Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Reel Steel movie review

Want to find inspiration? Enjoy movies that motivate you to achieve dreams? Real Steel is an inspiring movie about redemption, bonding and a dream. Want to be inspired right now?

Hugh Jackson stars in Shawn Levy's Real Steel, a movie about robot fighting and father and son bonding. We really enjoyed the movie ending, which we believe is touching to those who have emotions. We discovered several bad movie reviews on news sites that lack depth in explaining what is so bad about Real Steel. Good critics explain the reason they dislike a particular movie. Real Steel is a good movie with a great movie ending.

Hugh Jackson delivers his signature performance as a father (Charlie) who never bonds with his son Max (played by Dakota Goyo) until the mother passes away. Charlie agrees to accept money from the mother's sister's husband to keep his son for the summer. There is no real bond until the father and son begin to connect with their passion for robot fighting.

Bailey (played by Evangeline Lilly) is a stunningly gorgeous ex-girlfriend of Charlie. She continues to give Charlie chances, but begins to lose hope in his former self. Charlie is no longer the boxing fighter that she remembers. Charlie and Max experience awkwardness in trying to connect.

As the father and son engage in robot fighting matches with the sparring robot Atom, the bond between the two strengthens. We can see the relationship build into more than just robot fighting fans. Real Steel digs deep down into the moviegoers' emotions to capture realism in the bonding process.

Real Steel is about achieving greatness through connecting two missing links with a dream and the hopes of becoming a family. The movie ending is inspiring to watch. The moviegoer will begin shadow boxing to imitate Charlie guiding Atom (robot( against the top fighting robot in the world. Max and Bailey share a connection, both releasing tears of joy when watching Charlie relive his boxing magic.

If you haven't watched Real Steel, you must give them movie a chance. The movie ending is worth the movie experience alone. Want to be inspired? Watch Shawn Levy's Real Steel with an open-mind to see the encoded messages in the movie plot. Maybe you will bond with a family member or go after an unfinished dream. Real Steel is the real deal.

Apollo 18 movie review

Apollo 18 is a movie about American astronauts exploring the moon, only to come across an unexplained organic rock that causes terror.

Apollo 18 (2011)

Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego's Apollo 18 is a horror space movie about three American astronauts who are sent on a top secret space mission to explore the Moon. Hollywood makes it a yearly ritual to release movies based on truth, facts and inspired by a true story. We don't know what to expect on the Apollo 18 mission, although the desolate environment conveys a creepy undertone. The fate of the three astronauts sent on the Apollo 18 mission is a fictional event that chronicles the movie truth about what really happened on the Moon to impact future lunar missions. 

In the opening scene, three astronauts are seen in archive footage.The movie begins rather slow to humanize the astronauts, giving the moviegoers a dose of realism associated with the Apollo 18 mission. We get a sense that this Apollo 18 movie is nonetheless making a valid attempt to establish an emotional connection between the moviegoers and the movie performers. Most horror and end of the world movies humanize characters to create compassion among moviegoers. 

Commander Nathan Walker (played by Lloyd  Owen), Lt. Commander John Grey (played by Ryan Robbins) and Captain Benjamin Anderson (played by Warren Christie) are tasked with planting a device on the moon to detect Soviet ICBMs, which are known as intercontinental ballistic missiles that can carry nuclear weapons at a distance greater than 3,500 miles.

The 'ICBM' term resonated during the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. Those moviegoers familiar with atomic/nuclear history understand the fear of nuclear war, especially at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis in the 1960's and well into the 1980's. The Day After and Threads are two popular nuclear disaster movies released in the 1980's to depict the events leading up to an all-out nuclear war. As we know, the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 inspired the nuclear age. 

The American astronauts successfully reach the moon. On the moon, the darkness and silence coats the creepy environment with an eerie feeling that something is watching the astronauts. In a physical sense, the moviegoer never expects to see any organic life harvesting on the moon. The recurring camera glitches convey a mysterious form that paces across the screen. We get a glimpse of an unknown movement that informs us that these astronauts are not alone on the Moon. Thus, the rock sediment becomes much more harmful than we anticipated.  

The documentary execution and historical feel make Apollo 18 a freaky movie. We feel the eeriness, a homage to the Alien infection that resembles John Carpenter's The Thing movie. Apollo 18 chronicled the last mission to the Moon, one that prevented NASA (fictional) from carrying out future missions. The movie is believable enough, questioning the realism behind the actual events as well as the archive footage shown in the setup, development and in the resolution. 

