The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016) Movie Review

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Chris Hemsworth, Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt and Charlize Theron walk into a movie, the result of that? An incredibly sub par picture


The second unit director & visual effects supervisor of the first Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) movie, Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, helms this prequel/sequel to the surprising 2012 hit. I will say, this was a pretty looking movie and I firmly hold the belief that Chris Hemsworth can charm the milk out of chocolate… That’s pretty much all I can say for it. The performances of the aforementioned three ridiculously talented actresses are completely wasted in The Huntsman 2/1. Blunt, Theron and Chastain are some of the greatest working actresses today, with Jessica Chastain being one of my own personal favourites… I hate to say it but these performances were phoned in entirely and it is a shame that these four weren’t starring in a completely different movie because I think that would’ve been way better than what we got.

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“Why are we in this?” “… I’m saving up for Lawless 2

As mentioned, it is a nice looking movie and I thoroughly enjoyed the Frozen-esque VFX aspect to it, frankly Elsa should’ve been freezing shit up as much as Freya was. Hemsworth and Chastain had tremendous chemistry together and I hope they work together in the future because I can’t imagine how fantastic they would be together in a movie that isn’t this one. Charlize Theron was fine but you can tell she is only this because she probably owed director Troyan a favour and Emily Blunt… Ooooooooh wee the Redmayne Ascending syndrome struck her.

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It is not particularly engaging, it drones on quite a bit but I did appreciate the motivation behind Freya’s anger. It’s really stupid but I appreciate it. Also I’m certain I wasn’t the only one that saw the final outcome between the sisters coming from a mile away, right? There are dwarves too that served as comic relief and they made me laugh a few times. It really is an incredibly underwhelming movie and one of those movies where you will catch the tail end of it when it’s on the Space channel or something.


If you’re looking for a ridiculously entertaining take on the fantasy genre, this probably isn’t the movie for you. If you’re a fan of the original Snow White and the Huntsman and want to see Chris Hemsworth be charismatic and charming (and really, who doesn’t?), check out The Huntsman: War on Mirrors.


The Huntsman receives 2.5/5 Matt Damon heads

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The Jungle Book (2016) Movie Review

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The Jungle Book: A visual marvel that delivers incredibly on effects and a simply story.


There were moments in this movie that genuinely terrified me. This is because animals, particularly of the wild-kind, are fucking scary (see the bear scene from The Revenant and every nature special). Why they terrified me were because the visual effects work in this movie are in-cred-ible. I honestly have no idea how Jon Favreau directed any of these scenes and the people responsible for the CG work deserve all the awards. I was hooked from the first second of the first scene and loved witnessing whatever it was I was witnessing throughout it. 

Besides the incredible visuals, the voicework implemented was fantastic. I am honestly ecstatic that the actors involved gave a genuine shit about their roles and you can tell while listening that no one phoned in their performance. I love watching/listening to performances on-screen, no matter how small or big, and feeling their presence. 

The Disney Blog has a great article that showcases the actors alongside their Jungle Book counterparts and honestly, everyone delivered. If you are hesitant in watching the movie, go watch it solely for Bill Murray’s performance as Baloo. He had me and a majoirty of the adults in the audience, cracking up. Neel Sethi as Mowgli wasn’t particularly bad or insanely good, he was fine. His lines were delivered painfully occasionally and there were moments where his over-enunciation became annoying, however as mentioned, his performance overall was fine.

Now to make a confession: I have never seen the original animated Jungle Book.

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Thankfully, however, my living arrangements for the past couple of decades aren’t under any rocks so I was aware of certain aspects to the film like the Bare Necessities song and the red trousers Mowgli wears. If you’re one of the five people on earth that hasn’t seen the original animated, don’t worry, you will definitely enjoy watching it. The effects and voice performances are honestly worth the price of admission. It is one of those movies that I don’t really feel the need to rewatch again but I’m certain I will be watching that final climatic fight scene many times in the future. Shit was more intense than Batman v Superman.

If you’re looking for a visual masterpiece (it is honestly eye-orgasmic worthy) with incredible voice performances, check out the 2016 adaptation of The Jungle Book.. we’re going to get another one from Andy Serkis in 2018 so I can’t wait to see how he visualizes the world of the Jungle.


The Jungle Book (2016) receives 4/5 Matt Damon heads.

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Hardcore Henry (2016) Movie Review

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Hardcore Henry: an FPS cinematic experience that sounds better on paper, but is translated just fine on screen


Hardcore Henry is unlike any other movie experience I have ever had. The first-person perspective to it is incredibly enjoyable and as a fan of the video game for many years, it really is like an hour and 36 minute campaign experience. I have no idea how they managed to pull off half of the shit I witnessed in this movie and oh man, this is a nice violent one. It managed to receive an R-rating in Canada and this rating is solely reserved for films that have graphic sex or nudity depicted, ie. Shame (2012) or Blue is the Warmest (2013), or extreme violence, as in Hardcore Henry‘s case. The usual MPAA R-rating is translated to either a 14A (Mad Max: Fury Road) or 18A (Deadpool) in Canada.

