Friday, October 12, 2012

Review - Madagascar 3, End Of Watch, Sinister

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012)

Starring Ben Stiller, Chris Rock and Bryan Cranston.
Directed by Eric Darnell.

The third installment of the famous Madagascar series shows our beloved zoo animals far away from home on an adventure. Now feeling home sick, Alex and the crew decide to head to Europe to find the penguins in hopes of getting back to New York. Along the way, they meet a travelling circus and things turn out quite differently than they expected. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted is definitely the best film of the series. Colorful and entertaining from start to finish and consistent humor throughout the film. The characters were fun and we hear a lot less of Chris Rock's annoying voice. The circus animals introduced were really fun and the dazzling circus scenes heightened this movie. A movie made for kids but mature enough to engage adults. Even though the story may seem familiar, the characters made it worthwhile. Not the best Dreamworks animation but the snappy dialogue and dazzling effects make Madagascar 3 a sequel that worked.
Rating: 9/10

End Of Watch (2012)
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena and Anna Kendrick.
Directed by David Ayer.

Ever seen the series COPS? Then End Of Watch is definitely something of the same nature. The movie is shot in a found-footage style in which we basically follow the activities of two LAPD police officers. We see officer Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and officer Zavala (Michael Pena) run-ins with various gangs, crime scenes and their interactions with their peers. After a random firearm/drug bust, both officers become target of the drug cartel.
End of Watch boasts great acting from the cast especially its leads. The direction should be praised. I had no real issue with the hand camera, the shots seemed effective ad the movie was real life-like. The cam was annoyingly shaky at first but overall got better as the movie went along. Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena's onscreen chemistry is what carried this movie along with intense gun battles and humor. They were pretty enjoyable. However, where End of Watch fell down for me was the lack of story. It was just not brought across as effectively as it should have been.There were plot holes and many details were left uncovered. Overall, it is still a decent cop flick. Tense moments here and there.
Rating: 7/10

Sinister (2012)
Starring Ethan Hawke, James Ransone and Fred Dalton Thomas.
Directed by Scott Derrickson.

Ellison (Ethan Hawke) is a crime novelist who moves into the home of a murder scene, unknowing to his wife Tracy (Juliet Rylance). As expected, strange occurrences begin to surface inside the house as Ellison inches closer and closer to the truth of the horrific deaths of the families. The trailer for Sinister is actually much more scarier than the movie itself. Sinister boasts a familiar story which involves hauntings involving children.....much to my dismay. Ethan Hawke and the cast were pretty solid but there are some stuff about the story that just didn't make sense to me. The movie starts out promising; I mean how many movies you know has the "ghost" seemingly videotaping the murders? Unfortunately, the movie shifts into familiar territory and was no longer intriguing. Plus it was hardly scary to begin with. There was even a twist at the end of the movie but it did little for the climax, much less the whole movie. Sinister is pretty much just another average horror flick.
Rating: 6/10

Movies Also Watched: 

The Lion in Winter (1968)
A brilliant, yet witty film fueled by strong performances from Peter O'Toole and Katherine Hepburn. It becomes a battle of the throne as the King must decide which one of his sons is to succeed him. Hepburn's and O'Toole's onscreen squabbles were just a thing of beauty. The movie's strength lies in its dialogue and performances which makes it an instant classic. -10/10

Trollhunter (2011)
A group of Norwegian students set out to investigate mysterious bear-killings. However they start to follow a mysterious hunter who turns out to be hunting trolls. Trollhunter is a creepy yet enjoyable mockumentary style film with consistent humor. The special effects were cool and the movie definitely gives us a breath of fresh air into the documentary style horror genre. - 8/10

Triangle (2009)
A hidden gem indeed. Triangle is one of those films that is suppose to be cliched but defies the odds and turns out to be something great. A movie that uses common cliches and transforms it into its own. Watch this movie. - 9.5/10

The Man From Earth (2007)
A unique film fueled by intellect dialogue and great acting. We see Professor John Oldman in a cabin with his fellow associates as he reveals the truth about his life. The Man From Earth is a like history lesson which which will have you lost in a science fiction dream, even though the whole movie takes place in one location. Beautiful twist at the end. - 9/10

Sideways (2004)
A good film with great performances from Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church. Sideways is a warm and tad bit emotional film which will keep you engrossed and want to taste wine. - 9.5/10

Before The Devil Knows You're Dead (2007)
A tense thriller with an effective use of flashbacks/reverse story-telling. Thought-provoking and well-written, Phillip Seymour Hoffman was just as great. - 8.5/10


  1. Oh sweet i thought i was the only one who had seen Trollhunter :D I Loved it ^.^ and its good to see that we both agree that Madagascar 3 was awesomeness :D Check out MY review on it :p

  2. Madagascar 3 is my fave animation of 2012 thus far. It was surprisingly great :)

  3. Madagascar 3 is really a hit! loved it....havent been watching much movies lately...stuck on 5 seasons of Breaking