The film ending makes you feel terrible for the astronauts. What we never discover is the origin of the organic species harvesting on the Moon. Astronauts Walker, Grey, and Anderson go on the wrong mission at the wrong time. Apollo 18 views the heroism of the astronauts as a deception disguised as a DoD coverup to hide the real truth.

Are the astronauts on a mission to plant intelligence to combat Soviet ICBM's during the 1970's? Do we believe the astronauts are treated as guinea pigs to show the effects of an unexplained organic virus that previously killed a cosmonaut? Hollywood injects realism into found footage films, making the moviegoer think beyond the initial viewing experience. 

In any case, Apollo 18 is a good movie that begins slow but ends with an interesting twist. Moviegoers who are into found footage films will enjoy the creepy theme that unfolds on the Moon. Will the organic infection stay on the Moon? Or will it reach the Earth to wipe out mankind? The DoD makes a decision that moviegoers find rather cruel.

Watch Apollo 18 with the same attention as most found footage films such as Paranormal Activity, The Devil Inside, and various other movies conveyed to portray the truth. Our initial expression of Apollo 18 is that staged documentary film projects the realism in historical events that add a historical undertone to movies. Enjoy Apollo 18!

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The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) Movie Review

Scott Derickson's The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) stars Keanu Reeves.  The end of the world movie introduces a mysterious invader who lands in Central Park. The human invader and a gigantic Alien robot are taken into custody. The Day the Earth Stood Still is a movie about the end of the world.

An Alien being Klatuu (played by Keanu Reeves) warns humankind he is trying to save the world. However, he warns the military they must change their attitudes toward the Earth. In result, Earth may soon meet inevitable end. The Alien being possess out of this world powers. The military shoots the Alien being in Central Park, apprehending him in the process. His gigantic Alien robot sidekick sends off a loud pitch that drops the onlookers on their knees. The wounded Alien being deactivates the robot. Both the Alien Being and the robot are taken into a private military base.

During an interrogation, Klatuu warns the interrogator that his mission is to protect Earth. He therefore puts his superpowers on display, knocking out the interrogator with a jolt of energy. The stunningly beautiful Helen Benson (played by Jennifer Connelly) is a scientist who the Secretary of State Regina Jackson (Kathy Bates) summoned as a part of a special task force.

The Alien visitors orchestrates his escape. Helen cares for her stepson Jacob Benson (Jayden Smith), who previously lost his family. Jacob is her pride and joy. Helen and Jacob help Klatuu to protect the world once the Alien robot unleashes fury on the Earth. The powerful wind sweeps through the city to destroy everything in its path. Helen, Jacob and Klatuu escape the military to save the world.

The Day the Earth Stood Still is a move about the end of the world. Klatuu learns that Helen's compassion to save Jacob is pure.  He believes that humans can change. In the end of the movie, Klatuu makes the sacrifice to rid Helen and Jacob of the infectious invaders decaying their internal organs. We believe Klatuu dies after walking into a super wind strong enough to devour any living orgasm. Somehow, Klatuu survive in what appears to represent a truce to preserve the world. In result, humankind accepts to change their attitude to prevent the end of the world.

Are you willing to change your ways to protect the Earth? Will humans make the ultimate sacrifice to save their planet? The Day the Earth Stood Still is an end of the world movie that captures the essence of the end. How will the world end? We hope the world never ends in our time.

Give The Day the Earth Stood Still a chance. It is obvious that various moments in the movie may spark a laugh. Nevertheless, The Day the Earth Stood Still is a fascinating end of the world movie with science fiction and metaphysical themes which can teach you the meaning of life. Have our past actions wounded the planet? Will a Green Movement reverse the destruction? Can we change to become better humans. Watch The Day the Earth Stood Still with an open mind, reflecting on the allegorical meaning of change to preserve the future world.  

original publication date: 12/19/2011


The Thing (2011) movie review

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                      ***Spoiler Alert***

The first showing of Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.'s The Thing (2011) at the Burbank AMC movie theater attracted many moviegoers. At $6 per ticket, moviegoers got to watch a great horror movie at a bargain price. Hollywood studios are cranking out the end of the world movies to feed the demand.

The remake of John Carpenters' The Thing (1982) utilized modern movie technology to improve the Alien/human shape-changing scenes; however, the current The Thing (2011) rendition remained true to the original. The cheesy special effects resembled The Faculty (1998), depicting the Alien/host virus transfer through blood, consumption and or absorption. The Thing (2011) reprised a classic science fiction horror movie with extreme accuracy.