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In the words of Anakin Skywalker, “yippeeeeeeeee!”

The action was a constant throughout this movie and the special effects, besides one glaringly obvious moment where it turned into an actual PS2 game a la The Scorpion King’s appearance in The Mummy Returns (2001), were phenomenal. I would watch an entire full-length movie on how the production went during filming. I felt that characterization and character motives weren’t really fleshed out all that well which translated to a lot of “but huhwhat?” moments. The Hardcore universe is extremely absurd, and hilariously stupid at certain moments, so I understood that the filmmakers weren’t really going for realism but it would’ve been nice to have something more at its core besides the mustache-twirling-villain-keeping-the-hero’s-wife-away-from-him story. Not to go too tough on it, you can’t expect to feel emotionally overwhelmed by a (robot)balls-to-the-wall action movie… I mean you could but Henry didn’t really fit into that and that is well and good!
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In terms of the characters themselves, without delving into that spoiler territory, Sharlto Copley was a riot and a half. This movie would not be nearly enjoyable without that character. I’m still not convinced that Haley Bennett isn’t somehow related to Lea Seydoux but she gave a good performance as Estelle. The villain Danila Kozlovsky made me want to kill myself but he had Force powers which was cool to watch. The soundtrack was also incredible! One moment specifically involved Frank Sinatra… That’s all I will say about that.

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“Let’s not spare those horses”

If you’re looking for a spectacularly bloody action film mixed with sprinkles of science fiction and an intriguing gimmick, check out Hardcore Henry. 
It’s one of those movies I’m glad I watched, but I probably won’t ever feel the need to revisit again.
I also didn’t get dizzy or anything at all.. So that was my experience.


Hardcore Henry receives 3.5/5 Matt Damon heads.

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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) Movie Review

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You know what? It was better than I thought


I will keep this one short and sweet because we all have read/watched the copious amount of reviews for this incredibly mixed-feeling movie, directed by Zack Snyder.

Side note: One of the biggest gripes with this movie prior to watching it was that trailer #2 (do not watch this trailer if you still haven’t seen the movie) they released back in December. Look, I like watching trailers. Trailers are supposed to make you excited to watch a movie you may or may not have been anticipating. I wanted to hold out hope after watching that trailer that just maybe it didn’t reveal too much… After watching the movie a couple of days ago and rewatching it tonight, that trailer makes me irrationally angry.

The movie itself: it is certainly gorgeous looking.

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oh you know you look gorgeous, you beautiful man

Nobody denies that Snyder knows how to create a complete orgasmic experience for the eyeballs. The movie certainly looked beautiful in all of its glorious grittiness, however there were certain moments that were quite overwhelming. Maybe it’s because the colour scheme throughout was rather dark, when the brightness popped it fucking popped.

Batfleck was incredible. I loved this incarnation of Bruce Wayne. Henry Cavill is also a phenomenal Superman. Gal Gadot really surprised me as Wonder Woman because I thought she absolutely killed it. There is no definite consensus for the new WW, but I really enjoyed her performance; there were some moments where her accent protruded her portrayal but that didn’t deter me too much… I have nothing constructive to say about the following: Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor was one of the aspects I absolutely hated. He felt like a spastic moron throughout it and really the only time I felt any genuine fear of him was during the scene on the rooftop. And he kept his twitching at a minimum during that time which was why I liked it.

Onto the movie, if I had to sum it up in one word it’d be “enjoyable.” Many scenes could have been shortened or cut out entirely. I feel disappointment that keeping those scenes hindered elongating the actual fight between the two titular characters… You know… where the “versus” comes into play… And there are a shitton of instances where you find yourself going, “wait.. what? Wait.. who is this and why is this like that… what??
However, again this movie is action-packed. Anytime we got any actual fighting occurring I was intrigued. Seeing Batman utilized that Batclaw made me extremely giddy. I am excited to see more of this Batman because he is bad. ass.

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If you’re looking for an enjoyable, action-packed superhero movie with two heavyweights you know and love being on-screen together, you probably already have, but check out Batman v Superman.


Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice receives 3/5 Matt Damon heads.

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I Saw The Light (2016) Movie Review

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Tom Hiddleston showcases his piping pipes and makes you involuntarily swoon at least once


I Saw The Light, directed by Marc Abraham, tells the story of country singer Hank Williams and his incredible rise to fame and subsequent fallout the singer faced in his short 6-year journey.

