few.

In the end, the more I watch the movie (and it does demand more than one viewing) the more I appreciate what I love about so much about Scorsese movies: the humor. Tarantino once commented that if you were to listen to the sound of an audience watching Raging Bull (1980) you might think they were watching a comedy! The Departed does contain tragedy and brutal violence all of which is not funny, however around the corner from violence and conflict you can normally find humor. The little comic routines run thick and fast as relief from the more intense parts of the movie. Take the comic routine between Baldwin and Wahlberg:

Ellerby: Go fuck yourself!
Dignam: I’m tired from fucking your wife.
Ellerby: How is your mother?
Dignam: Good, she’s tired from fucking my father.

The Departed is nothing short of a great movie. A piece of work that celebrates some of Hollywood’s best filmmakers (meaning everyone who worked on the film) and is a testament to one of the greatest directors ever to work in Hollywood… see it, see it again and again and again!

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