A European team of researchers plow across the ice cold snow in the desolate Antarctica continent. The driver and passenger engage in a joke session, whereas another researcher monitors frequency waves leading the research team to a mystery visitor. The signal grows strong, influencing the yellow vehicle to stop in its tracks. All of a sudden, the ice floor breaks and the research team descends down a tight icy crack hole. An enormous THING of some sort fills the space.  

Beautiful starlet Marie Elizabeth Winstead graced the silver screen as the experienced researcher Kate Loyd. Dr. Sander Halvorson (Ulrich Thomson) invites Kate to join his team in Antarctica. He withholds important details to keep the research top secret. Therefore, Kate must accept the research offer to avoid losing out a chance in a lifetime. Adam Goodman (Eric Christian Olsen from Hot Chick fame) plays an research assistant to Dr. Halvorson.

Kate, Sander, and Adam fly to Antarctica. American helicopter pilots Braxton Carter (Joel Edgerton) and Jameson (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) toy around with Kate, asking her about the awfully bad NBA Cavaliers team and warning her of the Norwegian roommates awaiting her arrival. The research team greet Kate, Sander and Adam. Moments later, the research team enter the dark cave. To their amazement, an Alien craft crowds the hollow underground ice tavern.

The research team make a discovery, finding an unknown specimen frozen in the ice floor atop. Sander makes the announcement of delivering the specimen to the research headquarters. A dark clawed being remains perfectly preserved in the thick block of ice. Sander recommends they take a tissue sample of the being. However, Kate challenges the notion that such an act is dangerous. Sander confronts Kate, warning her that he will not tolerate her insubordinate defiance toward his orders.

A research member drills a hole into the block of ice. The drilling scene is intense, considering that moviegoers have no clue on what to expect once the drill bit pierces into the Alien being. Immediately after collecting the sample, the researchers celebrate the historical discovery in their bar. They drink a variety of hard liquor and beer. Sander congratulates his research team on finding and delivering the Alien specimen intact. He tells them that they will become important figures.

Jameson walks into the room where the Alien being is frozen in a block of ice. Another researcher scares him to the point in which he must take a deep breathe to regain his composure. Seconds later, the Alien being projects out of the ice, and out through the ceiling. Jameson runs to the bar, panicking and incoherent. He attempts to find the best way to inform the research team, telling them that their Alien specimen escaped. The research team scold Jameson for joking around, but it is clear that something has gone awfully wrong.

The research team arm themselves with firepower. They disperse into groups to find the Alien being. Nobody knows what to expect, especially after the Alien is now alive after thousands of years. One research member, Colin (played by Jonathan Walker) is unexpectedly dragged underneath the building foundation and consumed. The Alien being digests a human in a fascinating way, according to Sander's autopsy comment.

Juliette (Kim Bubbs) leaves the autopsy, apparently sick to her stomach. She tricks Kate into believing another member cleaned up the bloody mess in the bathroom. Juliette transforms into a human/Alien form. Kate maneuvers through the room to escape the Alien. The research crew cooks the Thing into Alien jerky.  

A helicopter escorts a sick member who watched the Alien devour his fellow researcher. Kate learns  that her cell mutation notion is proven with the Alien assuming the shape of its host. She discovers the Alien is unable to replicate organic material through finding bloody fillings on the bathroom floor. She warns the helicopter to land.

Moviegoers are confused as to which helicopter crew member is infected. Instead of Olav (Juan Gunnar Roise), the Thing is another crew member. His face then breaks apart, revealing the Alien form within the human flesh. Nonetheless, the chaos causes the helicopter to crash on the backside of the mountain. The research team accept the fact that everyone in the helicopter is dead.

As The Thing movie progresses, Kate begins to realize the research team is not safe. The Alien being can take shape of any living human and animal form, replicating a host as depicted in Terminator 2 and The Faculty movies. Kate warns that no research member can be trusted, expecting everyone to show their teeth fillings to prove they are human. The breakdown in trust remind moviegoers of the mutiny in the Crimson Tide (1995) movie. Sander realizes Kate is now the decision maker in the crisis.

Another human transforms into an Alien. Half of the research crew is lost, including Kate's good friend Adam. The Thing begins to go after research members. Sander is eventually devoured, and then reemerges as himself again. Kate and Braxton go after Sander, knowing that his contact with any human beings will cause millions of people to die.

Kate's goal to save mankind makes for an intense ending, Moviegoers are left in the dark; therefore, the writers and the director can create suspense throughout the metaphysical horror movie to entertain us. The Thing is portrayed as an end of the world movie, depicting the effects of Alien cells breeding within human beings. We sense that somewhere in an icy block of ice is the beginning to the end.