Getting right into it, Tom Hiddleston‘s portrayal as Hank Williams is simply fantastic. Both Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen give amazing performances and it was a delight to see the dynamic between the two because they played a dueling yet loving husband/wife brilliantly. Unfortunately I felt that the film neglected to really delve into why these two love each other. I felt genuine love between them, however that is more as a testament to the acting abilities of Hiddleston & Olsen, not the way the characters are written. The secondary characters did a fine job, however there were no true standouts. There is one character were makes an announcement toward the end of the movie that gave one of the best 6-second performances I’ve ever seen. Let me say that the only exposure to Hank Williams I personally have had is his song Heyyyy Good Lookin’ blaring on the K-Rose station whenever I played Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

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seriously though, what do you have cooking?

I had no idea about the troubles he faced or the relationship he had with his wife and the movie does manage to illustrate his demons really well. There were enough instances where we see the drinking and the womanizing and it never felt overwhelming or tiring. The main issue I had with the movie has to be the actual progression of the plot/story felt rather incoherent and disjointed at times. There were no real natural transitions of the scenes and there were instances where plot points were not explained as thoroughly as it could have been; don’t get me wrong, I hate being spoon-fed however, without going too much into spoiler territory, I had no idea who consisted of the Williams Household until like, halfway into the movie. Throughout the movie I found myself asking how much time has progressed from the previous scene and the abrupt scene changes really did not help in that department. There were also certain scenes that could have benefited from being cut since the pacing was a bit of an issue, these scenes felt overly long.

The musical performances sprinkled throughout were phenomenal. Abraham knew which musical interludes were the most appropriate to expand on and which ones were not.
I truly enjoyed this part of the movie because they never felt excessive and were needed to showcase Williams’ talent… Speaking of talent… Tom Hiddleston’s voice… oh. my. word. He was something else. Honestly, had it been anyone other than Hiddleston & Olsen I doubt I would have enjoyed the movie too much. These two are amazing talents and I cannot wait to see how their respective careers progress… And if they get married to each other, would not hate that either 🙂

The way I Saw The Light was shot was also great. There was a sense of griminess throughout it and there were instances where you felt present in the room… And trust me, there are certain scenes that made me feel incredibly uncomfortable and it felt wonderful.


If you’re looking for a movie that spans a few years and showcases the acting talent of Tom Hiddleston & Elizabeth Olsen, complete with country music, accents and phenomenally gorgeous-looking scenes, check out I Saw The Light.


I Saw The Light receives 3/5 Matt Damon heads.

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s/o to Scene Creek & GoFobo for tickets to the screening 🙂

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016) Movie Review

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We are welcomed back into the world of the Porku-Packa (Portokalos) family, with a movie so damn sweet it’ll give you the ‘beetus


Let me preface this by saying the first My Big Fat Greek Wedding is one of my favourite romantic comedies of all time. When I first heard news of a sequel coming out 14 years (wait it’s been 14 fucking YEARS?!?) after the original, obvious hesitation was my initial reaction since we’ve all become accustomed to the recent slew of comedy sequels that take place 10+ years after the original being less than stellar… cough Zoolander 2 and the absolute abomination that was Dumb and Dumber Eff Right Off.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 is an incredibly enjoyable film.
If you were a fan of the first one, the sequel has a few more physical gags (the most glaring one was the quick shot of Toula getting hit in the head by the volleyball) that I’m not a huge fan of however, thankfully they didn’t overdo them and the characters are a bit more caricaturey, but overall I was laughing aloud during many scenes. This movie gave me and the audience genuine laughter and it was wonderful to experience.

  • The #1 job a comedy has, in my eyes, is to make you genuinely laugh.
    Not “ah, I get it yeah” laughter. I mean serious guffaw laughter. There are SO many comedies out there that are not capable of the latter and instead, has a collection of the former for the entire run-time. Dumb and Dumber To? This movie provided a whopping total of 1 laugh from me, and it came at the end credits when it showed scenes from the original. Greek Wedding 2 had me laughing throughout.
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Seeing the entire original cast back pulled at my nostalgia strings.

The family dynamic between everyone is incredibly hilarious and Andrea Martin is an absolute riot and a half. Let me put this out there: if they decide to make anthology Greek Wedding films, I would not be opposed to a Rogue Thea: A Voula Story prequel. Regardless of whether you have an aunt similar to her (I have around 3), the completely sound advice she gives will have you cracking up throughout it and I am so glad she returned.