Nevertheless, The Thing will reveal a surprise twist at the end of the movie. Watch Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.'s The Thing (2011) with care because the gruesome scenes will make you jump out of your seat. The Thing delivers a grotesque model of what Aliens are capable of doing once they make human contact. You will leave The Thing thinking about whether life as we know it can end through an Alien virus. I highly recommend The Thing, giving the movie 5 stars out of 5 stars rating.

Original publication date: October 15, 2011 

 2011                    1982

The Darkest Hour movie review

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Chris Gorak's The Darkest Hour movie opened up on Christmas Day to make only $3 million in its first two days in the domestic box office. The end of the world movie performed better in Russia due in part to the Moscow film shooting location. Screenwriter Jon Spaihts wrote The Darkest Hour screenplay. Emile Hirsch (The Girl Next Door), Olivia Thirlby (Juno), Max Minghella (The Social Network), Rachael Taylor (Transformers), and Joel Kinnaman (Easy Money) lead the main cast in the end of the world movie about invisible invaders launching a super invasion on Earth's energy supply.

Social networking and software developing gurus Sean (Emile Hirsch) and Ben (Max Minghella) travel to Moscow, Russia to pitch their new social networking idea. The two friends are rather excited to woo the Russians into investing $10 million to fuel their startup company. The moment Ben begins talking, we immediately realize that he is reprising his The Social Network role. Is Sean searching for the hot blonde Danielle next door?

We see that Moscow, Russia maintains their historical ambience. Moviegoers get a glimpse of Moscow landmarks and the Russian people. Sean and Ben enter a room to see their social networking idea plastered on the presentation screen. Skyler (Joel Kinnaman) tells the unhappy investors that stealing their idea is just business. We accept that business people are depicted as unethical leaches.  

Ben is having another deja vu moment, reflecting back on Jesse Eisenberg's Mark Zuckerberg character thieving two classmates and his social networking design once again. Should Ben have learned to protect his patent? Skyler notifies security to remove Sean and Ben from the vicinity. Skyler is a sleazy thief that will get what he deserves.  

Natalie (Olivia Thirlby) and Anne (Rachel Taylor) tour Moscow using Ben and Sean's social networking website. The four Americans meet in a Moscow club packed with hot Russian women. The defeated Sean and Ben drink a bottle of Russia's best vodka. Skyler rubs it in that his decision to steal their social networking design is about business. Sean and Ben see Skyler as a weasel willing to throw any person into the fire.  

Without any warning, the power shuts down in the club. The club occupants walk outside to view a vibrant light show, a display of bright jellyfish smothering the Moscow sky. The first light slowly lands in the middle of a crowd. A Russian police officer approaches the invisible light. The crowd is on edge while the police officer advances toward the diminishing light. All of a sudden the light devours the police officer into dust. The crowd frantically runs to escape the invisible invaders. 

Sean, Ben, and the two American girls hide from the wrath of the invisible invaders. The idea thief Skyler locks out a beautiful female companion to get devoured into dust. Skyler enters the back storage room along with Ben, Sean and the two American girls. The group is trapped in the room for three days. Meanwhile, the world around them is essentially disappearing into thin air.

Skyler gets his payback rather quickly. It is safe to say that karma pays a visit to wrongdoers. Sean asks the group how everyone should dress for the end of the world. Anna's weakness proves to be a liability, endangering the group with a tail between the legs approach. Ben begins to believe in Sean's intelligence and instinct. Natalie gets close with Sean. We never feel a connection with the characters. The Darkest Hour movie fails to humanize the characters during the end of the world event. Moviegoers are given little exposition to connect the plot dots.      

For the most part, the super invasion paralyzes the entire world. Moscow is one of many cities facing the end of the world. The young Americans will each lose a close friend to realize that loyalty and life hold significant value. In an end of the world environment, strangers are willing to risk their lives to save another person. The Darkest Hour movie portrays the moment in which the end of the world as we know it ceases to exist. The fight to survive never stops until the enemy retreats.  

The Darkest Hour is about surviving the end of the world. Invisible invaders have one mission in mind - to consume the Earth's energy supply. It is up humankind to defeat the invisible invaders to claim victory against the super invasion. We never know how the invisible invaders arrive other than watching them fall from the sky. The surrounding world is never revealed to show the mass destruction. Should we believe random humans are strong enough to defend the Earth from the super invasion? 