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spoiler alert

The weaker aspect of the film are the scenes set in the high school of Toula and Ian’s teenage daughter, moreso with the teenagers and promposals but let’s face it, teenagers suck anyway so this isn’t news. And thankfully those scenes are under 10 minutes so you can go to the bathroom when the scene contains only teenagers.
Elena Kampouris’ character of Paris actually develops. She has the regular teenage rebellion thing going on a bit but, and something I really appreciated, was you can tell she genuinely loves the family and without delving too much into spoiler territory, a realization is made regarding a huge decision that tugs on those heartstrings a bit. Especially with how that ultimate decision is made.

… It was a bit jarring seeing Lainie Kazan‘s new face but I got used to it.

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I’ve been seeing a few saying John Corbett, for lack of a better word, sucks. He’s not anything too special but he certainly didn’t take me out of the movie. There is actually a pretty touching moment between he and his father that was pretty humourous, seeing the stark contrast between his family and Toula’s. Speaking of Toula, I love Nia Vardalos and her character works immensely well with every family member. I felt more of a connection with Toula and her thea Voula than her and her own mother but I think that’s more of a testament to Andrea Martin’s, again, fantastically hilarious performance.
This movie made me have a permanent smile on my face through its entire run-time and, from a pure selfish standpoint, I loved seeing them Toronto landmarks and side streets 🙂


If you’re a fan of the first My Big Fat Greek Wedding, watch the sequel. It has all the right amount of nostalgic callbacks without overshadowing it and really seeing everyone back together is worth the price of admission.
If you’re looking for a comedy sequel that isn’t terrible with a fun cast and have an hour and a half to spare, check out My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. 


My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 receives 4/5 Matt Damon heads.

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10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) Movie Review

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Building explosion and super duper action power-packed sequel to Cloverfield (2008), this is not.


One of my favourite genres of film are those that take place in confined spaces and/or those that are under incredible time-constraints.

  • Similarly to the jurors of 12 Angry Men (1957) that had to deal with their prejudices and preconceived notions in a stuffy room.
  • To George & Martha of Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf? (1966) facing their insecurities & fear in the eyes of a youthful couple in the middle of the night.
  • To the gang of The Warriors (1979) navigating through the NY Subway System at 3 in the morning, fearing for their lives from wacky, murder-hungry gangs in the streets of New York.
  • To a wheelchair-bound man who refuses to mind his own business and has an incredibly beautiful (completely out of his league) girlfriend in Rear Window (1954)…
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I love you, J. Stewart, but there’s no way he was ready for her jelly

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These types of films have been some of my favourites because of the sense of urgency and complete lack of control characters have throughout them. The original Cloverfield (2008) scared many with their viral marketing and take on found-footage, before it was done ad nauseam and even more nauseam than that. cough paranormal activities cough.

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I surprisingly enjoyed 10 Cloverfield Lane even though I wasn’t that huge a fan of Cloverfieldhowever even if you’ve never even heard of the “original”, there’s no need to fret! Let me just say, the Cloverfield name was shoehorned into this. Take out the name and this movie is one of the best contained thrillers I’ve seen in the past few years.
I really wish they took more of a Take Shelter (2011) route and created a new addition to the contained thriller genre than utilizing the name of a brand this movie had nothing to do with, save the last few moments of the third act.

This movie is incredibly suspenseful and tense. Good god man, if there was an Oscar for antagonist performances, John Goodman’s Harold ranks up there with Tom Hardy’s Fitzgerald in the favourite last year, The Revenant. The performances in general are done really well, particularly the relationship between Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s Michelle and Harold. The secondary character of Emmett played by John Gallagher Jr. was fine and I think it’s just a testament to Winstead’s acting ability that she worked so well with the two. I really want to restrict inadvertently mentioning any spoilers so I will say the dynamic between the three was fantastic. Filming in confined quarters challenges an actor’s ability on what they can work with since it’s only them for long periods of times. Dan Trachtenberg’s direction (debut direction!) managed to achieve a great dynamic between the main group and creates an atmosphere of sheer uncomfortability (not a word) throughout it.

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I, uh… didn’t need the bathroom anyway..

I’m not sure if this was because of the theatre I was in or what, but the score really was overpowering at times. The occasional musical pieces that accompanied the movie added some tension but there were moments where I had to think, “ALRIGHT! Cool it a bit, please!” The soundtrack though… I loved the song choices. There were occasional moments of humour that made me chuckle aloud, and immediately made me regret feeling happy for a moment. The sense of uncertainty this movie possesses is insane, I felt entirely comfortable one minute and the next I had no idea why I allowed myself to think I was safe. I need to just never use my brain again.


If you’re looking for the official sequel of Cloverfield, 10 Cloverfield Lane, it is not.
If you’re looking for a thriller with characters that don’t make you shake your head by their stupidity set in confined quarters with an incredibly layered & complex antagonist, check out 10 Cloverfield Lane.


10 Cloverfield Lane receives 4/5 Matt Damon heads.

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