Chris Gorak's The Darkest Hour movie ending is obscure. The abrupt movie ending is a risky plot choice since there is no clear resolution to defeat the invisible invaders. In any case, The Darkest Hour is a decent end of the world movie that deserves credit for at least trying to make an effort to depict an apocalyptic world. Five moviegoers at a 7pm Saturday night showing in Los Angeles nonetheless establishes that The Darkest Hour will not make back the $30 million production budget allotted to make the end of the world movie. Watch The Darkest Hour at your own risk. Beware that watching this end of the world depiction will be The Darkest Hour and 28 minutes of your 3D movie experience.  

Original publication date: December 27, 2011

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Knowing movie review

The Essence Of DreamsAlex Proyas's Knowing is the best end of the world movie we've watched ever. The opening to Knowing set the tone for the entire movie, keeping the moviegoers in suspense to which major events are forthcoming. While releasing Knowing three years prior to the 2012 end of the world influenced the film's final box office earnings, the movie about the end of the world is now referenced as a classic depiction of how the world will end in the near future.

Nicholas Cage performed excellent as a single father who is a religious nonbeliever and a genius astrophysics instructor at MIT. Knowing is one of the best end of the world movies that is effective with capturing several sub-genres. The armageddon movie deals with knowing the truth ahead of the end. How will the world end? Can the future end be averted? Do we think the world can end?

In Knowing, the movie opens up in the year 1959. A young Lucinda (Laura Robinson) is watching the bright sun. Miss Taylor (Danielle Carter) calls out to the students to end their recess time. Lucinda remains in a trance, while Miss Taylor continues to get her attention.

In the classroom, Miss Taylor informs her young students about the contest winner, revealing that Lucinda won with her time capsule idea. Miss Taylor instructs the students to draw images of what they think the future will appear like. At this early point, the movie is already a winner. Lucinda writing

The late 1950's setting is believable since the dress attire compliments the era. We see Lucinda writing numbers with mysterious whispering voices guiding her in some sort of clairvoyant trance. The Knowing plot design is constructed in order of sequence to guide the moviegoers. We soon discover the plot mystery that sought after creating armageddon signs over a span of 50 years.

In modern time, 50 years later from the 1959 time capsule ceremony, John Koestler (Nicholas Cage) is barbecuing hot dogs on the grill. His son Caleb (Chandler Canterbury) questions the existence of life outside of Earth. Even though Caleb knows the answer to his question, his plan aims at making small talk. The father and son tandem are relevant to the plot. Deciphering numbers is almost the same as rekindling a lost connection.

We can sense there is conflict between John and God. John is a single father who is still grieving the loss of his wife due to a fire accident. Knowing explains every event, shining down a light on moviegoers to keep the plot moving forward with no confusion in the meaning. Proyas's Knowing is designed to interpret as a Bible study, giving moviegoers the numbers to make the connection.  

At the 50 year anniversary ceremony to remove the time capsule, Caleb is given Lucinda's numbers. Some mysterious man in a black coat watches Caleb. This mystery stranger will be revealed later in the movie. The numbers are the key to past, present, and future events.

John deciphers the numbers to find an eerie connection between  past natural disasters and post-dates following the time capsule burial in 1959. Knowing executes the plot quite well to advance the story forward through coordinating the numbers, making predictions and adding mystery to the plot.

What do these numbers mean to the world? We believe that after you watch the armageddon movie, you can answer the number question. Will the world end? Can John decode the numbers to save the world?

Knowing has that Mayan Calendar theory written into the plot. It is one of the few movies with multiple themes, especially with establishing a spiritual connection at the end of the movie. Armageddon, end of the world, metaphysical, spiritual, healing, apocalypse, and dystopian sub-genres add layers to the plot, enhancing the emotional structure to humanize the characters.

Diana (Rose Bryne) is the perfect mother. She is unlike his mother Lucinda, a woman who seemed crazy and disturbed. However, John and Diana discover the truth about Lucinda and the numbers. The plot design follows sequential order to keep the moviegoing emotionally connected to the movie events.

We enjoyed watching Knowing. There is no better end of the world movie. Knowing takes big risks to deliver an unconventional film ending that is quite effective. Besides the mystery guests, Knowing relies on believable facts about major disasters to deliver unpredictable moments leading up to the end. Thus, the numbers draw a roadmap to the truth.

Whereas there are a few confusing moments in Knowing, the movie reaffirms the end of the world predictions to stay on course. The predictions will lead John closer to the truth that defies his previous belief system. Metaphysical movies are about healing and change. We believe Knowing enables John to change after knowing the fate of the future. Enjoy watching Knowing, a fascinating movie about the end of the world combined with metaphysical and spiritual themes to enhance the viewing experience.

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